Is tornado damage covered by car insurance?

Tornado damage is covered by comprehensive car insurance. The average rates in the US for comprehensive coverage are $11.57/mo.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 17, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • A tornado is an unexpected catastrophe that can damage or completely destroy your car, and it can be difficult to adequately prepare for this weather event
  • However, your car insurance may protect you from these losses under specific coverage; the coverage you should have in place is comprehensive coverage
  • To have coverage for these tornado-related losses, it’s important to have the coverage in place before the tornado occurs
  • Comprehensive coverage is the option that your policy must carry to protect from catastrophe losses, such as tornado or wind damage
  • This coverage option traditionally carries a deductible, which is the amount of any loss you are responsible for covering

Damage caused by a tornado, or any exceptionally strong winds, can often occur without any warning or time to prepare. The winds caused by a tornado create dangerous road conditions and can cause damage to your car when it’s stationary.

It’s crucial to understand how your car insurance policy can protect you from the losses that occur from a tornado or tornado-related events.

If you’re concerned for your car’s safety and want better auto insurance, compare at least three to four policies today to find the best rates for you! Enter your ZIP code above!

Tornado Losses and Your Vehicle

Protecting yourself from tornado-related losses can be accomplished simply by purchasing comprehensive coverage for your car insurance policies.

Comprehensive coverage is an option you can choose when you purchase your policy or at a later time, and it protects you from losses that are not related to a collision; collisions with animals are an exception to this.

Natural disasters and weather events fall under the coverage provided by the comprehensive portion of your policy, which means tornado-related losses will fall under this coverage option as well.

When you are getting coverage quotes from different providers, make sure to consider the coverage you are selecting and the coverage you are denying. Tornadoes are a common weather event in the United States, and you should take this into consideration when examining your coverage options.

If you are worried about tornado losses, it’s important to have the coverage in place before the loss event occurs. Many insurance providers may require you to have the coverage in place days before any potential event; this reduces the number of people purchasing coverage for just the days that a tornado is likely to occur.

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Filing a Claim for Tornado Losses

Before you file a claim for a tornado-related loss, it’s important to assess:

  • The extent of the damage to your car
  • Your policy coverage
  • Any adverse effects to your policy

After a tornado has occurred, you should assess the amount of damage to your car before filing a claim by documenting the damages to show a repair shop or taking it to an independent inspector.

There are times where repairing the damage to your vehicle yourself may be cheaper than going through the claim process. If you file a claim instead, take your deductible and any premium increase into consideration.

The deductible is the amount of any claimed loss that you are responsible for covering, which reduces the amount of any claim that your provider settles.

If you file a claim that does not exceed your deductible, your insurance provider is not obligated to provide any coverage until you exceed that amount.

Additionally, filing a claim for a weather-related loss contributes to your claim history — a factor when your insurance premium is calculated.

The more claims you file, the higher risk you appear to be when examined by any insurance carrier, prospective or current. If you have a history of claims that exceed the risk profile of your provider, you may find certain coverage removed from your policy, or your policy may not be renewed.

If you choose to file a claim, make sure to provide your insurance carrier with accurate information about the extent of the damages, including any pictures or documentation you have compiled. Additionally, you should follow any instructions about the claim process or repair process that your carrier provides.

Tornadoes can be a catastrophic event, so your carrier may have specific claim handling processes in place.

Things to Remember About Tornado Losses

When a tornado occurs, your first concern should be your safety. If you cannot relocate or protect your vehicle from the potential loss without exposing yourself to danger, then you should not proceed.

Once a loss has occurred, it’s often necessary to take reasonable steps to protect your car from further damage, which is often called mitigating further loss.

Your insurance provider may have suggested loss mitigation steps that you should follow, or they may provide coverage for any reasonable steps that you take. Additionally, contact your insurance provider within a reasonable time to let them know you have been involved in a tornado-related loss.

Some tornadoes may affect a lot of policyholders, which can lead to specific claim handling procedures due to the catastrophic nature of the event. Informing your provider early on can help you start working through the claim process as quickly as possible.


Tornado damage is difficult to predict and prepare for, but you can attempt to plan ahead and protect yourself from future losses.

It’s important to review your car insurance policy to make sure that you understand the terms and conditions contained within. Your insurance provider can help explain your coverage and how your policy works.

To properly protect your car from tornado damages, it’s essential that you carry comprehensive coverage on your policy.

If you are aware of a potential tornado, you can take reasonable steps to protect your vehicle from loss; protect your vehicle only if it’s safe to do so.

If your vehicle is damaged by a tornado, you may need to take reasonable and necessary steps to prevent further damages, such as:

  • Covering broken windows
  • Moving your vehicle from affected areas
  • Securing your vehicle in an alternate location

Speak to your insurance provider about your coverage before a tornado occurs, since your coverage needs to be in place beforehand.

Additionally, if tornadoes are common in your area, discuss potential mitigation steps ahead of time and plan accordingly. Reducing the amount of damage to your vehicle can make your claim process easier.

If you live in an area where tornadoes are common, start comparison shopping today to ensure that your car is protected! Enter your ZIP code below to begin!

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