Tornadoes touch down in the United States more than any other place in the world. While Arkansas is not normally included within the limits of the infamous Tornado Alley, the state has suffered many devastating tornado outbreaks. Unfortunately, many home and business owners in Arkansas do not carry sufficient insurance to protect themselves from the catastrophic damage tornadoes can inflict.
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Before you search for tornado insurance quotes, however, there are several factors to consider.
A History of Tornadoes in Arkansas
According to the Tornado History Project:
- In January 1999, Arkansas recorded the most tornadoes (56) on any individual January day (Jan. 21, 1999) in any state; the most tornadoes in the month of January; and the largest single outbreak ever to strike the state.
- The most deadly recent outbreak was on March 1, 1997, which resulted in 25 Arkansas fatalities.
- The deadliest outbreak in Arkansas history, however, occurred on March 21, 1952, when 112 people lost their lives. Bald Knob (White County) and Judsonia (White County) were the hardest hit, suffering over 50 deaths. Cotton Plant (Woodruff County) also lost 29 people in one of 17 tornadoes that day, 12 of which were deadly.
- In the first decade of the 21st century, about 622 tornadoes in Arkansas killed 39 people, injured approximately 540, and caused more than $650 million in damage.
What is Tornado Insurance?
Unlike other catastrophic natural events, such as floods and earthquakes, traditional homeowners and business property damage insurance policies cover repairs needed after a tornado. However, because twisters can cause extensive damage, insurance holders are strongly recommended to review their policies every year or two in order to ensure they carry enough coverage in the event their home or business is destroyed by a tornado.
Is My Coverage Enough for Tornado Damage in Arkansas?
During your policy review, it's a good idea to go room to room in your Arkansas home or business and conduct an inventory of everything you own. Assign a dollar value to each piece of furniture, electronic equipment, books, jewelry, clothing and other items. The total value of your belongings should give you an idea of how much contents coverage should be included on your home or business insurance policy.
It is also a wise investment to have your property assessed by a professional every few years to make sure your property damage insurance limits are appropriate. If your home or building has significantly increased in value, you may want to adjust your limits to be certain you're covered when a tornado strikes.
How Can I Ensure My Car or Apartment Against Tornadoes?
If you rent your Arkansas apartment or condo, a renters insurance policy is a must-have to protect yourself against tornado damage. Should your building be completely destroyed by a twister, some policies can even help you find alternative, temporary living arrangements until you find a new, permanent residence.
To properly ensure your vehicle against tornado damage, you will need comprehensive, or "full," coverage on your car or truck. Simply carrying liability and collision insurance on your vehicle will not help you repair or replace your car or truck, should a tornado pick it up and toss it down the block like a toy.
Is My Deductible Appropriate for Tornado Coverage in AR?
Another factor to consider as you review your insurance policies is the deductible. Because tornadoes can flatten buildings in a manner of seconds, uproot trees and send them flying into cars, and injure everyone in the vicinity in one full swoop, most tornado damage insurance claims are extensive. You will want to be sure the deductibles you choose for your various insurance policies are ones you can comfortably afford to pay should you need to file a claim.
Remember, if your comprehensive vehicle insurance deductible is $500, your homeowners insurance deductible is $2,000, and your medical insurance deductible is $5,000, you will have to pay $7,500 before any of your insurance helps out with repairs or medical treatment should you also be injured during the tornado.
Is Having Adequate Tornado Insurance Expensive?
You may find that with a few tweaks to your coverage options, a small adjustment to your deductibles, and a little shopping around for the best quotes available in Arkansas, having sufficient insurance to protect yourself from tornado damage isn't significantly more expensive than what you are paying now for your policies.
By reviewing your policies and comparing them to what another insurance provider may offer, you not only protect your home and belongings from tornado damage, but also any other covered catastrophic event that may impact your finances.
Where Can I Compare Tornado Insurance Quotes in AR?
When a tornado is barreling down your Arkansas neighborhood, the last thing you want to worry about is whether your insurance policies provide sufficient coverage.
Knowledgeable, independent insurance agents in the Trusted Choice network are always available to answer your questions, suggest coverage options, and even assist you in filing a claim. These agents have years of experience working with Arkansas insurance companies, enabling them to find you a number of quotes with the best coverage options at the most affordable rates. Contact a Trusted Choice agent near you to find out how you can obtain the perfect insurance policies that meet your needs and budget.