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Tornado Alley is top of the heap when it comes to homeowners’ insurance rates.

A new report by industry aggregator ranked Oklahoma at the top of most expensive annual premiums paid by customers. Neighboring Kansas was No. 2., while Texas, Arkansas and Missouri all ranked in the top 10.

Tulsa resident Kristie Ferguson’s family, like many, takes a solid financial hit every year with premiums around $3,000 and more. But they also suffered another kind of shock when a wind storm last year toppled a neighbor’s tree over and destroyed the garage of their midtown residence.

“We’re paying a very pretty penny and the coverage did go up” over the past year, Ferguson said Thursday even as her home underwent continued repairs. “With all the damage everywhere, it’s worth having it in there.”

Ferguson is hardly alone and far from the worst hit in the past year. Oklahoma residents suffered a total of 79 tornadoes last year, second highest in the nation, including the May 20 storm in Moore which killed 20 people and caused more than $1 billion in damage.

“That’s what I would attribute it to,” spokeswoman Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley said of the rates tie to Oklahoma’s stormy history. “That whole tornado alley, we’re seeing premiums increase pretty regularly over last year.”

The report, by website and industry aggregator, estimated that Oklahoma homeowners pay about $1,564 annually on premiums. The data is based on the average policy premium sold by the firms on the website in the first quarter. Full Story

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