Is your car covered by insurance if you storm chase?

A tornado touches down near El Reno, Okla., Friday, May 31, 2013, causing damage to structures and injuring travelers on Interstate 40. I-40 has been closed after severe weather rolled through the area. (AP Photo/The Omaha World-Herald, Chris Machian)
A tornado touches down near El Reno, Okla., Friday, May 31, 2013, causing damage to structures and injuring travelers on Interstate 40. I-40 has been closed after severe weather rolled through the area. (AP Photo/The Omaha World-Herald, Chris Machian)

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WICHITA, Kansas – The tornado in Oklahoma last week will cost millions upon millions, and insurance agents in Wichita are even working the storm.

“I had a client who had a truck in Oklahoma,” says insurance agent Bryan Spaulding. “And he had some damage from the storm.”

Some storm chasers also got their vehicles damaged in the storm. But, are the storm chasers covered by insurance? Likely.

“Most instances, if your car is hit by hail or a tornado, it’s still going to be covered,” explains Spaulding. “And when you get into that kind of a thing, then you have to show evidence. ‘I got hit by the tornado.’ Well, is the insurance company going to be able to prove the fact that particular customer was actually chasing the storm? Or they just happened to be hit in the storm?”

Spaulding says it’s going to be rare for insurance to deny coverage for obvious storm damage. He also says rates will be on the way for insurance in general.

“We have had five major events in Kansas over the last year,” says Spaulding. “And rates will be going up. Most of the major insurance carriers have been hit pretty hard by natural disasters.”

So rates will be on the way up. But, for those who storm chase, Spaulding says you should look closely at your policy.

“There’s nothing on our policies that’s going to tell you that we’re not going to cover you if you’re out chasing storms. I would highly recommend that you don’t do it unless you’ve got some professional training. But technically, if they’re hit by hail, they’re going to be covered.”

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