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Tornado Recovery Guide

from Members Insurance Center

Safety First

  • Listen to the local radio for up-to-date information.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings.
  • Check for damage to gas, electric, or sewage systems when you are able to do so safely.
  • Watch out for broken glass and sharp objects.
  • If you must drive, use caution. Look out for downed wires and debris, and remember bridges and roads may be damaged.

Report Your Claim

You can report your claim one of two ways. Be ready to provide a general description of your damage.

  1. Contact your insurance company directly
  2. Call Members Insurance Center at 888-238-7511

Document the Damage

Make a complete list of items that the tornado damaged. This will help expedite the claims process. Document the damage with photos and videos.

Don’t throw out damaged items, especially expensive items.

Make Temporary Repairs

Heavy rains often accompany tornados and windstorms. The longer your home is exposed to water, the more damage you’ll see to your roof, ceiling, walls, and floors, as well as any personal belongings you have inside.

Save all receipts from your temporary repairs.

  • Cover broken windows and holes in roofs with tarps or plywood to prevent water damage.
  • Move wet items to drier ground.
  • Wash and dry whatever you can.

If you’re not sure it’s safe, professionals can help, and you should hire a local contractor who specializes in this kind of work.

Schedule Repairs

Most insurance companies require that you to wait until the damage to your property has been assessed by a claims representative before you begin making permanent repairs.

However, you should schedule a contractor to make permanent repairs as soon as possible because contractors can be difficult to schedule after a storm.

Review Your Insurance Policy

Check your policy to see what’s covered and the deductible you chose when you purchased your policy. Review your policy to prepare questions for your claims representative.

Your insurance policy typically covers the cost to repair common tornado damage, including damage to roofs, walls, cars, and your personal belongings. Your deductible applies, and you may have a higher deductible for wind/hail damage than the deductible that applies to tornados.

If you can’t live in your home, your insurance company may pay additional living expenses, as noted in your policy, while the damage is assessed and your home is being repaired or rebuilt. If, for some reason, your repairs take longer than the period of time covered by your policy, you may be eligible for additional assistance from federal emergency programs.

Understand Your Responsibilities

Your insurance company will replace damaged items and materials with the same type and quality of materials you had before the tordando. For example, if you had a fiberglass roof, they will pay to repair or replace damage with fiberglass materials, but they won’t pay to replace it with more expensive slate tile.

If damage is extensive, people sometimes decide to take the opportunity to upgrade their property with better or more expensive materials.

If you want to pay the additional expense to upgrade, you’re welcome to do so out of your personal budget.

Any time you make improvements to your property, let us know to make sure you have enough insurance coverage, and to find out if you are eligible for new discounts as a result of your home improvements.