Does Car Insurance Cover Damage Done By Tornadoes?

Nashville, Tennessee residents are picking up the pieces after 16 of its residents were killed by a tornado. Mother Nature’s destructive force reared its ugly head for many people who live there, and they’re wondering what it means for the future. More than that, they have many questions regarding how they’re going to pay for everything they’ve lost.

Meade County resident Sarah Mills said, “I honestly did not sleep, because I was traumatized. Like every time I closed my eyes I just heard the sound…It was kind of like going through the car wash when the dryers are on, times ten. It was just like in my ear. I knew people were screaming but I couldn’t even hear because it was so loud.”

She was in a restaurant when the tornado came. 

“A server, or the owner, or someone said, ‘Get in the back, now,’” she explained. “Like, he screamed it, and right when he said that you could hear a window shatter. Things were flying. I was praying to God. I was like, ‘Please, please, please, please, please. This is not the time.’ I’ve never actually been terrified of dying before, and I really thought that was the end.”

The damage to local business, residences, and — cars — was devastating to those already struggling financially. That’s left a lot of people asking whether or not their insurance will pay for some of the damage. The good news is that homeowners insurance or renters insurance can cover much of the damage done to your home — if you thought to cover yourself beforehand.

And auto insurance does indeed cover damage done by Mother Nature. But how much is covered all depends on the specific policy. If your vehicle is scratched up, you can expect nearly all damages to be covered. However, if your car was totaled during the Nashville tornado event, you might not have as much coverage as you need to recover the costs of a new vehicle. The most sensible thing to do is have a chat with your carrier.

Were you in a car accident during the storm? You might benefit from a conversation with a personal injury lawyer first. Accidents that result from a tornado can be tricky in court — and you could even be sued for an accident you didn’t cause! No one should have to pay damages for something that wasn’t their fault. Make sure you’re covered both financially and legally before someone can take advantage of the situation to sue you.

Conservative Lawmakers In Louisiana Make A Move To Limit Car Accident Compensation

Car accidents are extremely common. You won’t live your life without being involved in at least a few. That’s why car accident lawsuits are common too. People get badly injured, or even worse, are killed. Generally speaking, people can be barred from building a case against an at-fault driver in court when insurance-related alternatives are available. That means that insurance companies themselves are often the target of these lawsuits.

Republican lawmakers in Louisiana are pushing to place strict caps on damages recouped by drivers involved in car accidents. Not only will this result in unfair compensation, but lawyers will make less money too. And that’s not necessarily a good thing, since most personal injury lawyers are paid only if they win a case. The new Republican push might result in unexpected blowback somewhere down the road — but no one’s thinking of that.

Those in favor of the potential legislation believe that these lawsuits result in higher insurance rates. They believe that the state might gain more business if the rules are changed. But opponents of the legislation say that there’s no reason to believe that, and ask for empirical data to support those claims. To date, there’s none forthcoming.

Worse, those involved in terrible car accidents might never be able to recover financially if the caps are placed.

Representative Sherman Mack is battling to become the next House speaker in the state of Louisiana, and he contended that this law would become “the biggest copic you’re going to hear most about in this next legislative session. We have to let the middle class and the public know that we are attempting as the leaders of this state to help them with these high insurance rates.”

But everyone acknowledges that the state needs to make some changes to address the rising premiums, which are currently around an average $2,200 annual rate, second-highest in the nation.

Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards said, “I know that there is some movement, some compromise that’s possible.” But he also acknowledged that he doesn’t plan on “creating any red lines” as far as damages limitations are concerned. 

Republican Senator Rick Ward doesn’t necessarily agree that new legislation would result in lower rates. “We can certainly take a look at how we differ from other states, but the problem there is I think a lot of times … the reason the general public doesn’t trust us is because we go out and sell something, and then we pass what we sell and then it never materializes.”

He continued, “So, if we all go run around the state and tell everybody that we’re going to pass this and you’re going to see your insurance rates reduced, what happens in two years whenever we passed it and their rates don’t reduce?”

How Does An Auto Accident Affect Car Insurance?

Auto accidents can be costly experiences. They cost us time off work, repair damage to our vehicles, perhaps the lives of drivers or passengers, and in some instances may cost us time in freedom because of negligent or criminal driving behaviors.

But if you think those costs are limited only to serious accidents, think again.

About Car Insurance

Even in minor accidents – like a bent bumper or fender – auto insurance may be available to a driver, but filing the claim is not automatic for some people. Many people believe that any and every insurance claim will adversely impact their insurance premiums, so they will hold off on filing a claim until they absolutely have to because they don’t have enough money to cover the repair.

Auto insurance is there to repair vehicles and pay out settlements when you are at fault without sacrificing any of your personal assets. Insurance protects your family and your assets. We pay premiums in order for the insurance company to pay for our fault and our damage.

Splashing in the Pool

Insurance companies have a pool of money, where policyholders’ premium payments are placed. This pool is where payouts are made on insurance claims. The premiums that are paid by policyholders are determined based on coverages, driving records, ages, locations, and vehicles of those who are on the policies. The premiums fill up the “pool” by which the insurance company pays on claims in that part of the country. And the actuaries at the company determine those premiums based on the chances of a major payout, accounting for profits and overhead.

If a particular area of the country has a higher rate of claims than expected, then the rates will go up for all policyholders in that area – even if 90% of them have had clean records. Everyone pays into the “pool” model. And the insurance companies often have their own investigators and attorneys either to fight for the policy holder or fight for the insurance company whenever a legal claim is filed in an at-fault accident situation.

Answering the Question

So if we ask, will my single auto accident raise my insurance premiums? The short answer is, it depends. There are many factors that come into play, but more often than not, no single accident raises premiums; it is often a collection of claims over a period of time (at a cost-per-claim rate higher than expected) that will usually raise premiums.

While insurance companies can and do represent policyholders in legal claims, they don’t do it exclusively, and they certainly won’t do it if you are at fault. It is a good idea to consult with one of our Memphis attorneys to get all the information and make sure you have representation to stand up for your specific rights, knowing that the insurance companies’ attorneys will have their own interests at heart first.

Don’t give up defense of your rights to someone else, even if you are on the same side.

If you have been in an auto accident, have been injured, and are in need of a lawyer, do not hesitate to contact a car accident attorney today. The team of attorneys at Memphis Law Firm is experienced in car accident cases and will help you get the settlement you deserve.