The risk of tornado activity in Decatur is 157% greater than the national average. To date, 159 tornadoes of magnitude F2 or greater have occurred in or near this city.
Among the worst to strike in the area were two F5 tornadoes that touched down within 10 miles of the Decatur city center on the same day in 1974. These twisters were part of an eight-tornado “super breakout” that caused more than $50 million in damage in Alabama.
Tornadoes can cause a great deal of destruction. As a resident of Decatur, it is therefore important that you are certain that your valuable property is insured against this risk. An independent insurance agent in Decatur can help you make sure you have appropriate tornado insurance.
What Is Tornado Insurance and How Much Does It Cost in Decatur, AL?
While some hazards like earthquakes and floods must be covered by their own separate policies, there is no such thing as stand-alone tornado insurance. Instead, this coverage is part of the insurance policies you already have.
The risk of tornados where your home or business is located will already be factored into your overall costs for coverage. Naturally, the higher the risk of tornadoes, the more your coverage will cost.
Whether you have homeowners insurance, renters insurance, car insurance, or business insurance, a local independent insurance agent can help you be sure that your policy includes sufficient coverage against tornado damage and that you are getting this coverage at a reasonable price.
How Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Tornado Damage in Decatur?
Tornadoes can cause serious destruction to area homes. During a tornado outbreak in December of 2019, 27 tornadoes tore through the southern United States. Two homes in Decatur sustained significant damage. One had its roof torn completely off, and the house next door had a tree fall onto it.
Unless you have purchased a named-peril homeowners insurance policy and have neglected to include tornadoes among the named perils, you can expect that your home insurance policy will include coverage against this hazard.
Your home insurance policy can provide you with three kinds of protection against tornado damage:
- Homeowners dwelling coverage: This covers damage to the structure of your home. It can pay for the cost to repair the damage or, if necessary, to completely rebuild a home of comparable size.
- Homeowners contents coverage: This covers damage to your personal property. You can purchase actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost value (RCV) coverage. ACV can reimburse you for the actual, depreciated value of your property, while RCV, which costs more, can cover the cost to buy brand-new replacement items.
- Homeowners loss of use coverage: If a tornado causes significant damage to your home and you must seek alternative housing while repairs are made, this can pay for your temporary accommodations, provide a meal allowance, and cover other miscellaneous expenses such as additional miles put on your car if you must drive further to get to and from work.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to find out what your homeowners insurance will and will not cover and for help making sure that your dwelling and contents insurance coverage limits are high enough to fully cover all of your valuable property.
How Does Renters Insurance Cover Tornado Damage in Decatur?
Most renters in Decatur pay less than $30 a month for renters insurance. That means that for less than $1 a day, you can cover all of your personal property against tornadoes as well as other hazards like fires and theft.
If you have purchased renters insurance, you can expect your policy to cover you against tornado damage in two ways:
- Renters contents coverage: This covers damage to your personal property. If a window in your apartment gets blown in and your belongings are damaged by wind and rain, this will cover the cost to replace it.
- Renters loss of use insurance: This can cover temporary living expenses, such as accommodations and meals, if a tornado causes significant damage to your home and it is unsafe to live there until your landlord is able to make repairs and get the place back up to code.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to find out what your renters insurance does and does not cover and for help making sure that your coverage limits are high enough to fully cover your personal property if it is damaged or destroyed by a tornado.
How Does Car Insurance Cover Tornado Damage in Decatur?
If your vehicle is caught up in a tornado’s path, it can be damaged or destroyed by heavy winds, flying debris, falling tree branches, and other dangers. Your car insurance can provide coverage for this damage, but only if you carry optional coverage. A basic, minimum-coverage policy will not provide any tornado damage coverage at all.
Car insurance can protect vehicle owners from financial losses related to tornadoes in two ways:
- Comprehensive insurance: This coverage is required by lenders if you are still paying for your vehicle and by dealerships if you are leasing it. Otherwise, it is optional. Comprehensive insurance is designed to cover non-collision loss or damage to your vehicle, including damage caused by tornadoes, floods, falling objects, and vehicle theft.
- Gap insurance: This coverage is designed to bridge the gap between what you currently owe for your car and what it is worth. New cars depreciate quickly, so if you do not have gap insurance and your one-year-old car is swept up in a tornado, it is possible that you will be reimbursed less money than what you owe on your car loan, requiring you to make car payments on a vehicle you no longer own.
A local independent insurance agent can help you review exactly what your current car insurance policy covers. If you feel that additional coverage is necessary, your agent can help you review associated costs and can find you a policy that provides all the coverage you need at the lowest offered price.
How Does Business Insurance Cover Tornado Damage in Decatur?
If a tornado rips through the neighborhood where your business is located, the financial impacts of damage to your business property, power outages in the vicinity, and other destruction left in the tornado’s wake can lead to large financial losses for your company.
Fortunately, a solid business insurance plan can provide coverage against this hazard in these five ways:
- Commercial property insurance: This can cover damage to the building in which your business is housed if it is owned by your company. It can also cover damage to all of your business property, such as office furniture and outdoor signs.
- Commercial vehicle insurance: This can cover your company vehicles against tornado and other non-collision damage as long as your commercial vehicle policy includes comprehensive coverage.
- Inland marine insurance: This can cover your business-owned property if it is damaged by a tornado while it is in transit or while it is being stored away from your place of business, such as at a job site.
- Business interruption insurance: If you are forced to close down for an extended period while tornado damage is being repaired, this insurance can help your business stay afloat by providing a continuation of income in an amount sufficient to cover regular expenses like bills, rent, and employee salaries until you are able to safely resume normal operations.
- Spoilage insurance: Some businesses, like restaurants and pharmacies, have items that must be kept at certain temperatures to avoid spoilage. A prolonged power outage following a tornado could cause refrigeration and freezer units to warm to dangerous temperatures. Spoilage insurance can cover the resultant losses.
Let a local independent insurance agent help you review your business insurance policy package to ensure that your company is sufficiently covered against tornadoes
How Can You Get Tornado Insurance in Decatur, AL?
If you carry insurance policies for your property, chances are good that you are already covered against tornado damage in Decatur, AL. Of course, it never hurts to make sure. That’s just one of the many reasons that talking to a local independent insurance agent can prove beneficial.
These agents can help you review your current policies to ensure that they provide sufficient coverage against tornadoes and the various other risks you are likely to face in Decatur. They can also shop around to see if they can find comparable or better coverage at a lower cost.
Contact an independent insurance agent near you to learn more about your options when it comes to tornado insurance.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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