Severe Weather Awareness Week: Ohioans Urged to Review Insurance Protections
COLUMBUS – Governor Mike DeWine and Department of Insurance Director Judith L. French urge Ohioans during Ohio’s Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 21-27, to evaluate if they have adequate property and personal belongings insurance, including for flooding.
“Each year, it’s important to prepare for and review your insurance policies relating to severe weather,” Governor DeWine said. “Severe weather can happen quickly, causing significant damage to your property.”
Just one inch of floodwater can cause $25,000 of damage to a home, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“People without adequate insurance protection risk encountering costly out-of-pocket repairs,” Director French said. “I encourage people to carry out an insurance review with an agent and to also reach out to the Department of Insurance with their insurance questions and concerns. We are here to help.”
DeWine and French ask Ohioans do the following:
Review coverage amounts: Most standard homeowners, renters, and business insurance policies generally cover rain, hail, lightning, wind, and tornado damage. However, people should review if their coverage amounts reflect the value of their property and possessions. Also, review any policy exclusions.
Consider flood insurance: A standard property insurance policy typically does not include flood damage. The federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program provides most flood insurance policies. Sold by insurance agents, a 30-day waiting period applies before coverage begins. Visit www.floodsmart.gov for information
Determine if coverage for sewer or drain back up is appropriate to add to your policy.
Evaluate personal possessions coverage: Actual cash value pays the value of the item the day it was destroyed. Replacement cost coverage pays in accordance with the value of a comparable item at the current market price. Renters should consider renters insurance to protect their possessions.
Assess roof repair/replacement deductible: Most policies have a wind/hail deductible. It is either a flat dollar amount or a percentage amount based on the home’s insured amount, not the damage amount. Be clear on how much you may have to pay.
Determine after the fact expenses coverage: Inquire if the policy pays for such things as fire department charges, temporary repairs, debris removal, trees and shrubs, personal property storage, and certain living expenses.
Conduct a home inventory: Listing your possessions with photos and their values will prove worthwhile during claim filing. It will also help determine if you have adequate amounts of insurance. Download a free home inventory app or print an inventory checklist from www.insurance.ohio.gov
For more tips and insights, review the Ohio Department of Insurance severe weather preparation and recovery toolkit on its website. The department’s insurance experts at 1-800-686-1526 or email@example.com can answer questions.
The Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness website, www.weathersafety.ohio.gov, contains valuable safety information.