VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — For David and Elaine Munitz, Sunday’s EF-3 tornado in Virginia Beach is still a shock.
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“I was actually outside and didn’t realize what was happening until the noise started to get louder, and louder, and louder,” David said.
The Munitzs, along with their neighbors and workers, are picking up pieces and assessing the damage.
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“Looking at the damage, it’s a lot of work,” Elaine said. “It’s going to take time to get it done.”
The Munitzs told News 3 they’re missing both sides of their fencing and had items fly through their porch towards their home.
Insurance was top of mind for them after filing claims for their homes and cars following the storm.
“We’re very uncertain what is covered and what is not covered,” Elaine said.
“Out-of-pocket expenses can go up into the $10,000 to $20,000 range,” David added.
News 3 also spoke with Rebekah Nelson, a spokesperson for USAA.
According to Nelson, a standard homeowner’s policy typically covers any damage related to a tornado.
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“You’ll want to look for ‘wind and hail’ on your policy,” Nelson said. “That would be what’s called your declarations page. It declares all of the coverages that you have on your policy.”
Meanwhile, State Farm agent Kimberly Hitchman has been on the ground working with residents in the Great Neck area.
“We’re there to help them through this process,” Hitchman said.
News 3 also asked her what to look for in insurance policies when it comes to tornado coverage.
“If their personal property is covered? What damages are covered? What are the exclusions? What’s included,” Hitchman said.
She also said to look for what’s called “additional living expenses.”
“There’s generally an amount, up to an amount,” Hitchman said. “At that time, our claims team would assist them with that and assist them with lodging to make sure they’re safe.”
But what if there’s a situation where a tree fell on your house and caused damage?
“The tree that the house fell on is who would put the claim in,” Hitchman answered. “It’s an ‘act of God.’ The home owner had no control over that.”
While their focus is on cleaning up debris around their home, the Munitzs say they’re lucky and thankfully no one was hurt.
“I’m just grateful that these houses and the builders did such a good job,” David Munitz said.
Another tip from insurance agents is to take lots of photos and videos of items in their home, and to keep receipts that can help with reimbursement.
Also, with hurricane season around the corner, agents told News 3 one thing to keep in mind is to pay attention to how your policy addresses flood.
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