Springtime Storms in North Texas
Tornado hits a Trucking area in Lancaster Texas 4/3/2012
It's time to get prepared for the 2012 Storm season.
Here are some facts about the 2011 Catastrophes from around the World.
2011 Costliest Year according to Swiss Reinsurance Co. LTD.
Economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were the highest ever in 2011, at $370 billion, while insured losses totaled $116 billion—the second-highest sum ever—according to Swiss Reinsurance Co. Ltd. The Japan earthquake and tsunami together cost the insurance industry $35 billion, while U.S. tornadoes added more than $25 billion in insured losses, Swiss Re said in a recent report.
Counting down the most expensive insured catastrophe losses in 2011 follows:
10. Storms, United States
Severe weather across several states the U.S. in early April 2011 amounted to $1.5 billion in insured losses and $2.2 billion in economic losses. The storms included high winds, tornadoes, heavy rains and large hailstones. Thirty-six people were injured.
9. Storms, United States
Another set of thunderstorms, wind and tornadoes across the U.S. in early April 2011 caused insured losses of $2 billion and economic losses of $3.5 billion. Nine people were killed.
8. Earthquakes, New Zealand
Earthquakes that struck near Christchurch, New Zealand, on June 13, 2011, resulted in insured losses of $2 billion and economic losses of $3 billion. One person was killed and 46 injured.
7. Floods Australia
Flooding caused by heavy rains in Australia on Jan. 9, 2011, caused $2.3 billion in insured losses and $6.1 billion in economic losses and left 22 people dead.
6. Hurricane, United States
Hurricane Irene made its way through the Caribbean, U.S. and Canada in August 2011. The storm resulted in insured losses of $5.3 billion and economic losses of $8 billion. The hurricane killed 55 people and knocked out power to more than 7 million homes and businesses.
5. Storms and Torndoes, United States
Severe storms and a major tornado outbreak struck Missouri and other states in mid- to late May 2011, causing $7 billion in insured losses and $9 billion in economic losses in places including Joplin, Mo. The tornado outbreak killed 155 and injured 1,150 people.
Photo by Sisters of Mercy Health System
4. Storms and Tornadoes, United States
Regions of the U.S. including Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia were hit by severe storms and tornadoes in April 2011. These storms caused insured losses of $7.3 billion and economic losses of $11 billion. The major weather outbreak resulted in 354 deaths and 2,200 injured.
3. Earthquake, New Zealand
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck near Christchurch, New Zealand, on Feb. 22, 2011, causing $12 billion in insured losses and $15 billion in economic losses. The quake left 181 dead and 1,500 injured.
2. Floods, Thailand
Flooding resulting from heavy monsoon rains hit Thailand in late July 2011, causing insured losses of $12 billion and economic losses of $30 billion. The flooding left 813 people dead.
1. Earthquake and Tsunami, Japan
A record-breaking magnitude 9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Japan on March 11, 2011. The most expensive earthquake on record produced $35 billion in insured losses and $210 billion in economic losses. The quake also triggered 200 landslides; destroyed 128,538 buildings; damaged 790,719 buildings, 3,559 roads, 77 bridges, 45 dikes and 29 railways; and damaged nuclear facilities. The disaster left 15,845 people dead, 5,893 injured, 3,339 missing and 400,000 homeless.
At Tri-Star Insurance Professionals we offer insurance products to cover losses from Fire, Tornadoes, Hail, Floods, Lightning. We can provide coverage for your Home, Car and Business. We are a full service independent insurance agency located in Plano, Texas.
Call us at 214-387-0600
Data analyzed by the Associated Press reveals that many of the states hammered by what's already the deadliest year for tornadoes in more than half a century have among the nation's highest rates of homes without hazard insurance despite being among the most twister-prone.
That means the regions that most need the insurance are often the exact places that don't have much of it. It also means many tornado victims may have a hard time getting compensated for their losses, putting more pressure on the federal government to help even though its assistance is limited by law.
With more than 450 deaths and billions of dollars in damage in the past month alone, regulators are calling for more education about the importance of homeowners insurance and further efforts to make it affordable and available to all. But whether to buy it is still considered a personal choice and there's no push to mandate it federally.
The fallout is on stark in several states recently battered:
• Mississippi ranks second in the nation for the percentage of homes without insurance covering wind damage yet fourth on the list of states that have had the most tornadoes touch down in the past five years.
• Arkansas ranks fourth for uninsured homes and 10th for being tornado prone, according to the AP's analysis.
• Missouri, site of Sunday's tornado outbreak with at least 125 dead, falls somewhere in the middle on hazard insurance despite being the fourth most tornado-prone state.
• Kansas and Oklahoma, the sites of deadly tornadoes Tuesday, also fall in the middle and rank No. 2 and No. 6 on the list of most tornado-prone states.
States with the highest rates of uninsured homeowners also tend to have a higher incidence of homes without mortgages, meaning owners don't have to answer to banks requiring coverage. The uninsured can turn to aid groups and the federal government for relief — but often not for full compensation.
Poverty and an abundance of older homes that can be difficult to insure contribute to high rates of no insurance. In tough economic times, the temptation to forgo insurance is real.
Unemployed and uninsured
Tammy and Kevin Cudy of Joplin, Mo., dropped their homeowner's policy, and its $50-a-month premiums, last August after
Kevin lost his construction job. They considered reinstating their policy within the past week but said they were unable to reach their insurance agent by telephone.
And then the deadliest single tornado in nearly six decades demolished their five-bedroom home Sunday.
"That's why I'm kicking myself right now," said Tammy Cudy, 47. "The fact that we were thinking about it, that we needed to work our budget around it, it just makes you kind of heart-sick at this point."
Many people don't qualify for insurance if their homes are in high-risk areas, or they have trouble affording a policy to cover wind damage because of high costs associated with home value, aging construction and building codes, Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford said.
"The loss ratios on those houses that are insured are generally pretty high," Bradford said. "They don't have central heat and air. They are older homes. Sometimes, the plumbing and wiring are not up to standard. The rates are higher, and the coverage is limited."
Bradford is among regulators calling for more education and strategies to make insurance more affordable. Yet he opposes a mandate, as do two lawmakers from tornado zones contacted by phone: Rep. Mike Ross, an Arkansas Democrat, and Rep. Alan Nunnelee, a Mississippi Republican.
Nancy and Homer Davis weren't protected for the worst.
Tight finances kept them from buying a policy on the 80-foot-by-14-foot trailer they purchased eight years ago for $10,000. Homer Davis is on disability and Nancy Davis works part-time at a Lowe's home improvement store. One of last month's twisters lifted their trailer off the ground near Pheba, Miss., smashed it against trees and disgorged their household belongings into a ditch.
"I'm trying to figure out, 'Where does my money go?' He's on disability and I'm working part-time," said Davis, 51. "It's just trying to figure out what's the best way to spend your money. You say to yourself, 'As soon as I'm ready, I'm going to get insurance on the house.'"
Insurance by region
Nationally, roughly 4 percent of owner-occupied homes lack homeowners, or hazard, insurance, according to the latest industry estimates. But the numbers vary substantially by region.
The South has the highest rate of homes without hazard insurance, at 17.4 percent, according to the AP analysis. This is followed by the Northeast at 12.2 percent, the Midwest at 8.4 percent and the West at 3.3 percent.
The highest death toll from tornadoes in the past month was in Alabama, which is at the national average for homes without insurance and ranks third for frequency of tornadoes. North Dakota tops the uninsured list and ranks 16th on the tornado-prone list.
Louisiana, another state hit by the April 27 tornado outbreak in the South, ranks 11th in both categories.
The AP analyzed data compiled by the Insurance Information Institute and the U.S. Census Bureau. AP relied on 2008 figures because those were the most recent for which comparisons could be made, and it's unlikely the numbers would have fluctuated much in the past three years, said industry expert Robert Hartwig.
About 30 percent of owner-occupied homes in Arkansas and Mississippi lack hazard insurance policies, according to the AP analysis, which reviewed data from all 50 states except Florida, where data was incomplete.
In Louisiana, about 17 percent are uninsured. The rate is roughly 10.5 percent in Missouri. Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee all are close to the national average of 4 percent.
Some of the states hit by last month's tornadoes have average insurance premiums well above the national average of $791 a year. Louisiana's average annual premium is $1,155 and Mississippi's is $980. Alabama's average premium is $845, as is Minnesota's. Arkansas' and Missouri's are $788, roughly at the national average.
FEMA grants capped at $30,300
By law, the Federal Emergency Management Agency can provide up to $30,300 in grants for home repairs, rental assistance and other disaster-related losses in presidentially declared disaster areas. But that may not cover the cost to rebuild. Insured homeowners can still qualify for FEMA aid, but the assistance is reduced by the amount of the insurance settlement.
In Texas, Call John Coyle at Tri-Star Insurance Professionals Inc and get the proper coverage for your Home and Auto. Flood insurance coverage is offered through The Hartford Insurance Company. You can reach John Coyle at email@example.com or call 214-387-0600.
Flood insurance. Those two little words may mean nothing to you now, but consider this: according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 25% of flood insurance claims hail from areas that are not labeled as flood zones and result in over a billion dollars of property damage each year. In response to the soaring cost of taxpayer funded disaster relief for flood victims, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to develop flood management plans and underwrite insurance policies.
As homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover damages resulting from flood waters, federal flood insurance is the only coverage that protects your property and belongings from damage caused by rising water due to flooding. So even if there is only the slightest possibility of flooding in your area, having adequate insurance can offset the high cost of repairing water damage in your home or business, because not all water damage resulting from a flood occurs in flood zones. Tri-Star Insurance Professionals, Inc. located in North Plano and servicing North Dallas, Frisco, McKinney, Allen and surrounding areas, knows what you need to keep your property high and dry.
To offset the cost of abundant water damage claims, FEMA mandates that any homeowner with a government-backed mortgage such as an FHA or VA loan must carry flood insurance in a high-risk zone. So that means that people with homes or businesses that are situated on flood zones are required to purchase flood insurance policies. Obviously, if you own a home or business in Texas and do not currently pay for flood insurance you are not considered “high-risk”, but that doesn’t mean you are out of the water.
If you are uncertain whether or not you reside on a flood zone, there are many easy ways to find out. Flood-Zone.net is a great website to quickly determine your flood risk and learn interesting facts about floods such as:
- Floods are world’s the most common natural disaster
- Floods do not just occur near bodies of water such as lakes, ponds or oceans
- Flash floods cause more fatalities in the US than any other natural disaster
- Floods can and do happen in areas previously considered out of reach
- Roughly one in four flood disasters occur in areas with a low to moderate flooding risk
Generally, flood insurance policies are affordable, especially for those not living in a designated flood zone. Tri-Star Insurance can not only help you purchase a reasonably priced flood insurance policy, but can help you save a bundle on your other policies as well. Tri-Star is an independent insurance agency, which means they have the ability to represent companies such as Safeco, Kemper, Hartford and Travelers to find you the best price. With Tri-Star, you have a choice.
If you want to learn more about federal flood insurance policies contact Roger Harkins of Tri-Star Insurance today at 214-387-0600 or visit them on the web at www.tristarins.com. Give yourself peace of mind by knowing your home and business will be covered in the event of a flash flood or heavy rains.