Being left in the wake of a tornado can be a harrowing experience. Not only can tornado-strength winds damage your home, but they can also cause injury to you and your family. Even though only about 2 percent of tornadoes are violent to the point of devastation, even relatively “weak” tornadoes—with wind speeds up to 110 mph—can cause significant damage to your home and grounds. On average, about 1,200 tornadoes occur across the United States each year, resulting in fatalities and millions of dollars in damage. Even if you don’t live in a high-risk tornado state like Kansas or Nebraska, strong and violent tornadoes can occur virtually anywhere. As if going through a tornado is not bad enough, imagine how you will feel if your insurance company delays your claim, undervalues the claim, or denies it altogether. This is a time when you need a strong legal advocate in your corner. When you contact a Louisiana tornado claim attorney from Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys, you can be assured that your insurance company will not take advantage of you or engage in bad faith practices. We will protect your interests from start to finish, making sure your insurance company holds up its end of the bargain.
How Common Are Tornadoes in Louisiana?
Tornadoes can and do occur in the state of Louisiana, according to 973thedawg.com, usually touching down between the hours of 3 and 4 in the afternoon, and averaging about 300 feet wide, traveling a path of about four miles. Fox8live.com reports that the number of tornadoes each decade has been increasing in the state of Louisiana since 1950. This phenomenon is generally attributed to warmer Gulf waters. Between 1950 and 1973, there were about 17 tornadoes each year in Louisiana. By the 1980s, this number had jumped to 33 per year, and since 2010, there are an average of 55 tornadoes per year, with a record-high of 103 tornadoes in the state in 2018.
How Can a Louisiana Tornado Claim Attorney from Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys Help?
Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys will help you when your insurance company is not living up to its commitment. Attorney Peter Diiorio and his legal team have helped hundreds of clients just like you in Louisiana and Texas, recovering more than seven million dollars in insurance claims and lawsuits. Our clients like the fact that when they contact Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys, they will speak directly to Peter Diiorio as they take an important first step toward getting the help they need and deserve. You will never be charged for a consultation, and there is never any obligation. Your situation will be comprehensively assessed, and the legal details of your potential case against your insurer will be explained clearly.
While insurance companies generally portray themselves as your “friend,” who will be there when you need them, insurance companies are interested only in their financial bottom line. When an insurance company refuses to honor its promise to take care of you in return for your payment of premiums, we will step in and ensure you are not taken advantage of. If your insurance company is denying payment, delaying payment, or offering much less than your claim is worth, Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys will fight zealously to ensure you get a fair settlement that covers all your damages.
What Types of Damage Can Tornadoes Cause?
Tornadoes are unpredictable, taking out one home, but leaving others intact. There are many different types of damage a tornado can cause to your home and property, but some are more common than others, including:
- Structural damage in the form of roof and wall collapse or de-stabilization is common, as are broken windows and doors, and found issues.
- Electrical damage can result from tornadoes, in the form of downed power lines, or short-circuits caused by flying debris. Power surges resulting from a tornado can damage delicate electronic equipment in your home.
- Damage to your furniture, appliances, electronics, artwork, clothing, household goods, and other things inside your house is common. If you live in a tornado-prone area, make sure you have anchored heavy items like bookcases to the wall, and if you are expecting high winds, bring outdoor furniture inside.
- Fallen trees can cause roof damage, siding damage, and window and door damage.
- Roofs can be damaged, or torn completely off a home during a tornado.
Will Insurance Cover Damage Caused by a Tornado?
While it is always a good idea to look at your homeowner’s insurance policy to make sure you know what is and isn’t covered, standard homeowner’s policies generally cover wind-related damage, including tornado damage. If the tornado is accompanied by heavy rains, it’s important to know that flood damage—even when it accompanies a covered event like a tornado—is often not covered. Your home is covered under your dwelling coverage, which also covers anything attached to your home, like a garage or greenhouse.
Detached structures, like sheds, fences, and carports, are covered under “other structures coverage” in your homeowner’s policy. Dwelling insurance limits are generally based on the cost to rebuild your home rather than what you would get in the current real estate market if you sold your home. Your personal property—what is inside your home—is covered up to a specific amount. Personal property coverage is usually a specific percentage of the coverage you have on your home. As an example, if your home is insured for $500,000, and your personal property is set at 50 percent, your personal property amount would be $250,000.
If the tornado damage has made it impossible for you to live in your home, the “additional living expenses” can pay for hotel bills, meals, pet boarding fees, laundry services, and other expenses incurred for loss of use. Some homeowner’s insurance policies have what is known as a “wind deductible.” This is a separate deductible from your regular home insurance deductible. Wind deductibles are more common in states that have tornadoes or severe windstorms that are not related to hurricanes. This includes some areas of Texas.
What Should You Do After a Tornado Causes Damage to Your Home?
When your home is damaged by a tornado, it is imperative that you take photographs of all the damage to your home, take remedial action to prevent further damage, and contact your insurance company as quickly as possible. If your insurance company appears to be delaying your claim without a valid reason, has outright denied your claim, has not given you a reason for the delay or denial, or is offering you far less than your claim is worth, it is time to contact an experienced Louisiana tornado claim attorney. If your insurance company is challenging your tornado claim, having a strong legal advocate by your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim.
How Hiring a Louisiana Tornado Claim Attorney Near You Can Help You Move Forward
When you speak to a Louisiana tornado claim attorney from Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys, you can rest assured that we will always treat you honestly and fairly. We will fight for your rights and your future, never ignoring your phone calls, and always ensuring that you are apprised of the progress of your claim. If you are unable to meet with us, we will arrange to meet you at a more convenient location. If our regular business hours are not convenient for you, we will arrange a time that works for you. At Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys, you can rest easy, knowing we will fight aggressively for what you need and deserve. Contact Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys today.