Why Your Auto Insurance May Not Protect Your Vehicle in a Tornado

Oklahoma tornado

The devastating Oklahoma tornado that struck this week serves as a sobering reminder of the unpredictability and devastation that Mother Nature can bring. Even if people are able to escape such circumstances with their lives, many are left to pick up the pieces of their lives left shattered.

There’s no doubt that residents in the area will have to turn to their insurance companies to help them recover financially from the devastating events that have taken place. While most people know their home insurance will pay the cost to repair or rebuild their homes, can they feel as secure with their auto insurance coverage?

Massive Oklahoma Tornado Devastates Local Community

On Monday, May 20, a tornado roared through the town of Moore, Oklahoma — a part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area — and left behind it a path of devastation that will never be forgotten.

Meteorologists say this particular Oklahoma tornado reached as high as EF-5, making it one of the biggest to ever hit the area just behind the tornado of 1999 that brought with it the highest wind speed ever recorded on Earth.

Though wind speeds weren’t as high as the 1999 twister, experts already project that Monday’s tornado will be one of the costliest. In addition to the tragic loss of 24 people — nine of whom were children — preliminary estimates show that the damage losses could surpass $1 billion.

Many people have few personal belongings to reclaim, but hope that insurance for their homes can help them start anew. But for people who have lost their vehicles, is there a guarantee that their auto insurance will pay cover losses?

Does All Auto Insurance Cover Tornado Damage?

In a circumstance like the Oklahoma tornado, all victims want to do is pick up the pieces in their lives. Those who have auto insurance most certainly hope their company can get them back up and rolling as soon as possible, financially. But does your auto insurance cover tornado damage?

Maybe, maybe not. It really depends on whether policyholders have liability coverage only, or if they have added other coverage that protects the vehicle from events like the Oklahoma tornado.

Liability insurance ensures that drivers can pay for damage to other vehicles when at fault in an accident, while collision insurance covers the owner’s vehicle when it collides with another car or object when in motion.

In many circumstances that involve a tornadoes, however, vehicles can suffer tremendous damage when parked on lots, streets or in garages. In this case, vehicle owners need comprehensive insurance, which pays the current value of a car when damaged in events that aren’t covered by collision insurance.

If you are concerned about the possibility of losing your vehicle in a tornado or similar event and only have liability auto insurance, you may want to consider boosting your insurance (particularly with newer vehicles) to cover unforeseen circumstances that could leave you without a vehicle when you need it most.

(Image: crazbabe21)