COLUMBUS —Ohio Department of Insurance officials will be heading to Athens County this week to provide insurance information to victims of the September 16 tornadoes.
Members of the Department’s Consumer Services Division will be at The Work Station, located at 70 North Plains Road in The Plains from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 30, Friday, October 1, Wednesday, October 6 and Thursday, October 7. Consumers with questions about their insurance are encouraged to bring their policies with them.
The Ohio Department of Insurance has provided important tips for filing insurance claims and is reminding Ohioans to take precautions when inspecting their homes for damage. Ohioans are also encouraged to visit the Department’s National Preparedness Month Toolkit at www.insurance.ohio.gov.
If You Have Suffered Damage to Your Property Due to a Storm:
- Call your insurance company as soon as you can. Be sure your agent knows how to contact you.
- Take reasonable steps to prevent additional damage if permitted by public safety authorities and if you will not endanger yourself.
- Closely inspect property and cars for damage. Note and photograph any damage.
- If you have a home inventory, provide it to your claims adjuster.
- If required to seek temporary housing, check your policy for “loss of use“ coverage.
- Be sure everything is considered in your claim. Back up claims with written estimates.
Advance Insurance Planning Tips:
- Examine your homeowners/rental coverage as well as auto policies to determine if you need to revise your policy to reflect any improvements or changes that will affect your coverage needs.
- Be sure you have adequate coverage and deductibles that are reasonable for your needs.
- Rain, hail, lightning and tornado damage are generally covered in a standard homeowners and comprehensive portion of an auto policy.
- Since flood insurance is not included in routine homeowner and renter’s insurance policies, now is the time to check on the necessity and availability of flood insurance in your area. Call the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) at 1-800-638-6620 to learn more.
- Ask your insurance agent about whether a policy rider for flooding from sewer backups or sump pump issues is appropriate to add to your policy.
- Compile a detailed written inventory of your home and belongings and supplement that inventory with a videotape or photographs. Keep the inventory off-premises in a safety deposit box, or other secure location.
The Department’s Severe Weather On-line Toolkit, available at www.insurance.ohio.gov, provides guidance on what steps to take when filing an insurance claim in the event that property is damaged in a storm. The toolkit also has important information on obtaining flood insurance as well as web links to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Plan (NFIP).
Ohio insurance consumers with questions and concerns about their insurance can call the Department’s consumer hotline at 1-800-686-1526. Free information can also be obtained at www.insurance.ohio.gov.