Storm Damage and Tornado Season in Alabama

Tornadoes are extremely frightening weather events because these rapidly rotating columns of air and debris have the potential to cause widespread damage, destruction, and even loss of life. November marks a second tornado season in Alabama, following the season that peaks in the spring.

Alabama residents whose homes or commercial property get hit by tornadoes can suffer total losses.

Obtaining fair compensation following a tornado can be a very stressful and difficult ordeal. Insensitive insurance companies may be very slow to investigate these cases and even slower in cutting checks to Alabama storm damage victims. They often attempt to undervalue claims or unfairly reject them outright.

Storm and Tornado Statistics from Previous Years in Alabama

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that the United States has the highest absolute tornado count in the world, with an average of more than 1,000 tornadoes recorded annually. Canada was a distant second with about 100 tornadoes per year.

The average of 44 tornadoes for Alabama between 1991 and 2010 was the eighth highest in the nation. There were 155 tornadoes in Texas, 96 in Kansas, 66 in Florida, 62 in Oklahoma, 57 in Nebraska, 54 in Illinois, and 51 in Iowa.

The Insurance Information Institute reports that when compared to other states, Alabama had the fifth-highest number of tornadoes in 2018 at 52, behind only the 86 tornadoes in Louisiana, 84 in Iowa, 68 in Mississippi, and 64 in Illinois.

Common Types of Storm and Tornado Damage in Alabama

The Fujita scale for tornado intensity provides ratings for six different storm categories:

  • F0 tornado — wind speeds of less than 73 mph and causes light damage
  • F1 tornado — wind speeds from 73 mph to 112 mph and causes moderate damage
  • F2 tornado — wind speeds from 113 mph to 157 mph and causes significant damage
  • F3 tornado — wind speeds from 158 mph to 206 mph and causes severe damage
  • F4 tornado — wind speeds from 207 mph to 260 mph and causes devastating damage
  • F5 tornado — wind speeds from 261 mph to 318 mph and causes exceptional damage

F0 tornadoes can cause light damage to parts of homes or buildings. F1 tornadoes can cause roof surfaces to be peeled off and mobile homes to be overturned. F2 tornadoes can remove roofs from buildings. F3 tornadoes can rip roofs and walls off buildings. F4 and F5 tornadoes can level buildings or blow structures away.

Tornado damage could include wind damage to a structure, impact damage caused by other objects striking your home or business, or even water damage.

Types of Insurance for Storm and Tornado Damage

Carefully check your policy. The standard homeowners or business property insurance should cover tornado damage. They are events that are not subject to the kinds of flood or earthquake exclusions that require a specific insurance rider plus additional premiums.

In a tornado insurance claim, an insurance company will usually be obligated to cover the actual cost of replacing or repairing damage to the home regardless of the age of the home.

When you contact an insurer after a tornado, a claims adjuster will usually visit your property to conduct their own assessment. Avoid providing any recorded or written statement to a claims adjuster, no matter how routine it may seem, until you have retained an Alabama tornado damage lawyer.

What Possible Damages Can Be Recovered in an Insurance Dispute?

Some policies offer replacement cost. Others could provide actual cash value (ACV) or a replacement value with a cash-out option.

You could be entitled to additional compensation when an insurance company unfairly makes a lowball estimate of damage to your home or property or if the carrier refuses to live up to contractual obligations. These are known as “bad faith” insurance claims.

You deserve the benefits that cover all of the costs needed to fix your home or business for storm damage in Huntsville, Florence, or elsewhere in Alabama or Tennessee. See the communities we serve here.

Contact Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., for Help after Storm or Tornado Damage

If your property was damaged in a tornado and the insurance company is unwilling to provide fair compensation, you need an experienced Alabama storm damage lawyer on your side. Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., knows how to deal with insurers and help clients seek results.

Our full-service firm has effectively represented Huntsville storm damage clients as well as clients throughout North Alabama whose insurance claims were wrongly delayed or denied.

Call us or contact us online now to schedule a free consultation.

Harvey B. Morris is a lifelong Alabamian who has been practicing law in Huntsville since getting his law degree and passing the state bar in 1966.