Dozens of tornadoes touch down in Florida every year, leaving a path of destruction in their wake. As if hurricanes and tropical storms weren't enough to deal with, the Sunshine State experiences the entire spectrum of severe weather events. Do your homeowners and other insurance policies provide you tornado insurance protection against the damaging effects of tornadoes? Before you search for tornado insurance quotes, there are several factors to keep in mind.
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A History of Tornadoes in Florida
Here are some facts according to the Tornado History Project:
- Forty-eight tornadoes touched down in FL during recent years, killing one, injuring dozens, and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.
- Tornadoes have affected all parts of FL, from the Everglades to the Panhandle.
- Since 1950, FL recorded more than 3,000 tornadoes.
- A single tornado that struck Osceola and Orange counties killed 25 people, injured 150, and caused more than $55 million in property damage.
What Is Tornado Insurance?
Most traditional homeowners insurance policies provide tornado insurance coverage. That's the good news. Unfortunately, many homeowners discover that their policies were either insufficient to cover the extensive damage or were not ideal to help them recover quickly following a tornado. Therefore, insurance agents strongly recommend that homeowners review their insurance policies at the minimum of every two years to ensure they carry adequate coverage in the event of a total loss.
Do You Have Enough Tornado Insurance Coverage?
Due to the awesome power of tornadoes to level entire city blocks, it is imperative to be sure your insurance policy limits are high enough to protect you against a total loss. Your property damage coverage should be high enough to replace your entire home, from foundation to roof. It's a good idea to have your home assessed by a market specialist every few years to be certain your insurance policy completely covers your home.
Another factor to assess on a continual basis is your contents coverage, or personal property insurance option. If you have made any large purchases during the past year, added to your art collection or given your spouse a gift of fine jewelry, be sure to update your contents coverage to include these additional assets.
If you decide to update your coverage or get new coverage, remember that, in addition to those factors already mentioned, insurers will also base your quotes on several other factors. Here are some of the other things that will factor into determining your quotes:
- Location of home
- Building materials
- Size of home
- Any attached structures
- Ages of residents in home
- Driving records of residents in home
- Your credit report
- History of claims
- Preferred deductibles
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Are Your Policy Options Adequate for Tornadoes?
Another factor to review on your insurance policy is whether you opted for replacement cost reimbursement or actual cash value reimbursement for your personal property coverage:
- Actual cash value: This type of reimbursement takes depreciation into account. For example, if a fallen tree comes through your window during a tornado, destroying your 10-year-old dishwasher, your Florida insurance company will only reimburse you the cost it takes to purchase a used, 10-year-old dishwasher.
- Replacement cost: This type of reimbursement ignores depreciation. If you have replacement cost coverage, your insurer will replace that old, used dishwasher with a brand new one of comparable features.
It may be a good idea, especially if you have aging appliances, to switch from actual cash value to replacement cost coverage if you didn't originally make that choice.
Is Your Deductible Appropriate for Tornado Coverage?
The final important piece of any insurance policy review is your deductible. When considering the fact that most tornado damage claims are quite extensive, it is vital to remember than your Florida insurance provider won't start paying out on any claim until the homeowner meets the deductible. While higher deductibles may yield lower insurance premiums, it is imperative to choose a deductible you could comfortably afford to pay should you need to file a claim.
Coverage for Your Car or Truck
It is not uncommon for tornadoes to pick up heavy vehicles and toss them about like toy cars. A twister may very well leave your entire home untouched while flinging your SUV into the neighbor's yard. To be certain that your family vehicles have sufficient protection against tornado damage, consider purchasing car insurance with comprehensive coverage that will help you repair or replace your vehicle in the event of a tornado.
How a Florida Independent Insurance Agent Can Help
Insurance can be complex and confusing, but it doesn't have to be that way. Speaking with a qualified agent can help you find the right insurance policies at the right price. Knowledgeable, independent insurance agents in our network are always available to answer your questions, suggest coverage options best suited for you and your home and even assist you in filing a claim.
Contact an independent insurance agent near you to find out how you can obtain the perfect insurance coverage that meets your needs and budget.