Although Nevada doesn't experience as many tornadoes as say, Oklahoma, the state does face several twisters each year. The awesome power of a tornado to level entire city blocks and destroy any building in its path makes having tornado insurance extremely important. How do you know if your insurance is sufficient to withstand a tornado? Before you search for tornado insurance quotes, there are several factors to consider.
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A History of Tornadoes in Nevada
The following facts are available from the Tornado History Project:
- Since 1965, more than 80 tornadoes have touched down in NV.
- A November 1973 tornado cut a 26-mile path in Washoe County.
- Although tornadoes have never killed anyone in NV, they have seriously injured people and caused millions of dollars in property damage.
What Is Tornado Insurance?
Standard homeowners and property damage insurance policies typically cover tornado damage, but there is no such thing as actual "tornado insurance."
It's a good idea to review your insurance policies on an annual, or at the very least biannual, basis to be certain you carry sufficient coverage in the event you lose everything to a tornado.
What To Look for In Your Insurance Review
The first aspect of your homeowners insurance policy you should review is the property damage claim limit. Have you had a home assessment done recently? Have you made any significant home improvements not reflected in your coverage limits?
It may be a good idea to have your property professionally assessed to determine its current market value. If your home has recovered in value after the housing market crash, it could be worth far more than your current coverage amount. You want to be sure your policy allows you to completely rebuild in the event a tornado flattens your home.
What About Contents Coverage?
The amount and type of personal property, or contents, coverage you need will most likely fluctuate more often than the value of your Nevada home itself. This is an important step in the review process. Chances are you have made significant purchases since obtaining your homeowners insurance policy and you will need to adjust your coverage accordingly.
Go room to room in your home assigning a dollar value to all of your belongings including furniture, appliances, electronics, jewelry, firearms and even books and clothing. The total value should give you an idea of how much contents coverage you need. Keep in mind that most insurance companies cap contents coverage at a certain percentage of your home's value. If you own more belongings than your policy limit allows, you may want to purchase additional riders to cover your expensive jewelry and art collections.
At the same time, you may also decide that you require replacement cost value coverage rather than actual cash value coverage on your contents. When you first purchased your insurance, perhaps your appliances were all brand new, but now they are 10 years old or more. Actual cash value reimbursement will only pay you what a 10-year-old water heater is worth, not the cost to purchase a brand new one. Replacement cost value coverage will help you replace those old appliances with brand new ones if a tornado destroys them.
Choosing the Right Deductible
The final step in your insurance review process should include taking a second look at the deductible you chose. Perhaps you are in a more financially stable circumstance and can afford slightly higher premiums in order to bring that deductible down. Remember, if a tornado wipes you out, you must meet that $2,000 or $5,000 deductible before your insurance company pays a single dime in reimbursements for your losses. You don't want to have to wait until you can pay a high deductible before your insurance company reimburses you for your losses.
It's also a good idea to see if your coverage includes any alternative living assistance in the event you must stay in a hotel while you repair your home following a tornado.
What Will Tornado Coverage Cost?
If during your review process, you decide you should change your coverage or choose a different insurance provider, your rate quotes may vary from what you currently pay. It is possible to make a few adjustments and not notice too much of a difference in premiums.
While replacement cost value coverage can slightly increase your insurance quotes, you may decide the additional $10 a month or so is worth the added protection.
You may also find that another insurance company is willing to sell you better coverage for even lower rates than you are currently paying. That's why it's important to compare your current policy to other companies' offerings to find the best deal available.
How To Know If You Have Sufficient Coverage in Nevada
You could try to navigate this review process on your own, or you could enlist the professional services of an insurance agent.
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 can compare your coverage to coverage from multiple Nevada providers and find quotes with good coverage at affordable rates.
Contact a Trusted Choice member agent near you. Your agent can help you review tornado insurance quotes and can help you find the perfect policy based on your needs and budget.