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Tornado Damage Insurance Claims in Oklahoma’s Tornado Alley

Published: July 3, 2021

Aaraya Claims Tornado Damage

Living in Oklahoma means having to deal with insurance claims for tornado damage almost every Spring.

The damage caused by tornadoes can be catastrophic. The aftermath can leave whole towns devastated. However, you can take comfort in knowing that a homeowners insurance policy can help repair the damage.

Many of today’s homeowners’ insurance policies will contain language providing coverage for wind, wind-driven rain, trees or other falling objects, and the collapse of the home. An insurance policy may not technically say that it covers tornados, But there’s likely coverage for the types of damage that typically come from a tornado.

If you’re a property owner, it’s essential to know if tornado damage is covered. You don’t want to be surprised after the roof blows off. You need to know when you purchase the insurance if something isn’t covered. You find out by reading the policy.

Aaraya Claims Tornado DamageLooking at past claims for tornado damage, it appears some homeowners don’t understand the terms of their insurance policy before a tornado strikes. Statistically, 64% of policyholders have their homes underinsured. In addition, the various exclusions and limits reduce the amount available. A study showed that many homes were only insured for 81% of the cost to rebuild the house.

As a homeowner, sometimes we don’t always realize how much we own. It’s also easy to forget the cost of housing keeps going up.

In the event a tornado carries away your house, then you’ll want to recover 100% of the home value. Unfortunately, if you haven’t bought the right amount of coverage, there just won’t be enough to put you back in the same position.

Roughly 1,000 tornadoes hit the United States every year. Most of these tornadoes touchdown in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, and Nebraska, but can occur anywhere in the United States. Tornado warning systems have, on average, a 13 minute lead time with a 70% false alarm rating. Tornadoes can happen during any time of the year, but they most frequently occur in the Spring. If you have a tornado claim, insurance is there to protect you and your family from the loss. Always keep in mind, the house and contents can be replaced. They are merely property.

Homeowners should review their insurance policy and reevaluate the value of their home. Renters and homeowners alike should take inventory of all personal belongings and compare these with their insurance policies. Again, it’s easy not to realize how much you have accumulated. You want to be fully covered if a storm destroys it all.

Top Ten Costliest Oklahoma Tornadoes (1950-Present)

RankLocationDateDamage ($)
1.Newcastle-South OKC-Moore tornado05/20/2013$2 billion
2.Bridge Creek-OKC-Moore-Del City tornado05/03/1999$1 billion
3.Moore-OKC-Choctaw tornado05/08/2003$370 million
4.Altus-Altus AFB tornado05/11/1982$200 million
5.Ardmore tornado05/07/1995$100+ million
6.Cordell tornado10/09/2001$100 million
7.Tulsa tornado04/19/1981$75-100 million
8.Stroud tornado05/03/1999$60 million
9.Catoosa tornado04/24/1993$50+ million
10.Downtown Bartlesville03/15/1982$30-40 million
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