D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

Full Bio →

Written by

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 2, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about car insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything car insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by car insurance experts.

The Joplin tornado may have totalled as many as 18,000 cars.
The Joplin tornado may have totalled as many as 18,000 cars. (image by news-leader.com)

While we like to talk about the myriad reasons car insurance products are such a necessity, one of the most important purposes of car insurance is protecting the substantial investment many of us have made in our cars. We frequently think of car accidents, but we forget about tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, drunk drivers hitting parked cars, falling trees, and other non-driving accidents. Not all auto insurance coverage protects you in these times.

Let’s face it – cars aren’t exactly insignificant purchases, considering that the average new car purchase price in the United States is almost $29,000, according to the latest statistics compiled by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).

While we normally associate car insurance with things like crashes, there are many events that can lead to the total loss of an automobile. Acts of God, like natural disasters, claim thousands of automobiles each year as well. Case in point: the tornado that roared through Joplin, Missouri on May 22, 2011.

What Happened in Joplin, Missouri in 2011?

The loss of life was horrific, with a current death total from the nation’s deadliest tornado in six decades currently standing at 153. Joplin officials believe more than 18,000 automobiles suffered significant damage from the tornado as well, leaving totaled cars strewn about the city.

As of June 1, more than 9,000 auto insurance claims had been made by residents of Joplin, with thousands more yet to come. In such a disaster, rebuilding and getting your life back in order is priority one, and if you’re left without transportation, an already difficult task can become much harder. Unfortunately, with a natural disaster like this, you could also face longer wait times because your insurance providers are dealing with many claims at once. even an independent insurance agent who generally gets your claims on track the same day may be stuck waiting for days or weeks. If you have the right coverage, though, you’ll know you’ll be covered. It will just take your insurance company more time.

Incidents like the tornado in Missouri are stark reminders that life can be unpredictable, and offer challenges none of us planned on facing. Having the appropriate amount of insurance coverage can help make those challenges easier to deal with.

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How Can You Help Joplin Residents?

Finally, while the residents of Joplin continue to rebuild, you can still help. Visit the Joplin office of the Greater Ozarks Red Cross website for more information on the disaster and things each of us can do to help the residents who will be dealing with the aftermath of this American disaster for months to come.

Joplin is not the only natural disaster to hit an area hard. It’s a reminder to review your own coverage options for peace of mind. If you want to help other communities, the Red Cross and other organizations can help you find them too.