Insurance Department Provides Flood Insurance Tips as Heavy Snow Thaws…

 

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Insurance Department Provides Flood Insurance Tips as Heavy Snow Thaws

 

COLUMBUS – Following several weeks of heavy snow with little thawing thanks to bitter cold temperatures, Lieutenant Governor and Insurance Director Mary Taylor is offering information and tips for Ohioans as warmer temperatures and rain increase the risk for flooding across Ohio.

 

“After several snowstorms and little to no thawing because of the bitter cold, this week’s warmer temperatures bring an increased risk for flooding,” Taylor said. “If your property is impacted by flooding, first make sure you and your family are safe before assessing the damage.  Those who have experienced a loss to their property or possessions should contact their insurance company or agent.”

 

Damage caused by rain, hail, lightning and tornadoes are generally covered by a standard homeowner’s, renter’s and business insurance policies, and an auto insurance policy’s “comprehensive” or “other than collision” coverage. Flood insurance is not included in typical homeowner’s, renter’s and business insurance policies.

 

Flood insurance is made available by the federal National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) at www.floodsmart.gov and is purchased through an insurance agent. People should regularly review their need for flood insurance because there is a 30-day waiting period for coverage to start.

 

If you suffered storm damage, you should:

  • Call your insurance agent or company as soon as you      can. Be sure your agent knows how to contact you, especially if you have      to move out of your home.
  • 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.

Taylor offers these tips to avoid becoming a victim of contractor fraud:

  • Obtain a list of reputable contractors from your      insurance carrier, the Better Business Bureau or a specialized consumer      organization.
  • Contact multiple contractors and obtain more than one      estimate.
  • Do not allow a contractor to inspect your property when      you are not home.
  • If you give a contractor permission to inspect your      property, personally watch them conduct the inspection.
  • Obtain, in writing, the terms and conditions of the      project.
  • Avoid signing a contract until the document is reviewed      fully and/or discuss the terms of the contract with a legal representative      or a trusted adviser.
  • Pay the contractor by check or credit card, rather than      in cash, and do not pay in full until all work has been finished.

Ohioans with insurance questions can call the Department’s consumer hotline at 1-800-686-1526 and visit www.insurance.ohio.gov for information. Those who have been victimized by contractor fraud should contact the Department’s fraud hotline at 1-800-686-1527. You can follow the Department on twitter @OHInsurance and on Facebook.

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Posted on: February 19th, 2014 at 4:03pm by bwittenbaum. Filed under: Ohio Insurance News
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