9,000 Auto Insurance Claims Filed Thus Far in Joplin, MO

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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...

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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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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 is 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.

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).

And 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.

The loss of life was horrific, with a current death total from the nation’s deadliest tornado in six decades currently standing at 153. And 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.

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.

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.

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