COLUMBUS — Ohio’s Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week runs March 18-24, making it a perfect time to ensure you have adequate insurance for financial protection against damaging weather, said Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment.
“Many people decide to put off an insurance review for another day then a storm hits,” Froment said. “I urge people to contact an insurance agent to analyze their insurance needs, to make sure adequate coverages and amounts are in place.”
Damage caused by rain, hail, lightning, wind and tornado are generally covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy, renters insurance policy and an auto insurance policy’s “comprehensive” or “other than collision” coverage. Flood insurance has to be purchased separately. It’s not included in a typical homeowners or renters policy.
Froment shared six insurance protection action items:
Start your insurance review. Contact an insurance agent right away and comparison shop for coverage.
Protect against flood damage. To secure flood insurance talk with an agent, call the National Flood Insurance Program at 1-888-379-9531 or visit www.floodsmart.gov. Check with an agent to see if protection for damage caused by sewer or drain is included in your homeowners policy.
Review personal possessions coverage. If you have a loss, 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.
Ask about after the fact expenses. Determine 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.
Assess roof repair/replacement deductible. Most homeowners policies have a wind/hail deductible. It’s either a flat dollar amount, or a percentage amount based on the home’s insured amount, not the damage amount. Know how much of the repair/replacement costs you will be responsible for because of wind/hail damage.
Conduct an inventory. Listing possessions with photos and their values will prove worthwhile in a claim filing situation and help determine if you have adequate amounts of insurance. Download the free phone app myHOME Scr.APP.book or print a paper version at www.insurance.ohio.gov.
For more visit the Ohio Department of Insurance severe weather preparation and recovery toolkit at www.insurance.ohio.gov and call 1-800-686-1526 with questions. Safety information is available from the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness, www.weathersafety.ohio.gov.