Tornado Insurance Dispute Attorney in Alabama
Helping tornado victims in Mobile and throughout Alabama recover from the storm
As of April 2019, Alabama had already seen 53 tornadoes – more than the yearly state average. According to the Weather Channel, 29 tornadoes occurred in March. One tornado in Lee County killed 23 people. Spring temperatures, combined with moisture, and strong “low-level” winds are contributing to the increase in Alabama tornadoes.
Tornadoes, unlike flood insurance, should be covered by your insurance policy, but that doesn’t mean your insurer will willingly pay out your claim. When they won’t play ball, you’re going to need an Alabama insurance dispute lawyer who will fight back for you. At Warhurst Law, that’s exactly what you’ll find. We’ve secured millions in recovery for our clients, including an additional $2.37 million for a commercial policyholder in Alabama who was originally offered $50,000. Call us today to schedule a consultation with Gene Warhurst or a member of our team.
Kinds of tornadoes
According to Live Science, “the worst tornadoes form from so-called supercell thunderstorms when warm, moist air is trapped underneath cool, dry air and when winds high up travel in a different direction than those at ground level.” They can happen any time of year, though spring tornadoes and midsummer tornadoes are more common.
Tornadoes are rated using the Enhanced F Scale, a “set of wind estimates (not measurements) based on damage.” The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) uses “three-second gusts estimated at the point of damage based on a judgment of 8 levels of damage to the 28 indicators...These estimates vary with height and exposure.” Based on those numbers, tornadoes fall into 5 categories:
- F0: winds from 40-72 mph; 3-second gusts from 45-78 mph
- F1: winds from 73-112 mph; 3-second gusts from 79-117 mph
- F2: winds from 113-157 mph; 3 second gusts from 118-161 mph
- F3: winds from 158-207 mph; 3-second gusts from 162-209 mph
- F4: winds from 208-260 mph; 3-second gusts from 210-261 mph
- F5: winds from 261-318 mph; 3-second gust from 262-317 mph
You can find NOAA’s 28 indicators here.
Types of tornado damage
Tornadoes, especially higher category tornadoes, can destroy anything in their path. The NOAA scale is not conclusive. Even in lower-level tornadoes, homes can be uprooted from their foundation. Structural damage is quite common. A common question after a tornado strikes a home or building is, Can the home/building be repaired – or is it better to just tear down the property and start over?
In addition to structural damage, any personal or business items in the home (called “contents”) are often damaged beyond repair. This includes furniture, computer equipment, clothing and personal possessions, appliances, inventory, tools, and equipment. Vehicles, which should be covered by comprehensive insurance, can also be damaged or destroyed.
Building contractors, engineers, and others are usually called out to investigate and analyze the structural damage. A skilled Mobile tornado claims attorney works with appraisers who can properly value the damage to personal possessions and other non-structural items.
Some of the many parts of the home that should be reviewed for any type of visible or hidden damage include:
- The house’s foundation
- Interior and exterior walls
- Roof, siding, shingles, and other exterior features
- Windows, doors, screens, and gutters
- Utilities such as plumbing and electricity
- Every other part of the home from the basement to the attic