Arkansas places moratorium on tornado insurance policies to protect homeowners

Tornado insurance policies - Tornado - Storm
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The 60-day moratorium stops insurers from being able to cancel coverage to residents affected by Saturday’s twister.

The Arkansas Insurance Department has issued a 60-day moratorium on the cancellation of tornado insurance policies. This move was made following the Jonesboro tornado that ripped through homes, a mall and other buildings.

This is meant to stop insurers from cancelling coverage of affected Craighead County residents.

Residents affected by the Jonesboro twister cannot have their tornado insurance policies cancelled due to non-payment for another 60 days. That said, it is only affected residents who are protected by this extension to the protection against cancellation.

In order to qualify for this moratorium on cancellation, policyholders from Craighead County must actively request the extension from their insurers. Moreover, only policyholders who have experienced substantial property damage, injuries, or related loss of life due to the March 28 storms are eligible.

It is important to state that this moratorium is not the same as a waiver, according to the Arkansas Insurance Department. It is only an extended period of time in which to pay all owed premiums for keeping the coverage active. The department directed insurers to work out payment plans with their policyholders or to provide a due date extension of 60 days for the full owed amount.

This moratorium for tornado insurance policies acknowledges that people are facing financial struggles from COVID-19.

On March 28, an EF3-rated tornado ripped its way through sections of Jonesboro. The Mall at Turtle Creek as well as a number of the retail stores across the street from the mall, along East Highland Drive, were badly damaged by the twister.

There were at least 22 reported injuries directly linked to the storm. At least 458 homes were damaged. That figure includes 149 homes that were mostly or entirely destroyed, said Craighead County chief executive, Marvin Day.

The moratorium on tornado insurance policies was announced within days. State Governor Asa Hutchinson issued a Disaster Recovery proclamation on Sunday. This Tornado insurance policies - Tornado - Stormdeclared Craighead County to be a disaster area and makes it easier for the region to request federal government assistance funds.

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