Missouri Auto Insurance Education | (636) 343-5000

Definitions, Premiums and Deductibles

MJM Insurance of Fenton | Missouri Auto Insurance Education | (636) 343-5000MJM Insurance of Fenton is not only an insurance agency, our licensed agents care about our clients’ well-being. We provide the tools and resources necessary for consumers to receive the proper Missouri Auto Insurance Education.  Helping you understand your policy is our duty as a Trusted Choice Agent.

As part of our Missouri Auto Insurance Education, we have included the basic information about your auto insurance policy. We encourage you to schedule a free review your individual policy for specific details on coverages, terms, limits, conditions, and exclusions.

Starting with the Basics

An insurance policy is a contract between a policy holder and an insurance company.  All policies are unilateral in that the policy holder pays the insurance company a premium. The purpose of an auto insurance policy is to make one whole, or return the policy holder back to their original condition prior to a covered financial loss.  For example: you own a 2015 vehicle with actual cash value of $20,000 and the car was totaled by a covered peril.  The recovery amount is limited to the amount of the actual loss incurred, and not the actual cash value – or replacement cost less depreciation.

Laws and Regulations

Missouri law requires motorists to have auto insurance.  No owner of a motor vehicle registered in Missouri may operate, register, or maintain registration of a motor vehicle, or permit another person to operate the vehicle, unless the owner maintains the required liability coverage.

* Proof of insurance shall be carried in the insured motor vehicle at all times. *

Missouri law requires all drivers to carry some types of coverage – at least state minimum – in the amount of $25,000 because of bodily injury to or death of 1 person in any 1 accident and, subject to the limit for 1 person, $50,000 because of bodily injury to or death of 2 or more persons in any 1 accident, and $10,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any 1 accident.

The Auto Insurance Policy

MJM Insurance of Fenton | Missouri Auto Insurance Education | (636) 343-5000There are 6 primary components to your auto insurance policy and our licensed agents can help you determine the best coverages you need for your situation with a price that meets your budget.  For example: if you have 2 teenage drivers on your policy and own a $500,000 home – we would recommend enough coverage for a loss up to $500,000 so that your mortgage is covered in case of loss.

Liability Insurance protects you, the insured/policy holder, against a claim made by another party, and covers the insured’s legal responsibility to body and property damage.

  • Bodily injury liability (BI) insurance covers you if you cause an accident in which someone else is injured. Your policy is designed to pay claims for each person injured in an accident, and limits the total paid per occurrence.
  • Property damage liability (PD) insurance covers you when you damage someone else’s property. For example, your property damage will pay out when you are at fault for an accident that causes damage to someone else’s car.
  • Collision insurance pays for damage to your car if you run into another object. This coverage is not required by law, although your bank may require it if you have a lien on your car. This is commonly known as “full coverage”.
  • Comprehensive insurance covers you in case your car is damaged other than a collision. The covered perils include hail, fire, theft, flood, earthquake, explosion, falling objects, and encounters with wildlife, such as deer. Comprehensive is optional coverage and you may choose your deductible amount.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance covers your expenses when you are hit by a driver who does not carry adequate, if any, auto insurance. Our agents always recommend carrying uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance so that you are not left with a financial loss because of someone else’s negligence to carry auto insurance.
  • Medical insurance coverage (Med Pay/MPC) acts as primary coverage for medical expenses you and your passengers incur if injured in a motor vehicle accident, regardless who’s at fault. Med pay can help you pay your bills as soon as they are incurred.

Cost of Insurance

MJM Insurance of Fenton | Missouri Auto Insurance Education | (636) 343-5000Insurance premiums are determined by the statistics of a large group of people who share the same risk. Many factors can affect your premium, and they all help determine how likely you are to have an accident.  Click here for more information from the Insurance Information Institute.  Some of the factors that will be used to determine the cost of insurance can include your driving record, how much you drive, your age, the type of car you drive, etc.  Insurance companies obtain the ratio of exposure by analyzing industry activities and driver statistics.  For example: if you live in an area where the average age of drivers is 45 years and they have decent driving records; the risk is slim, therefore calculating a lower premium.  It’s not that simple, but you get the idea.

The Deductible

A deductible on an auto insurance policy is the amount of money you agree to pay for damages before the insurance company provides payment towards the damage/loss.  Choosing a higher deductible means there is less risk of a payout for the insurance company, and so you may pay smaller premiums.  MJM Insurance of Fenton can help you make an informed decision on how to choose your deductible. Everyone’s situation is different and we understand some may be able to afford a larger deductible, others may not.

 

Contact one of our professional agents to schedule a free auto policy review and we’ll make certain you have the best coverage at the best price!  (636) 343-5000


Insurance Terms & Definitions

National Association of Insurance Commissioners provides a glossary of insurance terms and definitions that are commonly used in the insurance business.

The definitions in this glossary are developed by the NAIC Research and Actuarial Department staff based on various insurance references. Some words and/or phrases may be defined differently by other entities, or used in a context such that the definition shown may not be applicable.

Missouri Earthquake Insurance | (636) 343-5000

Missouri Department of Insurance Suggests 

Homeowners Should Consider Buying Earthquake Coverage

DIFP_banner

According to an article published by the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration, many Missourians are having trouble getting Missouri Earthquake Insurance Coverage. Recent insurance data demonstrates that southeast Missouri is experiencing an insurance coverage crisis.

Click here to read the full article on Department of Insurance Website.

Contact MJM Insurance of Fenton today for a free insurance review and we’ll help you determine if you qualify for Missouri Earthquake Insurance.

Watch the earthquake preparedness videos created by Missouri school children!

 

Helpful Resources:

http://www.nehrp.gov/library/plan_prepare.htm

http://www.fema.gov

http://earthquake.usgs.gov

http://www.ready.gov/kit

http://dnr.mo.gov/geology/geosrv/earthquakes.htm

http://www.redcross.org

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

http://www.eas.slu.edu/Earthquake_Center

 


MJM Insurance® of Fenton is a full service Independent Insurance Agency representing many of Missouri’s premier personal and commercial insurance carriers. We assess risks and shop for companies to find the best coverage for the lowest price. With a combined experience of over 60 years in the Fenton Missouri insurance industry, our agents are knowledgeable and competent specializing in autohome, renters, boat, motorcycle, business automobile, workers compensation, and general liability.

We serve all of Saint Louis and Jefferson counties including Fenton, High Ridge, Arnold, Imperial, Valley Park, Ballwin, Eureka, Pacific, House Springs, Hillsboro, Sunset Hills and St. Clair. Our professional insurance agents at MJM Insurance of Fenton can help you get the best value for your fundamental insurance needs.

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department’s seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.

 

Trucking Insurance in Fenton Missouri

A Giant Industry With Enormous Risks

Trucking Insurance in Fenton Missouri | MJM Insurance of Fenton | (636) 343-5000MJM Insurance of Fenton is a leader in providing all-inclusive programs for Trucking Insurance in Fenton Missouri.  Our licensed agents have more than 60 years combined experience with automobile liability, general liability, physical damage, garage liability, motor truck cargo, and workers compensation insurance.  We know without the right protection, there can be serious repercussions.

Whether you drive tractor trailers, box trucks, or flatbeds, and you depend on your truck for your business, MJM Insurance of Fenton can help you protect your source of revenue, with coverages designed for professional truck drivers. We offer truck insurance for most types of trucks, including Box trucks, Semi trucks, Flatbed trucks, Front loaders, Tank trucks, Tractors, Dump trucks, Auto hauler trailers, Garbage trucks, Pickup trucks, Flatbed trailers, and more.

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Where To Learn More About Auto Insurance In Arnold MO | (636) 343-5000

HERE!  MJM Insurance of Fenton!

Where To Learn More About Auto Insurance In Arnold MO |   MJM Insurance® of   Fenton | (636) 343-5000There are so many resources where to learn more about auto insurance in Arnold MO – we understand it can be overwhelming.  When you search “ where to learn more about auto insurance in Arnold MO” on the internet, there are about 1,400,000 results!  That’s a lot of data!  Perhaps you should consider consulting with a friend, a family member and contact state resources.  Don’t spend your time searching, call MJM Insurance of Fenton!  We are the best place to learn more about auto insurance in Arnold MO.  Our expert agents are here to help you!

When searching where to learn more about auto insurance in Arnold MO, State insurance departments are the best sources for company and agent licensing information.  The Missouri Department of Insurance is a valuable resource for consumers.  Here you can find laws & regulations, find forms and find a reputable insurance company.

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Where to Learn More About Home Insurance in Arnold MO

Understanding Your Home Insurance Options

Where to Learn more about Home insurance in Arnold MO | MJM Insurance® of Fenton | (636) 343-5000

MJM Insurance® of Fenton knows it is important to help home owners understand their options and how to best protect their family and belongings in case of a loss.  Our agents are here to help home owners know where to learn more about home insurance in Arnold MO.

There are many coverage options you can have in your policy.  On your declaration page you will see several terms; including  dwelling coverage and personal property coverage.  The word dwelling in your home insurance policy actually refers to your home itself and attached structures, such as an attached garage.  One of our experienced agents can run a cost analysis that calculates the cost to rebuild your home. If you don’t adjust the amount of insurance for your dwelling appropriately, you may not have enough insurance to replace your home if disaster strikes.

Your personal property includes all your personal items, such as furniture, clothing, electronics, appliances, etc.  Your personal property limit is usually 70% – 75% of your dwelling limit.  However, you can adjust this upward if you need more protection, discuss your options with us. We’re here to help!

Detailed information about home owner insurance and how to contact us can be found on our website page: Where to Learn More About Home Insurance in Arnold MO.

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What is Uninsured Motorist Insurance in Fenton Missouri?

Don’t Take A Risk By Not Being Informed

What is uninsured motorist insurance in Fenton Missouri? | MJM Insurance® of Fenton | (636) 343-5000

MJM Insurance® of Fenton is Your Personal Insurance Advisor

There are other clauses in your insurance policy that are imperative to include so that you are properly insured. Many of our clients have asked themselves what is uninsured motorist insurance in Fenton Missouri? An uninsured motorist clause is an additional clause in an auto insurance policy that provides for a driver to receive damages for any injury he or she receives from another uninsured  driver who fails to maintain the proper insurance coverage by not having insurance or carrying inadequate insurance coverage.

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Fenton Missouri Insurance Agent

MJM Insurance® of Fenton Is Your Trusted Partner

Fenton Missouri Insurance Agent | MJM Insurance® of Fenton | (636) 343-5000Often times our agents meet potential customers who have had an insurance agent for years and whom they have never met.  It is shocking to me that people put their life in the hands of a stranger and have no personal connection or relationship with their Fenton Missouri Insurance Agent. MJM Insurance® of Fenton agents pride ourselves on the fact that we take great interest in our clients’ and their family’s well-being. It is important that our clients trust the staff and licensed agents of our company.

We sit down with our clients and give a comprehensive account review to make sure they have the best protection.  We explain the coverage options, benefits, and potential risks based off their needs versus current their current insurance coverages. We take the time to walk our client’s through every step of the decision process to make their experience as educational and informative as possible.

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Home Insurance Arnold MO

5 Tips For Getting The Right Home Insurance

Home Insurance Arnold MO | MJM Insurance® of Fenton | (636) 343-5000You may think getting the right Home Insurance Arnold MO means just calling an agent, giving him your address, what year the home was built, and some details on the property is enough.  Does your agent come to your home and take photos?  Do you think about telling your agent you have a swimming pool – or do you know if you live in a flood zone?

What if you have an above ground swimming pool and it collapses, flooding your basement?  What if your neighbor’s tree falls on your home?   Do you have a record of the content in your home and how it is covered by your homeowners insurance?

It is imperative to inventory the contents in your home.  Our agents at MJM Insurance® of Fenton can help you identify items in your home that should be recorded as inventory and documented.

If you own your home, contents or personal property insurance will be part of your overall house insurance policy. If you rent, it’s still important to get contents insurance as your landlord’s building policy will not cover your belongings.  There are many options when it comes to insuring the contents of your home. Understanding the coverage you need and the pros and cons of the major insurers will help you get the best coverage for the best price.

Below are a few tips when you search for  “Home Insurance Arnold MO.”

1. Perform a proper valuation of your contents.

First, your MJM Insurance® of Fenton insurance agent will ask you to estimate the value of your belongings. If you combine contents insurance with a house policy, the contents portion is often valued at a percentage of the house value. If you do not establish a detailed valuation of your assets, it may leave you underinsured or paying premiums that are too high. You should list all your assets and give them a fair market value.

2. Understand the limitations of your coverage.

Regardless of the contents policy you choose, it will not cover every loss situation or every asset. Your MJM Insurance® of Fenton insurance agent will explain the “exclusions or limitations” of your homeowners insurance policy and make so that you have any addtional endorsement to ensure you are covered.  The most common mistakes homeowners make are thinking their home insurance policy covers everything and do no seek the services of a professional insurance agent.

3. Do not buy home insurance on price alone.

Beware of the commercials that advertise “home insurance for as little as $10 a month”.  These low-cost policies only cover the minimum, leaving you at great risk. Don’t settle for cheap insurance and lose the proper coverage, customer service or timely claims payments. Your home insurance is going to be in place for a long time, so choose a company with a good reputation and a policy that meets your coverage needs.  We combine years of experience and top-rated companies and products to provide exceptional service and value to our clients.  Our trained, professional staff will do the research, analysis, and shopping for you.

4.  Expensive artwork, jewerly, and other “collectables” may need to be insured separately.

If you’re a collector of antiques or vintage items such as sports cards or antique glass, your collection will most likely not be fully covered under a standard contents policy. You may be able to obtain a rider on your policy to cover the collection, or you may have to obtain separate insurance for it. This is also true for large art collections and expensive jewelry.  If the collection is worth several hundred dollars or irreplaceable, you should have the items appraised. The appraisal certificate will be required by the insurance company to verify the contents exist.  We recommend keeping all your paperwork in a safe location, so that they are accessible in the event of a loss.

5. Shop price but compare ratings.Home Insurance Arnold MO | MJM Insurance® of Fenton | (636) 343-5000

As we have explained in other blog posts, every insurance company is rated by independent rating agencies. There are five major rating agencies that cover insurance companies, including A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. Standard & Poor’s provides ratings for entities that offer different types of insurance products and services including life insurance, property and casualty insurance, annuities, health insurance, reinsurance, title insurance, mortgage and bond insurance. Another rating agency is J.D. Power Insurance, they are your guide to finding which vehicle, health, and home insurers ranked highest in J.D. Power consumer studies.

More information about home insurance for Arnold Missouri can be found at Missouri Department of Insurance.  During your search for  “Home Insurance Arnold MO,” call an agent with MJM Insurance® of Fenton, we will be happy to assess your risks, shop top rated companies, and find the coverages you need for the best value.

 

Auto Insurance Tips to Save Money

Auto Insurance Education Can Save Money

It is important to become educated about auto insurance.  MJM Insurance® of Fenton agents have more than 10 years in insurance and maintain ongoing credentials to keep you informed of coverages and discounts.  We want to ensure you have full protection for you and your family.  Making bad decisions can cause you to waste a lot of time and money. Below you will find some very useful auto insurance tips to save money and save you hassles in the long run.Insurance Cost Increase | MJM Insurance of Fenton

As an automobile insurance customer, you should always be on the lookout for scams. With new insurance companies popping up every day, some of them make bold statements and promise to offer lower monthly premiums, but the coverage is most likely the bare minimum, with a high (sometimes not affordable) deductible, and one accident could drastically increase your costs after you file a claim.

If you decided to buy non factory equipment for your vehicle (custom paint or rims, a top of the line stereo system, etc…), check with your agent to make sure that these items are covered.  Many auto insurance policies do not cover aftermarket or non factory equipment.  These extras can be a very expensive loss if not covered.  Some auto insurance companies offer to cover such items, but they must be added to the policy—so ask your agent to make sure.

Check and see if your car insurance provider offers any low-mileage breaks. If you do not drive your car often, this could end up saving you a fair amount of money. There is no harm in asking your provider whether they offer something like this and whether or not you qualify.

An important consideration in securing affordable auto insurance is the condition of your credit record. It is quite common for insurers to review the credit reports of applicants in order to determine policy price and availability. Therefore, always make certain your credit report is accurate and as clean as possible before shopping for insurance.  Its not a bad idea to check your credit report every 6-12 months.

Take a driving course to get a discount on auto insurance. Young drivers who have taken a driver’s education course are usually
eligible for discounted auto insurance rates. Similarly, older drivers who take a defensive driving course are also eligible for discounts on auto insurance. Check with your insurance company to see if they offer these discounts.

If you are trying to save money on your auto insurance, you shouldn’t buy new cars for teenagers. A better alternative is to have them drive one of your existing vehicles. If you add them to your current insurance plan as an occasional driver, it may be a lot cheaper. If they need to have their own vehicle, a safe, but low cost one (under $5000) that may only need liability coverages, will also save money.   It’s even possible to get a discount, if your kids get good grades.  Be sure to check with your agent about any these or other ways to best meet the insurance needs of youthful drivers.

Although many people realize that the type of car can affect the price of insurance, you should also be aware that the rarity of the car will change the price. If you have a car which has very expensive prices of repair, this will be reflected in the price of your insurance as well!

The prClassic Car Insurance | MJM Insurance of Fentonice you pay for car insurance will be affected significantly by the infractions that appear when your records from the DMV are accessed. You will lessen your insurance costs when your points go away. Once they have been removed, it might be a good time to get new quotes on auto insurance!

You should not let your insurance coverage lapse. If you are not able to pay for your insurance policy in full, you should call and talk to on of our agents. If you allow the policy to lapse, many companies will charge you more when you reinstate or purchase a new policy.  You are also taking a big risk should you have an accident. And driving without insurance carries a big DMV penalty in Missouri and your auto insurance rates could stay high for three or more years. That is a big risk that can be avoided by making a simple phone call to your insurance agent.

Know what factors affect your car insurance rates. The three key considerations in determining your car insurance rates are age, sex, and actual driving record. Higher rates are given to less-experienced drivers, and males in general. Any ticket that takes points off of your license will also result in an increase rate.

A great tip to getting affordable auto insurance is to make sure that you have an accurate policy. You should make sure your current policy matches your situation because if it does not, you could be paying more when you do not have to. This includes your vehicle information, distance driven to/from work, yearly estimated mileage, etc….

When you raise the deductible on your auto insurance policy, it may reduce your auto insurance payments, which could save a substantial
amount of money. However, when increasing your deductible, you may want to ensure you have the amount of the deductible saved and ready to use in case you get into an auto accident.

You should evaluate exactly how much coverage you actually need. Not everybody really needs full coverage, so why should you have to pay for more then you need. For example, if you have an older car, it might not be worth it to have your car covered. It could save you quite a bid of money, but know that if your car gets totaled, you will not get compensated for it.

Insurance is very important and complicated business, and learning more about it makes you a savvier consumer.  However it is best to have an insurance agent that you trust who can help make sure you have the coverages you need for the best value.

The agents at MJM Insurance® of Fenton will ensure you are taking advantage of every possible auto insurance discount. Discounts include multi-policy, excellent credit, newer vehicles with upgraded safety features, good driving records and for teen drivers, good grade discounts. Contact your MJM Insurance® of Fenton agent and we’ll review your policy, ask a few questions and see if you qualify for additional discounts.


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Why Choose MJM Insurance® of Fenton?

We’re committed to outstanding customer service

We start by offering the best insurance products at a reasonable price. But it’s the MJM Insurance® of Fenton team that really set us apart from the competition. With combined experience of 60 years, our sales and support staff members can handle your transactions quickly and efficiently. We service each and every account using out team of insurance professionals and we’re always available to answer your questions.

We’re committed to professionalism

Our dedication to client service comes from a culture of professionalism and respect. All of our associates at MJM Insurance® of Fenton have strong credentials and all of our policies are presented to you in a consistent and professional manner.

We’re committed to solving problems quickly

MJM Insurance® of Fenton has unique industry relationships, allowing us to provide exclusive insurance solutions to our customers. Additionally, every staff member is trained to actively listen and provide helpful answers presented in a way in which our policy holders clearly understand.

We’re committed to earning and maintaining your trust

We believe trust is something earned by listening to our customers while providing helpful advice and support. Trust and consistent underwriting practices is what we expect from our carrier partners, and in return we owe the same level of service to you.

Tornado Preparation and Safety TIPs | Fenton Missouri

Tornadoes are Extremely DangerousTornado Preparation & Safety TIPS | MJM Insurance of Fenton (636) 343-5000

Tornadoes are one of nature’s most violent storms that occur in Fenton Missouri. MJM Insurance® of Fenton would like to make certain you have the right coverages on your home insurance in case your home is damaged by a tornado. The following tornado preparation and safety TIPs will help to save lives and lessen injuries and property damage.

 Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long.

Every state is at some risk from this hazard. Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.

Tornado Preparation & Safety TIPs: How to Prepare for a Tornado

This article has been prepared to provide information about Tornado Preparation & Safety TIPs in Fenton Missouri.  Below are important links from the www.ready.gov site.

 Tornado Preparation & Safety TIPs: Before a Tornado Strikes

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.
  • Look for the following danger signs:
    • Dark, often greenish sky
    • Large hail
    • A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
    • Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
    • If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

Tornado Preparation & Safety TIPs: Tornado Facts

Quick facts you should know about tornadoes:

  • They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.
  • They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
  • The average tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
  • The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 mph, but may vary from stationary to 70 mph.
  • Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
  • Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.
  • Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months.
  • Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May; in the northern states, it is late spring through early summer.
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 pm and 9 pm, but can occur at any time.

Tornado Preparation & Safety TIPs: Know the Terms

Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a tornado hazard:

Tornado Watch – Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.

Tornado Warning – A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.

Tornado Preparation & Safety TIPs:  During a Tornado

If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately!  Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head.

IF YOU ARE IN: THEN:
A structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)
  • Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • Put on sturdy shoes.
  • Do not open windows.
A manufactured home or office
  • Get out immediately and go to a pre-identified location such as the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.
The outside with no shelter If you are not in a sturdy building, there is no single research-based recommendation for what last-resort action to take because many factors can affect your decision. Possible actions include:

  • Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.
  • Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
  • Lie in an area noticeably lower than the level of the roadway and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.

In all situations:

  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
  • Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

Tornado Preparation & Safety TIPs: After a Tornado

Injury may result from the direct impact of a tornado or it may occur afterward when people walk among debris and enter damaged buildings. A study of injuries after a tornado in Marion, Illinois, showed that 50 percent of the tornado-related injuries were suffered during rescue attempts, cleanup and other post-tornado activities. Nearly a third of the injuries resulted from stepping on nails. Because tornadoes often damage power lines, gas lines or electrical systems, there is a risk of fire, electrocution or an explosion. Protecting yourself and your family requires promptly treating any injuries suffered during the storm and using extreme care to avoid further hazards.

Injuries

Check for injuries. Do not attempt to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Get medical assistance immediately. If someone has stopped breathing, begin CPR if you are trained to do so. Stop a bleeding injury by applying direct pressure to the wound. Have any puncture wound evaluated by a physician. If you are trapped, try to attract attention to your location.

General Safety Precautions

Here are some safety precautions that could help you avoid injury after a tornado:

  • Continue to monitor your battery-powered radio or television for emergency information.
  • Be careful when entering any structure that has been damaged.
  • Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves when handling or walking on or near debris.
  • Be aware of hazards from exposed nails and broken glass.
  • Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines. Report electrical hazards to the police and the utility company.
  • Use battery-powered lanterns, if possible, rather than candles to light homes without electrical power. If you use candles, make sure they are in safe holders away from curtains, paper, wood or other flammable items. Never leave a candle burning when you are out of the room.
  • Never use generators, pressure washers, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage or camper – or even outside near an open window, door or vent. Carbon monoxide (CO) – an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if you breathe it – from these sources can build up in your home, garage or camper and poison the people and animals inside. Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseated.
  • Hang up displaced telephone receivers that may have been knocked off by the tornado, but stay off the telephone, except to report an emergency.
  • Cooperate fully with public safety officials.
  • Respond to requests for volunteer assistance by police, fire fighters, emergency management and relief organizations, but do not go into damaged areas unless assistance has been requested. Your presence could hamper relief efforts and you could endanger yourself.

Inspecting the Damage

  • After a tornado, be aware of possible structural, electrical or gas-leak hazards in your home. Contact your local city or county building inspectors for information on structural safety codes and standards. They may also offer suggestions on finding a qualified contractor to do work for you.
  • In general, if you suspect any damage to your home, shut off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution or explosions.
  • If it is dark when you are inspecting your home, use a flashlight rather than a candle or torch to avoid the risk of fire or explosion in a damaged home.
  • If you see frayed wiring or sparks, or if there is an odor of something burning, you should immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker if you have not done so already.
  • If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open all windows and leave the house immediately. Notify the gas company, the police or fire departments, or State Fire Marshal’s office and do not turn on the lights, light matches, smoke or do anything that could cause a spark. Do not return to your house until you are told it is safe to do so.

Safety during Clean-up

  • Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves.
  • Learn proper safety procedures and operating instructions before operating any gas-powered or electric-powered saws or tools.
  • Clean up spilled medicines, drugs, flammable liquids and other potentially hazardous materials.

FEMA Publications

If you require more information about any of these topics, the following resources may be helpful.

Related Websites

Find additional information on how to plan and prepare for a tornado and learn about available resources by visiting the following websites:

Listen to Local Officials

Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.

What You Should Know about how Home Insurance Works with Tornado Damage

You don’t have to be a resident of the south or the midwest, where recent tornadoes wreaked havoc on thousands of lives, to get the message being sent by Mother Nature. It seems that she, too, is a strong advocate of homeowner’s insurance. And occasionally, she flexes her abilities to remind everyone within her reach about its importance.

But even those who have home insurance have been having trouble getting compensated for their losses, through no fault of the insurance companies. The fact is, tornado insurance is great to have, but if you don’t understand how it works, it can be pretty useless to you.

One of the things most often forgotten, and something that insurance agents are currently seeing a lot of in the wake of the recent tornadoes, is a lack on the part of insurance holders to catalog their possessions. You don’t have to go through your home jotting down every single refrigerator magnet – but if you intend to have that priceless grandfather clock insured, you’d better have record of its existence, as well as its value.

MJM Insurance® of Fenton insurance agents strongly urge our customers to use a camera to catalog all expensive belongings, and to gather as much proof of ownership and proof of value as possible so that there are no problems filing a claim in the event of disaster.

Why Choose MJM Insurance® of Fenton?

We’re committed to outstanding customer service

We start by offering the best insurance products at a reasonable price. But it’s the MJM Insurance® of Fenton team that really set us apart from the competition. With combined experience of 60 years, our sales and support staff members can handle your transactions quickly and efficiently. We service each and every account using out team of insurance professionals and we’re always available to answer your questions.

We’re committed to professionalism

Our dedication to client service comes from a culture of professionalism and respect. All of our associates at MJM Insurance® of Fenton have strong credentials and all of our policies are presented to you in a consistent and professional manner.

We’re committed to solving problems quickly

MJM Insurance® of Fenton has unique industry relationships, allowing us to provide exclusive insurance solutions to our customers. Additionally, every staff member is trained to actively listen and provide helpful answers presented in a way in which our policy holders clearly understand.

We’re committed to earning and maintaining your trust

We believe trust is something earned by listening to our customers while providing helpful advice and support. Trust and consistent underwriting practices is what we expect from our carrier partners, and in return we owe the same level of service to you.