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Does my car insurance cover tornado damage?

Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
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UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...
  • Coverage for tornado damage depends on the type of car insurance that you have
  • Liability and collision coverage don’t cover tornado damage, but comprehensive car insurance covers weather and natural disaster damage, including tornadoes
  • Comprehensive car insurance will cover tornado damage after the deductible is paid
  • When filing a claim, make sure to document damage with photographs and ask for an adjuster to view the damage in person

Tornadoes are a type of natural disaster that can strike seemingly without warning, causing great damage. Cars and vehicles can be some of the personal property items that are most vulnerable to tornado damage.

You may be wondering if tornado damage to your car is covered under your auto insurance policy.

It’s important to have a full understanding of what your car insurance policy covers in order to be prepared for whatever might come your way.

Understanding the different types of auto insurance policies and what they cover can also help you to make the right choice when selecting a car insurance option for you.

You can compare car insurance options online to see the various premiums available to you from different insurers.

Comparison shopping for car insurance can also give you the opportunity to review the various types of insurance provided by auto insurance companies and allow you to select the option that best meets your needs. Enter your zip code above to compare today.

What type of car insurance covers tornado damage?

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The most basic type of auto insurance is liability insurance. This type of insurance is mandated by the state for all drivers and does not cover tornado damage.

Instead, liability insurance only covers damage to the following:

  • another person
  • their car
  • their property

Another type of auto insurance coverage is collision car insurance. Collision coverage is exactly what it says in its name. It covers damage to your car that was caused by a collision with another vehicle or object.

While this type of insurance could provide coverage in the case of car damage caused by an accident while fleeing a tornado, it would not provide coverage for standard tornado damage.

However, comprehensive auto insurance goes further.

It is likely that a comprehensive car insurance policy would provide coverage for tornado damage to your insured vehicle.

This type of insurance is designed to provide complete coverage for your auto. It covers:

  • weather damage
  • fire damage
  • car theft
  • parts theft
  • vandalism
  • an array of events

With a comprehensive policy, you should be covered for tornado damages to your car up to the total amount of your comprehensive coverage limit.

You can shop online for car insurance to find a comprehensive policy that meets your needs and provides the best value for you.

There are many car insurance options available online for you to compare between and find the right kind of car insurance to cover tornado damage to your vehicle.

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Coverage for Tornadoes and High Winds

The potential damage to your vehicle from a tornado could also be caused by straight winds. Comprehensive coverage provides protection for your vehicle in case of natural disasters and other weather related incidents.

Some of these types of damage could include vehicle rollovers or flying debris. Tornadoes are some of the most violent weather incidents to occur in the United States and cause significant damage.

If you have a deductible as part of your car insurance policy, you will need to pay the deductible first. A deductible cuts the costs of your auto insurance policy but must be paid first when you file a claim.

When you are choosing a car insurance option, you can select the amount of deductible included as part of your insurance plan. You can compare deductibles, premiums and coverage options online to find a car insurance policy that can meet your needs.

How do you know if you have comprehensive car insurance?

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When you go through a natural disaster like a tornado, you may not be immediately aware of the type of car insurance that you have. Especially if you have made no changes to your policy in a long time, you may not remember what kind of coverage you have.

There are a few places you can check to find out if you have comprehensive coverage.

  • Policy Declaration Page – Your car insurance policy comes with a declaration page that is mailed or sent to you electronically each time you renew, either annually or every six months. This page will include language that indicates that you have comprehensive coverage or coverage for damages other than collision. The deductible for your policy will also be listed here.
  • Online Policy – You can view your car insurance policy online at the website of your insurer with your policy number and customer information. Your policy number can be found on the proof of insurance you must carry in your vehicle.
  • Your Insurance Carrier or Agent – If you can’t find your documents, you can always call the customer service number for your insurance agent or your insurance carrier directly. They will be able to provide you with the appropriate information about the type of insurance that you have. If you do have comprehensive coverage, you can then ask to speak with the claims department.

How do you file a claim for tornado damage?

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It’s important that you file your claim quickly after the tornado or another natural disaster. After you assess the damage and secure your own safety, file your claim as soon as you can.

Insurers will likely receive a large number of claims, so filing quickly can help with the speed of processing.

That being said, there can be some waiting involved when filing a claim after a natural disaster.

While some insurance companies may have many personnel, there can be significant waiting times and hold periods when calling a car insurer after a disaster that impacted many people.

Talk to your insurer about repairing your vehicle. If your car received significant damage like holes in the roof or a broken window, you may want to fix the damage to protect your car from further injury.

However, you often need to wait until the car has been examined by the insurer to make permanent repairs. For now, cover such damage with temporary protective covers to protect your claim.

It can be helpful to have an insurance adjuster to come to see the car in person as well as to take extensive photographs.

Your car may have more damage than you can convey verbally on the phone and providing a picture can be very important.

You can help find the best car insurance to meet your needs by shopping online and comparing policies.

If you’re concerned about future natural disasters, it’s important to have a comprehensive plan in place well in advance, as policies can exclude events that occur immediately following the purchase of a policy.

Comparison shopping for car insurance can help you find the best value and most complete coverage for your vehicle. Use our free comparison tool below to get started today.

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