The risk of tornado activity in the Tuscaloosa area is 109% greater than the national average. To date, 105 tornadoes of a magnitude of F2 or greater have occurred in or near this city. Among the most destructive was a 1.5-mile wide F4 twister that tore through Tuscaloosa in April 2011. This storm brought wind speeds up 190 miles per hour and left a 5.9-mile path of destruction in the city.
Tornadoes can be very destructive. As a resident of Tuscaloosa, it is therefore important that you insure your valuable property with the right kinds of coverage. A local independent insurance agent can help you be certain that the policies you carry include tornado insurance with high enough coverage limits.
What Is Tornado Insurance and How Much Does It Cost in Tuscaloosa, AL?
Instead, this coverage can be obtained through the policies you already have. Because of this, there is no way to say how much tornado insurance costs. The risk of tornado damage where you live is just one of the many factors that go into calculating insurance rates.
Whether you carry homeowners insurance, renters insurance, car insurance, or business insurance, a local independent insurance agent can help you be sure that your policy provides adequate protection against tornado damage.
How Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Tornado Damage in Tuscaloosa?
When the tornado of 2011 tore through this city, it damaged or destroyed as many as 5,000 homes. Fortunately, most homeowners insurance policies cover against tornado damage as a standard part of their coverage. With named-peril policies, you must specifically request tornado coverage in order to be covered.
If a tornado impacts your home, your homeowners insurance policy can help you out through three different types of coverage:
- Dwelling coverage: This covers damage to the structure of your home. If a tornado rips off your roof, damages your siding, breaks your windows, or in the worst case, flattens your house, your dwelling coverage can pay for the cost to repair the damage or build a new home of comparable size.
- Contents coverage: This covers damage to your personal property such as electronics, carpeting, clothing, and more. If your roof is damaged and rainwater gets into your home, or if a window gets blown in and your big-screen TV and furniture are damaged by wind and rain, this can cover the cost to replace damaged items.
- Loss of use coverage: If a tornado causes serious damage to your house and it is unsafe to live in, loss of use insurance can cover alternative housing expenses while it is repaired or rebuilt. This insurance can cover the cost of a hotel, Airbnb, or other reasonable housing option as well as other related expenses like meals and extra mileage, if appropriate.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to find out what your homeowners insurance does and doesn't cover. Your agent can help you make sure that your dwelling and contents insurance coverage limits are high enough to fully cover your property if it is damaged by a tornado.
How Does Renters Insurance Cover Tornado Damage in Tuscaloosa?
The tornado that ripped through Tuscaloosa in 2011 damaged multiple rental properties. All 144 apartments in the Charleston Square Apartment complex were destroyed by this unforgiving twister. As a result, numerous residents were left without a home or property.
Fortunately, for an average price of about $1 a day, tenants in Tuscaloosa can get coverage against tornadoes and other hazards with a renters insurance policy. Renters insurance protects against financial losses caused by tornadoes in two ways: through contents insurance and loss of use insurance.
- Contents insurance: This covers damage to your personal property. If a tornado is responsible for the loss or destruction of your property like clothing, furniture, electronics, and décor, the contents coverage in your renters insurance policy can cover the cost to replace it.
- Loss of use insurance: If tornado damage to the building you live in is so severe that you need to seek alternative living arrangements while repairs are made, this coverage can pay for the cost of hotel accommodations, meals, and other miscellaneous expenses until your landlord brings the building back up to code.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to learn more about what renters insurance can do for you and for help finding an affordable policy.
How Does Car Insurance Cover Tornado Damage in Tuscaloosa?
There are many ways that a tornado can damage or destroy your car. It can be scratched or dented by flying debris, it can be totaled if a tree falls on it, or it can be swept away and completely destroyed if it is in the twister’s direct path.
Your car insurance policy can provide coverage for this damage in two ways, but only if your policy includes some optional coverage:
- Comprehensive insurance: This can cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle if it is damaged or destroyed by a non-collision event like a tornado. Comprehensive coverage is required by lenders if you are still paying for your vehicle and by dealerships if you are leasing it. Otherwise, this insurance is optional.
- Gap insurance: This is designed to bridge the gap between what you currently owe on your car loan and what your vehicle is currently valued at. That way, if your car is totaled by a tornado or other hazard, you will not still owe money for it after your insurance reimburses you for its value.
To learn more about these coverage options and to discover how much it will cost to add them to your car insurance policy, you can talk to a local independent insurance agent.
How Does Business Insurance Cover Tornado Damage in Tuscaloosa?
The 2011 tornado caused significant damage to about 650 businesses in Tuscaloosa County. As a business owner in a city with a high tornado probability, you should be prepared with insurance policies that can help your business withstand the financial problems a tornado can cause.
A well-built business insurance policy package can protect your business against tornadoes in five ways: through commercial property insurance, inland marine insurance, business interruption insurance, commercial vehicle insurance, and spoilage insurance.
- Commercial property insurance: This can cover the cost to repair or replace your company-owned property if it is damaged by a covered event like a tornado.
- Inland marine insurance: This can cover your company-owned property if it is lost or damaged 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: The 2011 tornado caused hundreds of Tuscaloosa businesses to shutter their doors for several weeks while repairs were being made. If a tornado forces your business to temporarily close, this insurance can provide a continuation of income until it can resume normal operations.
- Commercial vehicle insurance: As with your own personal car insurance, your company-owned vehicles will only be covered against tornado damage if your commercial auto policy includes comprehensive coverage.
- Spoilage insurance: If you have business property that must be kept at certain temperatures, a prolonged power outage could lead to spoilage. This insurance can cover the associated costs. Examples of businesses that can benefit from this coverage include restaurants and pharmacies, which rely on refrigerators and freezers for the storage of certain foods and medications.
A local independent insurance agent can help you be sure that your Tuscaloosa business is fully covered against tornado damage. Your agent can also help you find suitable and competitively priced policies to cover against any other hazards your business may be exposed to.
How Can You Get Tornado Insurance in Tuscaloosa, AL?
If you have previously purchased insurance policies to cover your valuable property, chances are good that you are already covered against tornado damage. Of course, it is never a bad idea to make sure. That’s why talking to a local independent insurance agent can prove so helpful.
Independent agents live and work in your community, so they understand the risk that tornadoes present in this city. These agents can help you review your current policies to ensure that they provide sufficient coverage against tornadoes as well as the various other risks you are likely to face as a resident of Tuscaloosa. They can also shop around to see if they can find you comparable or better coverage at a lower price.
Contact an independent insurance agent near you to learn more about tornado insurance.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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