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Posted on: January 25, 2024

City of Clarksville seeks relief, support from valued insurance industry for tornado victims


CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -- Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts and the City’s Long-Term Tornado Recovery Task Force chaired by Michelle Austin, Interim Director of Clarksville Neighborhood and Community Services, are appealing to private insurance companies to provide measures of extra relief and support to victims of the Dec. 9, 2023, Clarksville tornado.

Four lives were lost as a result of the devastating tornado, and there was extensive property destruction along a roughly 12-mile swath of north Clarksville. The recovery process is expected to be lengthy.

Mayor Pitts and the Task Force are asking insurance companies representing tornado victims who are their policyholders, to make every reasonable effort to assist these customers with adequate and prompt insurance coverage.

The natural disaster has led to financial hardship for many families victimized. Mayor Pitts asks that the cancellation or non-renewal of insurance policies for non-payment of insurance premiums be suspended for at least 60 days from the date of the tornado, for those who have suffered property damage, injury, or loss of life.

In some cases, the tornado’s disruption of mail delivery, or the policyholder’s displacement from their damaged home, could be the cause for delayed insurance premium payment.

It is further requested that those policyholders be informed of any extensions that are available for payment of premiums.

The extension would not be a waiver of a policyholder’s obligation to pay premiums. 

“I request that insurers work with the policyholder and take those circumstances into account before canceling a policy,” Mayor Pitts said. “We are hearing of situations where individuals are frantically trying to sell their home or property because they feel there is no other alternative left for them.

“This is very unfortunate and unfair to these tornado victims, and we need to take steps as a community to come to their aid and meet their personal and very specific needs as they arise. Our valued insurance community can be a very important partner in this process,” Mayor Pitts said.

Further, the City of Clarksville follows the precedent previously set by the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance during and after previous natural disasters, by requesting that insurers make the following efforts to assist citizens affected by the tornado:

• Allow exceptions to proof of loss deadlines, notice requirements, and other contract or

underwriting requirements;

• Allow for policyholders to voluntarily enter payment plans;

• Allow policyholders to temporarily postpone payment due dates in order to continue

insurance coverage;

• Suspend late payment, reinstatement, or insufficient funds fees along with any other fee,

penalty, or interest charge resulting from the insured’s temporary inability to submit

premium payments.

Residents who are experiencing ongoing hardships as a result of the Dec. 9, 2023, tornado are invited to call 211 or complete the intake form on the City of Clarksville’s tornado response page at IMPORTANT TORNADO INFORMATION | Clarksville, TN

Caseworkers are available through United Way and Hands on Nashville to provide one-on-one assistance with home repairs, financial assistance, mental health providers, legal aid, and other needs.

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