COLUMBUS — The holiday season brings plenty of joy but also an opportunity for costly mishaps. Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor, as part of her Think Again initiative, reminds Ohioans to take steps to ensure they have adequate insurance in place to provide financial protection.
“There is a mishap in the making around every corner this time of year, ranging from fire to damaging weather,” said Taylor, also director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “A financial protection plan, including an insurance review call to your agent, will make a difference if a claim situation arises.”
Taylor provided a listing of common holiday season mishaps with applicable insurance considerations. She said working with your agent to have appropriate coverage amounts and deductibles is important.
A cooking accident, holiday lights/candles causes fire damage
A standard homeowners insurance policy covers your home and belongings destroyed by fire subject to your policy limits and a deductible. Generally the policy provides additional living expenses if your residence is uninhabitable. A renters policy insures your contents and also provides additional living expenses.
A visitor slips and falls on your icy driveway
A standard homeowners policy can provide limited payment when your guest needs medical attention. The policy provides liability coverage should the guest seek compensation for additional damages. Talk with your agent about having adequate liability limits.
A thief steals your presents or decorations
Be careful not to have delivered items sit by your door. Standard homeowners and renters insurance policies provide coverage for theft, subject to your policy limits and a deductible.
An ice or snowstorm causes a branch or tree to crash through your house
Standard homeowners policies generally provide coverage for home damage minus a deductible. The cost to remove the tree is typically covered up to a certain amount. It’s not likely your homeowners policy will help pay for a new tree.
A visiting relative or friend is in an accident while driving your vehicle
Auto insurance follows either the vehicle or the operator, so your car should generally be covered while your relative or friend is driving. Policy wording determines if the owner or the operator’s policy is primary. There may not be coverage for car damage if you only have liability coverage.
Completing a home inventory and taking photos of your belongings before any damage, and of your vehicle if there is an accident, will help with a claim filing process. You should contact the necessary authorities and your agent or insurance company as soon as possible after an incident.
Ohioans with insurance questions, such as navigating claim filing, can contact the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526 and visit www.insurance.ohio.gov for information, including a home inventory checklist.