Barker Martin

Condo-HOA Blog

I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore

Kansas, of course, is in the heart of Tornado Alley and home to the most famous tornado of them all: the one that swept Dorothy into the Land of Oz. Recently, however, Oregon and Washington felt the effects of multiple tornadoes. Two tornadoes touched down in Oregon in October. Tornado warnings were also issued for several cities in Washington. The tornadoes and strong winds wreaked havoc on homes across Oregon and Washington. Although not frequent, tornadoes do occasionally touch down in both Oregon and Washington. Because we are not accustomed to tornadoes, many are probably wondering whether their homes and associations are covered. Fortunately, property damage caused by strong winds and tornadoes are typically covered under standard homeowner policies. To be safe, a simple phone call to your broker or agent will confirm the coverage.

Before resting easy, however, note that not all related conditions are covered. For those of us who braved the storm (without umbrellas for us true northwesterners), the wind was only part of the problem. Heavy prolonged rain accompanied the strong winds. While most homeowner policies cover tornado damage, they do not cover property damage caused by floods or related earth movement. Those risks typically require an additional policy. A periodic insurance review will reveal whether these risks are covered. If they are not, you should consider purchasing the additional coverage. If your house flies away and you find yourself uncovered, you might just lose more than your ruby slippers.

For those interested in learning more about natural disasters and coverage for the same, I will be co-presenting a national webinar on the subject on November 30, 2016. Stay tuned for additional details.