The state’s volatile spring and summer weather caused more than $100 million in just three Ohio storms last year, according to Ohio Lt. Governor Mary Taylor who is urging Ohioans to take action now that can help protect against even greater personal financial loss.
Taylor recalled that three storms last year produced high wind, hail and lightning causing $114 million in insured losses. Ohio’s finicky warm weather can turn from a blue sky to destructive storms in minutes and threaten a direct hit on peoples’ pocketbooks.
“Severe weather can be devastating, but planning ahead will likely make a recovery process less difficult and less expensive,” said Taylor, also director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “Ohioans are encouraged to call their insurance agent or the Ohio Department of Insurance with questions concerning coverage and claims.”
Taylor also recommends three guide posts to help people prepare for the worst:
* Be Ready. Conduct a home inventory for use during claim filing. Review your insurance policies with an agent.
* Be Involved. After a storm, call your insurance company or agent as soon as your family is secure. Waiting can cost you time and money.
* Be Careful. Don’t be victimized by fraudulent contractors. Get several estimates for repairs. Be present during inspections. Pay the full amount only after all work is finished. Never pay with cash.
Taylor stressed the importance of creating a home inventory. More than half of Americans skip documenting their possessions putting them at risk for inadequate financial protection if severe weather strikes, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
A home inventory checklist – along with other important resources – is included in the Ohio Department of Insurance’s Ohio Severe Weather Awareness Planning and Recovery Toolkit at www.insurance.ohio.gov.
Flood insurance is not included in a typical homeowner and renter policy and needs to be purchased separately, Taylor noted. There is a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins.