Ohioans advised to prepare as remnants of Sandy approach

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A downed tree in the middle of the road in St. Thomas, Jamaica during Hurricane Sandy. A downed tree in the middle of the road in St. Thomas, Jamaica during Hurricane Sandy.

COLUMBUS, OH (Toledo News Now) - With meteorologists predicting upcoming severe weather to potentially spill into the state, Lieutenant Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor is advising Ohioans to prepare their property, travel with caution and review their insurance coverage.

"Most homeowners and business insurance policies provide certain levels of coverage for repairing damage caused by windstorms, hail and tornados," Taylor said. "Each policy is different, so it is important to understand the protection your coverage contains. Your agent or insurance company can be a great resource to help you understand your coverage and the claims process."

Taylor also said that protection for vehicles against damage caused by windstorms, hail and tornados is provided through an auto policy's "other than collision" or "comprehensive" coverage. It is important to also note that flood insurance is not included in typical homeowner and renter's insurance policies. You should call the National Flood Insurance Program at 1-800-638-6620 to check on the necessity and availability of flood insurance in your area.

 If you have suffered damage from a storm, 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.   

A Department Storm Recovery Toolkit is available at www.insurance.ohio.gov. It includes information about how to safeguard your property, vehicle and possessions, plus tips on the claims filing process, FAQs about windstorm damage and insurance, along with tips on protecting yourself from a deceitful contractor.

You can also stay informed via social media by following the Department on twitter @OHInsurance and Facebook.

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