While it's not considered "Tornado Alley" by any stretch of the imagination, Utah and the western mountainous region do experience these twisted turns of nature more than you may think. Just because tornadoes don't happen often in Utah doesn't mean they don't happen. Is your insurance coverage sufficient to protect you and your property in the event of a tornado? Before you search for tornado insurance quotes, there are several factors to consider.
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A History of Tornadoes in Utah
According to the Tornado History Project:
- Since 1953, more than 120 tornadoes have touched down in UT.
- A single tornado injured more than 80 Salt Lake County residents when it touched down in the heart of the state's capital in 1999. The twister killed one and caused more than $170 million in damage.
- The tornado with the longest path left a swath of 17 miles of destruction in its wake.
- The widest tornado to strike UT was 880 yards, or more than eight football fields in width.
What Is Tornado Insurance?
Unlike floods or earthquakes, tornado damage is typically covered under your homeowners insurance policy. However, due to the incredibly destructive power of tornadoes, it is strongly recommended that you review your homeowners insurance policy at least every two years to ensure your coverage is sufficient in the event a tornado touches down near your home. If you rent an apartment or lease a condo, you will want to find a renters insurance policy with adequate coverage to protect you from losing all of your belongings in the event of a twister. In order to protect your car or truck, comprehensive vehicle insurance is the only way to help pay for damages caused by tornadoes.
Is My Coverage Adequate for Tornado Damage?
As you review your insurance policies to see if they provide you sufficient protection from tornado damage, it's important to figure out what it would take to replace everything you own. Tornadoes have the potential to destroy absolutely everything, so you'll want to have enough insurance to protect absolutely everything.
To start, go room to room in your home. Tabulate all of your personal property -- from furniture to electronics, books to clothing, and jewelry to artworks. The total value of your belongings will give you an idea of how much contents coverage you should purchase. You may also want to consider having your home assessed for its present market value every two years or so to ensure your insurance policy reflects your home's current worth.
How Do I Choose the Right Policy Options?
During your insurance policy reviews, check to see whether you have chosen to cover your property at actual cash value or replacement cost. The difference between the two options can mean the difference between a long and painful recovery and a swift and worry-free process.
- Actual cash value: This coverage option takes depreciation into account. For example, if a tornado destroys your home and the 10-year-old appliances within, your insurance company will only reimburse you the amount it will take to replace 10-year-old appliances.
- Replacement cost: This coverage option ignores depreciation. In the same example, the insurance company can reimburse you the cost it takes to replace your appliances with brand new ones with similar features.
You may want to consider paying a little extra on your insurance premiums to receive the added coverage of replacement cost.
Is My Deductible Appropriate for Tornado Coverage?
Another important factor to consider during your insurance policy review is the deductibles you choose. Because tornadoes cause so much damage, any time you file a claim due to twisters, the chances are very good that you will need to meet the deductible before your Utah insurance company begins to reimburse you. While a higher deductible can yield lower premium quotes, be sure the amount is one you could comfortably afford to pay should you need to file a claim.
How Can I Get Help Finding Tornado Insurance Coverage?
The last thing you want to worry about as you lead your family or beloved pets to safety during a tornado is whether your insurance policies contain sufficient coverage. Knowledgeable, independent insurance agents in our network are always available to answer your questions, suggest coverage options best suited for your situation, and even assist you in filing a claim. These agents have years of experience working with Utah insurance companies, enabling them to find you the best coverage options at the most affordable rates.
Contact an agent near you to find out how you can obtain the best insurance policies with tornado coverage that fit your needs and budget.