COLUMBUS -- Ohio's spring weather can be destructive but following several proactive steps will help ensure you and your family are financially protected, said Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor. Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 19-25 and Taylor shared 5 ways that you can avoid costly setbacks.
"Keeping safe and being able to recover because you had the proper insurance in place starts with preparation," said Taylor, also director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. "Bring the family together, talk with an agent and strategize the best plan that fits your life situation. Think again about how you can stay protected."
1. Conduct an inventory. Listing your possessions with photos and their values will prove worthwhile in a claim filing situation and help you determine if you have an adequate amount of insurance. Download the free phone app myHOME Scr.APP.book or print a paper version at www.insurance.ohio.gov.
2. Purchase flood insurance. Flooding is not covered in a standard policy. Talk with an agent, call the National Flood Insurance Program at 1-888-379-9531 and/or visit www.floodsmart.gov. Ask an agent if damage caused by a sewer or drain back-up is appropriate to add to your policy.
3. Review personal possessions coverage options. If you have a loss actual cash value pays the value of the item the day it was destroyed. 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.
4. Ask about 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.
5. Assess your roof repair/replacement deductible. Most policies have a wind/hail deductible. It's either a flat dollar amount, or a percentage amount based on the home's insured amount, not the damage amount. Be clear on how much you may have to pay.
For more visit the Ohio Department of Insurance severe weather preparation and recovery toolkit at www.insurance.ohio.gov. You can call 1-800-686-1526 with your insurance questions. Safety information is available on the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness website, www.weathersafety.ohio.gov.