Severe Weather and Insurance
Every day there is something more about the EF5 tornado that destroyed Greensburg, Kansas. It was an astounding storm -- at EF5, it was a monster tornado, that ripped homes from their foundations and destroyed the majority of the town. According to an article on Gainsville.com, the mayor is vowing to rebuild. Given the devastation, that town won't be rebuilding unless the folks there have very good insurance.
Severe weather is everywhere. California has been having problems with drought, which results in fires. In fact, Florida has been having problems with fires; they might actually be hoping for some wetter weather to help them out. The bad news for Florida and other Gulf states is that a bad hurricane season is being predicted for this year. So, it doesn't really matter where you live, you have some sort of nasty weather or weather-related phenomena to cope with.
In some cases, you get some warning -- like with hurricanes. In some cases, you get virtually none -- like with tornadoes.
You have to have the right coverage in order to get your claim paid, even when you've experienced a disaster. I'm hoping for the folks in Greenburg that folks had tornado insurance. A simple homeowners policy won't do the trick. As we've already seen with past hurricane claims, you'll have to have a variety of coverages if you want to have your claim for damage covered, including flood, wind and hurricane. (Oh, and don't forget your homeowners policy too!)
We'll be following both the hurricane season, and the claims from Katrina, to see how the insurance industry will react.
Monique L. Attinger