While the United States experiences an average of 1,200 tornadoes per year, Oklahoma seems to have a target on its back. If Tornado Alley is the target, Oklahoma is the bullseye, located directly in the middle. Every year, this state experiences an incredible number of tornadoes, sometimes several in one day.
While homeowners insurance will usually cover tornado damage, it's important to make sure that your assets are sufficiently covered for repair or replacement. Gaps in your policy, or low coverage amounts may leave you paying out of pocket for replacements. Getting a tornado insurance policy rider will make sure that you have enough coverage. Before you search for quotes that include tornado insurance, however, there are a few things to consider.
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What is My Risk for Tornadoes in Oklahoma?
- Oklahoma had 72 tornadoes in one year
- According to the Storm Prediction Center, Oklahoma City has been hit by more tornadoes than any other cities.
- The first tornado forecast occurred on March 25, 1948, when a tornado hit Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, after a tornado hit the base just a few days prior.
- 24 people were killed, 1,150 homes were damaged, and $2 billion in damage was caused by the 2013 Moore tornado.
Most homeowner's insurance policies that you will be quoted for cover tornado damage, but some companies require that you specifically request tornado insurance coverage, or purchase an additional tornado insurance rider to add to your policy. It's important, especially in areas like Oklahoma, that you review your homeowners policy to be sure it includes tornado insurance.
What Does Tornado Insurance Cover?
When reviewing your quote, take special notice of your coverages. There are two types of coverage Oklahoma insurance companies offer: actual value and replacement value. Actual cash value may not offer enough coverage for you to replace items, as it takes depreciation into account. Replacement value will provide you with enough funds to replace the damaged property with something of the same value. Additionally, if you own expensive items like original artwork, expensive jewelry or heirlooms, you may need special riders to cover the value.
- Structural coverage: This coverage will provide funds for you in order to rebuild your home. Keep in mind that homes outside of the tornado's path are also damaged, due to high winds and flying debris, so even if your home isn't destroyed, damage can still occur.
- Contents coverage: Tornadoes can flatten homes in a matter of seconds. This coverage can provide you funds to replace the content of the home. As previously stated, make sure that your coverage amounts are high enough to replace all of your belongings.
How Much Coverage is Enough?
In order to determine how much your possessions are worth, it's imperative to take a home inventory. When doing a home inventory, take note of the possessions in every room, and give them a value. From your clothes and kitchen supplies to TVs and family heirlooms, account for everything in your home. For higher value items, take pictures (or video) and write down any serial numbers. After purchasing tornado insurance coverage, keep your home inventory in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box at the bank. It is recommended that you purchase coverage for double the amount of your home inventory total.
Most financial advisors recommend adding or editing your home inventory, along with reviewing your homeowners insurance policy and comparing quotes every three to five years. This is especially important in areas like Oklahoma, where tornadoes are common.
Is My Car Covered by Tornado Insurance?
While liability insurance is required in the state of Oklahoma, it only covers property that you've damaged behind the wheel. If a tornado sends debris crashing into your vehicle, or lifts your car and deposits it in a ditch, you will be paying out of pocket for repairs or to replace the vehicle without proper tornado insurance.
By obtaining comprehensive tornado insurance quotes on your vehicle, you can be sure that any damage that occurs from a tornado will be covered, as this type of insurance covers everything non-collision related.
How to Obtain Tornado Insurance
Tornadoes are one force of nature that are hard to predict. It's vital to have protection in place before a twister affects you. A Trusted Choice® agent is always available to help you audit your current coverage, suggest policy quotes that may fit your family better, answer questions, and can even help you with claims. Contact an agent to find out how they can help protect you with tornado insurance.