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Consumer Tips

Winter Safety

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Tips to help make winter wonderful

Winter can provide some of the most beautiful months of the year, as the landscape becomes covered with snow and ice. Winter can also be deadly, especially if you are caught outside in the elements unprepared. So how can you prepare your car and home for the winter months and what should you do if you have to file a claim?

Tips for winter travel:

  • Prepare a first-aid kit complete with essential medications.
  • Maintain a safe driving speed and distance during hazardous conditions.
  • Be alert for deer especially in areas of high activity identified by deer-crossing signs and remember deer are unpredictable and often travel in groups. 
  • Do not drive impaired! If you are attending or hosting a party, have a designated driver.
  • Make sure your tires have adequate tread and air pressure.
  • Keep the windshield wiper fluid tank filled and carry an extra container of fluid in your vehicle.
  • Keep a windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal.
  • Maintain at least a half tank of gas.

If you’re involved in an automobile accident:

  • Contact the police if the accident is serious.
  • If the accident only involves minor property damage, exchange personal and insurance information with the other driver and then file a report with the police. Use the National Association of Insurance Commissioners WreckCheck App for smartphones or checklist as a guide.
  • Always carry proof of insurance with you.

Winter tips for your home:

  • Keep candles away from decorations and children.
  • Keep space heaters at a safe distance from drapery, furniture and children. Never leave them operating in an unoccupied room or when you go to bed. Never dry wet clothing on a space heater.
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets. Unplug all holiday lights before going to bed or leaving home.
  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned if necessary.
  • Check water pipe insulation to prevent winter freezes.
  • Check heating system and make sure heat is being delivered to all outlets.

If you experience a claim at home:

Contact your insurance agent quickly to determine coverage and what steps you can take to protect your home and have the damage repaired.

Questions or concerns?

Call the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526. The Department regulates agents and companies that are licensed to sell insurance in Ohio. The Department’s Consumer Services representatives can answer your questions and investigate your complaints about an insurance company or agent.

Ohio Department of Insurance
50 W. Town Street, Third Floor - Suite 300
Columbus, Ohio  43215
John Kasich, Governor | Jillian Froment, Director
General Info: 614-644-2658 | Consumer Hotline: 800-686-1526
Fraud Hotline: 800-686-1527 | Medicare Hotline: 800-686-1578