Online Auto Insurance: Is Your Car Ready for Tornado Season?


tornado (select to view enlarged photo)

DALLAS--April 13, 2012:  Although the National Climatic Data Center says there is no clear-cut "tornado season" in the U.S., data from 1991-2010 show that tornadoes touch down most frequently in April, May and June. Considering the damage that can be wrought by these tornadoes and accompanying weather events like hail, drivers living in areas where tornadoes frequently occur may want to make a timely review of their policies, says OnlineAutoInsurance.com.

Drivers shouldn't assume that their cars are covered for damage from weather-related events like tornadoes and hail. They're frequently not. That's because the only type of policy that covers these damages is one that includes comprehensive coverage.

No state in the nation requires drivers to include this coverage type on their policies, although many lenders who provide loans for car purchases will require the new vehicle owner to buy it.

Those who don't have this type of coverage and are weighing the costs and benefits of adding it can get car insurance quotes online for free to see how much extra it would cost.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average cost for comprehensive insurance in the U.S. in 2009 was $132, although the price for an individual will vary widely depending on the insurer, the type of car to be insured, the area that the policyholder lives in and the deductible the policyholder chooses.

If the price of comprehensive seems prohibitively high, shoppers should run another comparison with a higher deductible to see how that affects the end price. Though this will most likely bring down the cost of coverage, doing so also means the policyholder will have to pay more out of pocket following an accident.

The Insurance Information Institute (III) says that going from a $200 deductible to a $500 deductible could cut comprehensive costs by 15 to 30 percent, and going all the way to a $1,000 deductible could save the policyholder around 40 percent.

The III advises consumers that getting collision and/or comprehensive coverage may not be cost-effective if the car is worth less than 10 times the premium.

If it does appear cost-effective, though, it could go a long way to help avoid a serious headache after a tornado or hail storm.

To learn more about this and other car insurance issues, readers can head to Online Auto Insurance for access to informative resource pages and an easy-to-use quote-comparison generator.

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