COLUMBUS – Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment is urging Ohioans to ensure their property is secure and to conduct an insurance review in preparation for the summer storm season, one of the most destructive and costliest times of year caused by weather.
“Being prepared will help Ohioans stay safer and more financially protected when severe weather strikes,” Froment said. “Ohioans should get their property in order by completing routine maintenance and review their insurance coverages and amounts with an agent.”
Froment added that it’s important to review your policy because flood insurance and sewer backup coverage are not typically included in a standard property insurance policy. They have to be purchased separately. Additionally, there is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance kicks in. You can find more information about flood insurance at www.floodsmart.gov.
Froment shared the following tips to help protect Ohioans:
Keep your property properly maintained
- Empty gutters to mitigate excess water accumulation.
- Secure loose gutters and shutters that could break free and cause damage.
- Remove dead branches and/or trees as they are destructive in high winds.
- Consider an annual roof inspection for loose shingles, rotted wood, and leakage.
- Before a storm secure or store outdoor possessions, including a trampoline, furniture, and table and sun shading umbrellas. They can be dangerous projectiles.
Conduct a thorough insurance review
- Damage caused by rain, hail, lightning, wind, or tornado is generally covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy, and a standard renters insurance policy (personal possessions).
- Property insurance policies generally cover roof, gutter, siding, and window damage, and damage to interior walls and ceilings from leaking rain.
- Many policies have a separate deductible specific to wind/hail damage that is either a flat dollar amount or a percentage amount of what the property is insured for.
- If a tree falls on your home, garage or fence, your policy generally will pay to repair damage to the structure and contents, as well as tree removal costs with some possible limitations.
Taking the time to complete a home inventory can expedite the claim filing process if there is damage. Download a free home inventory app or print an inventory worksheet from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website, www.naic.org. To initiate claim filing, contact your insurance agent or company right away.
Consumers with any insurance questions and to file an insurance-related complaint can contact the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526 and firstname.lastname@example.org. A severe weather preparation and recovery toolkit is available at www.insurance.ohio.gov. Safety information can be found at www.ema.ohio.gov.