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Severe Storm Season Approaching: Take a Look at Your Homeowner's Insurance

With tornado season approaching, it's a good time to take a closer look at your insurance policy now, so you're not surprised when the storms start.
Last week's winds reached speeds up to 62 miles per hour, damaging roofs on a lot of homes. That's mild compared to the Joplin, Missouri tornado in May 2011. More than 8,000 homes were flattened or blown away. Since then, insurance companies have changed coverage costs for homeowners. Among the changes are higher premiums and deductibles and limits to coverage on roof damage.

Many companies who used to offer "replacement value" coverage have put a restriction on older roofs to cover only "cash-value" replacement. In this case, the insurer pays only up to the depreciated value of the roof. "You're shifting risk to the insurance company . That's what insurance is," said Lance Haight, an insurance agent at State Farm. "Your risk insurance the deductible. The deductible is a personal level of where you want that to be, but making sure it's appropriate to make sure your insurance costs are down, but being able to afford the out of pocket."

According to the Insurance Information Institute, tornadoes and thunderstorms caused $10.3 billion in insured losses in 2013. With tornado season approaching, it's a good time to take a closer look at your insurance policy now, so you're not surprised when the storms start.
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