FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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NEW YORK, January 23, 2017 — Residents of states impacted by the tornadoes that hit at least five Southern states over the weekend can turn to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) for information about how to expedite their insurance claims and prepare to rebuild.
The tornado outbreak that tore through parts of the Deep South from January 21 – 22, 2017 caused widespread damage and at least 19 deaths. Forty-one reports of tornadoes were received by NOAA's Storm Prediction Center in five southern states—from Louisiana to South Carolina.
“When you’re filing an auto, homeowners or business owners claim, the first step is to call your insurance professional as soon as possible, said William Davis, an I.I.I. spokesperson. “And if you had to relocate, make sure to let your company know where you’re currently residing and how best to reach you.”
Standard homeowners policies cover damage caused by tornadoes, including wind damage to the structure itself and its contents. Homeowners policies also provide additional living expenses (ALE) to pay the extra costs of living away from home if it is deemed uninhabitable due to damage from an insured disaster.
If you own a business that has been damaged, property insurance will provide coverage for equipment and inventory. Business income (also known as business interruption) insurance replaces lost revenue in the event the business had to shut down—this includes additional operating expenses, such as working out of a temporary location until structural repairs are made.
Damage to cars from a tornado, including trees and limbs, is covered under the optional comprehensive portion of a standard auto insurance policy.
The I.I.I. offers the following tips for navigating the claims filing process:
The United States experiences more tornadoes than any other country, accounting for 40.2 percent of insured catastrophe losses from 1995 to 2015, according to Verisk’s Property Claim Services (PCS). In 2015, insured losses from U.S. tornadoes/thunderstorms totaled $9.6 billion, down from $12.3 billion in 2014.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration notes that tornadoes can happen any time of year. The costliest U.S. catastrophe involving tornadoes, based on insured losses, occurred in April 2011. It hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and other areas, and cost $7.8 billion in insured damages (in 2015 dollars).
Facts and Statistics: Tornadoes and Thunderstorms
THE I.I.I. IS A NONPROFIT, COMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTED BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY.
Insurance Information Institute, 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038; (212) 346-5500; www.iii.org