Windstorm/Tornado Damages FAQ
After a weather event, we often get many questions on the typical restoration process from windstorm/tornado damage. Here are a few responses to the most frequently asked questions:
All the siding in the front is gone, will the company replace all the siding on the house?
If covered for the loss, your insurance company is typically responsible to replace only the damaged section and will attempt to match the existing siding. If this cannot be done then it will be reviewed further by the Adjuster.
Tree removal? A Tree fell onto my house, is the removal cost covered? What about all other tree and branch debris that is in my yard (did not fall on structure) – is this covered? Is full disposal covered or only to the end for the homeowner’s lane?
Most insurance policies do not respond to trees that come down by wind including damaged trees in non-tornado situations. Each company may handle tree damage slightly differently, but when a tree falls onto your dwelling, fence, or other structure, the insurance company will cover the cost to remove the tree from the structure and place it on the ground. Insurance companies generally do not remove the tree from the property or cut down any damaged tree(s) or cover the expense to have this work done. For specifics, we recommend you refer to your insurance policy.
My Tree fell down. There is no damage to my property, but it fell on my neighbours (house/car/fence), how do I submit a claim?
If there is no damage to your insured property, the neighbour should report the claim to their insurance company. Although you may feel personally responsible, it is their property that is damaged, and therefore the claim must be reported to their insurance company.
I have reported a claim to my insurance company. Should I do anything while waiting for an adjuster to call back?
There is a responsibility to mitigate/prevent further damage if it is safe and possible to do so. If the area is not safe – please block it to prevent others from accessing the area. Blocking it off could include roping it off, putting up caution tape, etc. It could even be blocking the area with a tarp. Make sure to take photos if possible and keep any receipts if you incur any costs.
I reported the claim, but I have not heard anything yet. Should I call and follow up?
In emergency situations such as this, the demand for insurance companies is great. Wait times and call-back times are much longer than normal as many people who have sustained damages need their help. Although following up is always your right, if it has only been a couple of days, and it is possible, please be patient and wait for them to contact you. People following up on claims which have already been submitted will further diminish their ability to respond in a timely fashion. If it is an insurance emergency, you can call us or your insurance company. If it is a safety emergency, please call 911.
Food spoiled in a freezer?
• Is it covered?
Most insurance companies provide some type of coverage for spoilage from a power outage. We recommend you speak with your insurance broker to review the possibility of whether a specific limit applies. For example, some companies have a limit of $1000 while others have no limit.
• If it is covered, does the deductible apply?
With some companies, the answer is yes, and with others, the answer is no. Historically, some companies have waived deductibles in a catastrophic event, and this may be the case, but at this point, we have not heard any decision on this as companies continue to triage and help with the most devastating losses.
• What general advice would we pass along to our customers?
If you have had a major amount of food damage from your freezer outage, keep records of the food lost, document as much as you can, and speak with your insurance broker for advice.
What should I do if my house is not safe to live in?
Most property policies cover the cost of alternate accommodations and living expenses if your house is unliveable as a result of insured damage. This is often referred to as “Additional Living Expenses” or “ALE” in your insurance policy. Speak to your broker to confirm coverage and specifics.