As many as 1200 tornadoes touch down every year in the United States, affecting countless Americans and making it vital for consumers to understand their specific car insurance and the coverage offered. Tornados are just one of many occurrences that some car insurance companies can regard as catastrophic, meaning that damages can easily cause millions of dollars worth of damages per storm. If you don’t have insurance to cover the damages, you may be required to pay for the repairs out of your own pocket.
What Types of Car Insurance Usually Cover Tornadoes?
Car insurance options are often made up of a few different types and choices. Depending on whether consumers choose liability, collision or comprehensive vehicle insurance, different coverage will ensue as a result of the type of insurance on a damaged vehicle should a tornado occur. Generally though, the only policies that are officially responsible for including tornado damage auto insurance are comprehensive car insurance policies.
Liability car insurance is usually the minimum option that fulfills the legal requirement that many states in the U.S. have for drivers. While liability car insurance covers bodily injury and property damage that occurs in others surrounding as the result of an accident, physical damage to the driver’s vehicle, such as that which occurs in a tornado, is not covered by this basic, minimum coverage insurance.
Collision car insurance provides drivers with coverage on a vehicle if a collision occurs, no matter who’s fault it was (i.e. no fault car insurance). While damage that occurs when a vehicle endures an accident is covered in this type of car insurance, comprehensive car insurance covers other types of accidents that could potentially cause damage to a driver or a vehicle. Tornadoes are covered by comprehensive coverage, but are not generally covered by mere liability or collision car insurance.
Picking The Right Car Insurance For Potential Tornado Damage
Depending on whether a driver has a loan on a vehicle, comprehensive insurance coverage for cars may be required by a lender, making the option to purchase it obvious. When loan payments have been completed, drivers then may have the option to insure a vehicle with only liability insurance. For drivers who are not required to have comprehensive insurance coverage on a vehicle, there are several considerations that may make insurance decisions less complicated for each particular situation. When choosing what type of car insurance to place on a vehicle, drivers should consider the following:
– What is the value of the car that will be covered by the proposed insurance?
– What are the tornado risk factors for the area and location in which you reside?
– Can damages that occur as a result of tornados be afforded within one’s budget should they occur?
– What services are being sought should tornado damage occur?
Determining Whether You Need Tornado Damage Insurance
If a vehicle driven is not worth very much, it may be more advisable for drivers to consider more standard car insurance (e.g. bypassing tornado insurance coverage) since damage to a less expensive car may not be as serious and the cost of insurance per month may not be worth the extra coverage. On the other hand, a more expensive vehicle may be more difficult, financially to replace or fix if tornado damages arise because of the fact that comprehensive car insurance is the only policy that will cover for any type of weather damage. Accounting for damages that may not be covered by insurance plans and allowing for the cost of damages in one’s budget may also affect whether or not extra coverage is required in a specific circumstance for tornado damage.
Depending on the location a driver lives, works, parks and drives, more or less coverage that can protect against tornadoes may be necessary. An area which has no, or very few, tornadoes, may not require the extra coverage for that specific type of damage. Depending on one’s location, the cost of comprehensive car insurance may be more or less expensive because of the risk for tornadoes and storm damage.
Choosing A Car Insurance Company
For those drivers concerned about damage that occurs specifically in areas of the country which experience tornado damage, being especially cautious and understanding the various pros and cons of the array of car insurance companies available can be vital to gaining the greatest experience should damages occur as a result of the storms. Comparing car insurance coverages and companies can be simpler and much less overwhelming by following the provided guidelines and tips:
– Compare companies and coverages by shopping thoroughly and noting differences in coverage.
– Visit reputable sites, like local DMV websites and government run organizations to distinguish differences without bias.
– Seek advice from local body shops and companies that deal specifically with insurance companies to better understand how insurance providers handle claims and restoration of damage resulting from tornadoes.
– Weigh the total package offered by companies rather than mere prices and rates.
How to File Tornado Damage Claims
While drivers may have done homework regarding insurance coverage decision making, filing a car insurance claim following a tornado disaster may be somewhat of a mystery. One of the most important aspects of filing a claim as a result of tornado damage experienced by a vehicle is contacting the coverer immediately. Filing a claim works the same way for nearly all weather damage (including hail damage car insurance claims). Waiting to file a complaint will only prolong results and could result in a flood of other drivers who also experienced tornado damage.
Drivers who have experienced damage as a result of tornadoes should also immediately begin compiling a list of the damages that occurred in a detailed manner, making copies along the way and making sure to keep such notes for one’s own records as well. Obtaining various estimates on how much it will be to fix or replace damages incurred can also be helpful for those who have experienced vehicle damage following a tornado.