Do you know whether insurance would cover your losses in a major storm?

State and city officials say a number of homeowners and renters affected by last year’s tornado in north Minneapolis had either no insurance or inadequate insurance to cover their losses. Today’s Question: Do you know whether insurance would cover your losses in a major storm?

  • kim

    I HAVE insurance. In fact, my insurance company thinks this old house is worth more than I do. But, it’s been my experience that you never really know how insurance is going to work out until you need it, The problem with insurance, at least through a for profit company, is that what’s in the company’s best interest and what’s in the policy holder’s best interest is not always the same thing. I THINK my loses would be covered, but, if it came right down to it, I’d be more surprised if that turned out to be true than if it didn’t.

  • reggie

    First rule of insurance: the insurance company wins, even if you don’t necessarily lose.

    First rule of catastrophic storm damage: the real losses aren’t insurable. Memories, family photos, artifacts that have particular meaning, evidence of a life well-lived. Those can never be replaced. Those losses can’t be covered.

  • Jack

    I suggest that anyone with personal property coverage document your property with receipts and photos/video.

    Just because your policy states you have $100,000 in personal property protection, does not mean the insurance company is going to cut you a check for $100,000. You will be asked to provide documentation for each piece that you are attempting to recover losses on.

    As Kim mentioned, the interests of the insurance company and the policy holder are not mutually exclusive.

  • Steve the Cynic

    The purpose of insurance is to keep financial losses from being unbearable. But in the end, it’s all just stuff. Stuff won’t make you happy, and anxiety about losing stuff impedes happiness.

  • Jim G

    I just read my policy, correction: attempted to understand my policy. It is written in an arcane contract language that limits the insurance company’s exposure and increases the client’s. My first house caught fire when a candle was place under curtains. The physical damage was limited to the window casing and the carpet area under the window, but the smoke damage was extensive. I was never made whole. You don’t make money when making a claim, and the insurance company gets to decide when and how much to pay. If I have another loss I’ve learned to protect myself from the company and get an attorney to watch my interests and level the playing field. It will pay for itself and give me confidence in dealing with the adjuster.

  • James

    Yes, my insurance would cover losses from a major storm. It has paid for lots of (legitimate) hail damage in the past.

    However, my insurance is really expensive. Insurance for my various possessions is my family’s single largest expense.

    It comes as no surprise that lots of peole take the calculated risk of not having insurance for storm damage. If you plan to be lucky, or are having toruble buying groceries each week, that is a prudent choice.

  • JasonB

    I believe so, but that’s my assessment.

    I recently reviewed my policy, and even though it has nice bold print for key definitions it still seems a bit too general and ambiguous. My insurance provider probably has an elaborate system in place ready to deny coverage based on a host of technicalities and fuzzy interpretations.

  • David

    I have only car insurance. I live in an attic. I think I could (especially with the help of taking inventory and cataloging of my books and media and belongings, and digitizing what I can) reproduce my cache and/or the neural associations if and when needed/desired.

    What’s essential to me is closer than hands or feet and nearer than the breath.

  • Teresa

    Nothing lasts, nothing is lost.

  • david

    Good question, and i sort of doubt I would be covered. I paid $115/sq. foot when my house was build, but it’s now worth about $56/sq foot. I estimate to rebuild it would be close to $90/sq foot so I image the insurance company would try to stick me with the difference, or refuse to rebuild and only pay its current value leaving me stuck with the underwater portion and no where to live. This is just one more reason to run away from my “home” while the getting is good.

  • Karen Aaker

    As an insurance agent representing several different companies I personally make sure my insureds are protected and covered for such events. I would not be able to sleep at night knowing they were not covered. Your agent should be able to help you determine the replacement value of your home (very very different than the resale value). You can be made whole after a disaster if you are appropriatly covered.

  • suestuben

    We’re experiencing arson in Anoka and I’ve been talking and observing the coverage my neighbors have had to put up with. Seems the city inspectors think something is totalled while the agent says “just a little paint and a few boards and it will be as good as new.” This he said about a 115 yr-old garage that was falling apart before the fire. They will not rebuild either garage on my alley, but are simply sistering 2×4’s next to the burnt ones and putting new supports under a new roof. Then they spray-paint the whole inside and touch up paint the exterior. One door was burned clean thru on one panel and they replaced the panel, nailed plywood to the back and painted it. The door was at least 40-yrs-old. Both garages were covered by State Farm.