Insurance department offers severe weather insurance tips
COLUMBUS – Spring is in the air in the Buckeye State!
As Ohioans know, Spring also signifies the start of severe weather season in Ohio. Tornados, thunderstorms, and flooding are all common during March, April and May. Ohio Lt. Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor gives Ohioans important insurance tips and reminds them to include a review of their insurance policies as part of their storm season preparation. She also encourages consumers to visit the Department’s Severe Weather On-line Toolkit at www.insurance.ohio.gov.
Mortgage insurance is NOT property insurance. It protects your mortgage holder against loss, but does not protect you against damage to or loss of your home. You must have property casualty insurance for protection for damage to or loss of your home.
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.
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 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.
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).
Consumers with questions about insurance coverage can call the Department’s toll-free consumer hotline at 1-800-686-1526 or visit the Department’s website, www.insurance.ohio.gov.