Just another sunny, 75-degree early evening in March in Michigan… OK, that’s not so normal…
Clouds started to roll in quickly. The skies started to turn grey. Then thunder. Lots of thunder. Weird thunder. Non-stop rumbles for 10 minutes? Hadn’t heard anything like it. It sounded like I was in a bowling alley during happy hour (back before Wii bowling, that is).
Then all of a sudden, the tornado sirens started blaring, It wouldn’t be the first time they’ve gone off, but something was different about this storm.
I turned on a local TV station to see what was heading my way only to find a big red/purple blob on the doppler (red/purple = bad).
Quarter-sized hale started pelting my roof. You know the sound of a rock hitting the side of your car when driving across a dirt road? Sounded a bit like that.
The meteorologist then started sounding a bit anxious and shared reports of a tornado touching down about 10 miles from my house and it was heading directly towards us.
“Shit! What do I do? I live in a walkout house. Do I go downstairs? I don’t have a TV down there. Do I take the pets with me? Do I stay by the TV so I can see what’s going on? Do I keep a look out through the windows for a tornado? Meteorologist is telling me to get away from the windows, OK. Man, I’m glad I have home insurance!”.
A very nervous 10-15 minutes went by before reports showed the tornado’s path to be just south of my home. I breathed a sigh of relief. Disaster had been avoided, but barely.
The owners of this home were not so fortunate…
We don’t get tornadoes too often in Michigan and when we do, they usually aren’t severe. I’ve caught myself thinking, “oh, that could never happen to me”. I’m sure many of you out there have had the same thought, whether it’s tornado, a flood, fire, or hurricane.
And no doubt a few of you frugalites have even contemplated the idea of getting rid of your home insurance altogether, or at least trimming it. Gratefully, it appears (as they proclaim their love for State Farm Insurance), this family did not. Nobody was hurt as well, thankfully.
The whole experience has given me a new appreciation for the peace of mind that insurance offers. You need home insurance. I know it can be painful to keep sending in your payments as years and decades go by without getting any sort of return, but the few hundred dollars per year (I pay about $350 per year through Liberty Mutual) you are paying for the insurance may end up protecting you from a catastrophic financial loss.
Material possessions can be replaced. Decades of work needed to pay off a mortgage on your ruined home and the building cost of a new one cannot. It’s not worth the risk.
And all of this doesn’t even get in to liability issues that might arise (where you may want to consider an umbrella insurance policy).
Home Insurance Discussion:
- Have you or someone you’ve known had a home that was completely or partially destroyed?
- Did you/they have the necessary home insurance to cover the damage or replacement?
- How much do you pay per year for home insurance?
- What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?
- Are Losses on the Sale of a Home Tax Deductible?
- Buying Vs. Renting a Home
- Is your Home Really an Investment?