COLUMBUS – Ohio Department of Insurance director Judith L. French urges people to winterize their property and secure adequate insurance now to minimize potentially costly repairs later due to Ohio’s harsh winter weather.
“It’s time for Ohioans to review their insurance policies and evaluate their financial protection needs for winter,” French said. “I encourage anyone with questions about insurance to contact our experts and to also complete an insurance review with their agent.”
Ohioans are encouraged to:
Review insurance protections and coverage amounts
Most property policies generally cover structure and contents damage from wind, ice, water (but not flooding, which typically requires the purchase of a separate flood insurance policy), and burst water pipes.
Roof, gutter, siding, and window damage, such as from ice damming and collapse from the weight of snow, is also generally covered.
Evaluate personal possessions coverage options
If you have a loss, actual cash value coverage pays the item’s value the day of destruction. 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.
Review coverage for 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.
Complete a home inventory
List your possessions with photos and values. It will help you secure adequate insurance protections and coverage amounts, and during claim filing. Download the free National Association of Insurance Commissioners Home Inventory App. Print a home inventory checklist at insurance.ohio.gov.
Clean debris from gutters and downspouts, and address missing shingles and overhanging tree limbs. Inspect the underside of the roof from the attic for signs of leaks.
Protect against frozen and burst water pipes by maintaining adequate heat in your home. Insulate water pipes.
Contact the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526 with any insurance questions or concerns and visit www.insurance.ohio.gov for information. The Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness website, www.weathersafety.ohio.gov, contains important safety information.