If you've lived in Alabama for any length of time, you've probably already been through a tornado watch or two. So, how do you know if your tornado insurance is sufficient to cover the cost of tornado damage? Having the right coverage and answers before a tornado strikes can mean the difference between rebuilding debt-free and facing a mountain of debt on top of a natural disaster. Review your homeowners policy, car insurance, and business coverage, and get quotes from a reliable insurance agent if you need coverage.
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Tornado Damage Statistics
The state of Alabama sits squarely in what weather experts call Tornado Alley, which means this state gets more than its share of twisters each year. On average, tornadoes cause more injuries and fatalities than any other natural disaster in the U.S. In previous years, the National Weather Service reported the following:
- 70 tornado-related deaths
- 822 tornado-related injuries
- $1,648,000,000 in property damage due to tornadoes
- $106,000,000 in crop damage from tornadoes
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How To Get Tornado Insurance for Your Home
In order to give you fair and reasonable quotes for tornado coverage, your insurance agent will need information about you, your home and your belongings. Some of the information you should have available include the following:
- Location and value of the home
- Building materials
- Size of home
- Any attached structures
- Personal belongings
- Ages of residents in the home
- Driving records of residents in the home
- Your credit report
- History of claims
- Preferred coverage amount
- Preferred deductibles
All of these factors will go into calculating quotes in order to give you the best coverage at the lowest price. You may already have tornado insurance coverage, as this protection is usually part of your homeowners insurance. If you have a typical homeowners policy, you probably already have coverage for high winds and flying debris, including winds and debris caused by a tornado. You may need to do the following to ensure that your coverage is sufficient:
- Look into medical costs coverage as a rider on your homeowners insurance. This can help pay for hospital charges if you are injured when a tornado strikes your home.
- Be sure to keep sufficient content coverage for the items you keep in your home. If you have made major purchases or changes since you bought your homeowners insurance, you may need to adjust your contents coverage.
- Is your deductible too high? Be sure to set it at a level you can afford to pay in an emergency.
- Finally, look for any exclusions or caveats in your policy that may limit the amount of coverage you receive for tornado damage. If you are unsure, a local insurance agent can help you review your policy.
Other Assets Need Tornado Insurance Coverage Too
The state of Alabama requires that you purchase liability insurance for your vehicle, but AL does not require you to have comprehensive coverage. Liability insurance cannot protect you from the cost of tornado damage to your vehicle. Only comprehensive coverage can help with the costs of incidents like vandalism and storm damage, including tornadoes. You can choose replacement cost coverage, which can reimburse you for the cost of a new car, or actual cash value, which can provide only the amount your car is currently worth.
If you own a business in AL, you need more than liability coverage to protect your buildings, equipment, and commercial vehicles from the cost of a tornado. The following coverage types can help your business stay afloat after a twister passes through:
- Property damage: This coverage helps with the cost of damage to buildings and machines.
- Medical costs: This coverage helps with hospital bills for employees injured in a storm at work.
- Commercial vehicle comprehensive coverage: This helps pay for cars and trucks damaged by strong winds.
- Business interruption insurance: This helps cover overhead fees and salaries while you rebuild your business.
You can also talk to a local insurance agent to get quotes on tornado coverage for other assets such as the following:
- Mobile homes
Get Quotes and Answers on Alabama Tornado Coverage
The best source of information and help with your insurance policies is a local, independent insurance agent in our reliable network. Our agents can look over your current policies to help you understand how much tornado coverage you already have or need and where you may be vulnerable.
Contact an agent to get quotes, answers and peace of mind before the next tornado strikes.