Casa Grande’s Worst Disasters

The reason you need a Casa Grande Insurance!

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat”. Picture yourself living in the desert during monsoon season and the storms haven’t let up.  Before you know it, your home and town are flooding.  You’re being evacuated from the area.  You might suddenly feel like you need a bigger boat.  This line from the movie Jaws is typically used when a situation is too big to manage.  Natural disasters and the loss and devastation caused by them could make anyone feel like they need a bigger boat.  When it comes to the unexpected, you rely on your insurance to cover your property and unexpected damages.  Let’s take a walk back through time and revisit Casa Grande’s worst disasters in history.  Ask yourself if you lived through these disasters, would your insurance be enough?

  1. The flood of October 1983: While Arizona is not known for its annual rainfall, it can suffer from flooding.  The worst flood in Arizona history to-date happened in October 1983.  It rained for days and flooded low lying ground primarily in the South and Eastern parts of Arizona. The disaster and devastation that followed, “When the damage was tallied, 14 people across Arizona drowned, nearly 1,000 more were injured, and the damage to homes and property was nearly $1 billion when adjusted for inflation in today’s dollars”.  While flooding is not common to the area, when it does happen, it can have dire consequences.  Most homeowners’ standard insurance policies do not cover flooding.  Do you live in a floodplain?  Could your home fall victim to a flood?  According to this article, “25-30 percent of all flood insurance claims are paid on homes in low to moderate risk flood zones…Recovering personal belongings after a flood is often impossible. ..Flood victims often have to start from scratch, which can be a huge financial burden if paid entirely out of pocket.”  Talk to an experienced insurance agent and carefully weigh the cost of flood insurance versus what it could cost you out of pocket without flood insurance.
  2. Dust Storms: Dust storms are fairly common to Arizona.  They happen with such frequency and intensity that they have their own name, “haboob”.  A historic dust storm hit July 9, 2011 and created zero visibility with winds greater than 50 mph.  According to accuweather.com on their article “Phoenix Dust Storm a “100-Year Event”, “The dust storm was estimated to reach a peak height of at least 5.000 to 6,000 feet with an aerial coverage on the leading edge stretching nearly 100 miles, according to the National weather Service.”  This storm created dust and debris, left thousands of customers without power and temporarily grounded the Phoenix airport.

The dust storm of August 1950, while smaller, created a dangerous situation that led to a fatality.  A woman stopped her car due to severe dust and a large truck crashed into her car.  The car caught on fire and she was not able to be saved.  Additional accidents and injuries were caused by the same storm.  Dust storms limit visibility creating dangerous road conditions.  They can also bring strong winds that can take down trees and create property damage.  Are you insured against haboobs and the havoc they bring?  This is a great question for your insurance agent.  Some companies will cover damage caused by a dust storm under a standard property policy.  However, not all policies are created equal.  If you are a Casa Grande resident, make sure that you review your policy with an experienced agent and discuss your coverage in the event of damage due to a dust storm.

  1. Tornadoes. There have been 5 historical tornado events in or near Casa Grande.  In June 1972 there was a tornado 13.5 miles long that caused 3 injuries and 25 million dollars’ worth of property damage.  In August 1971 there was a tornado that caused 41 injuries and 2.5 million dollars’ worth of property damage.  Tornadoes themselves are incredibly dangerous but they also tend to bring winds, rain and flying debris.  The winds can pick up items such as appliances and throw them through your homes weak points such as windows and doors.  Because tornadoes can cause so much destruction FEMA does not recommend attempting to tornado proof your home; instead urging homeowners to have a safe room within the home that can offer you and your family protection from the storm.  If your home or vehicle were to be hit by a tornado would you be covered?  Are you insured for repairs or replacement costs?

It is a good rule of thumb to review your home insurance, auto insurance, and life insurance  coverage at least every year.  Your insurance agent should take the time to explain your policy and coverages.  Your location might not be a high risk flood plain or see as many tornadoes as the Midwest but it is always wise to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.  Ask your agent if any of these natural disasters are already covered under your existing policy and if they aren’t ask if they should be.  A nominal increase in your monthly premium could be a small price to pay compared to the potential out of pocket costs should you ever face one of these disasters.

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Steve Gebhardt

Gebhardt Insurance Group was honored by AAA Insurance for being the top New Policy Agency in Arizona for 2013 and achieving the "Emerald Achievement Award."
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