Early April Ohio storms rack up at least $52.6 million in insured losses

COLUMBUS (May 10, 2016) – An early April storm caused significant property losses in Ohio and several other states. According to the Ohio Insurance Institute (OII) and Property Claim Services (PCS) high winds and accompanying rains across the Buckeye state caused between $52.6 and $57.8 million in preliminary insured losses.

April 2-3 storm activity
High winds, rain and even bands of snow moved across Ohio on April 2. Peak wind gusts of over 60 mph were reported in several counties including Darke, Franklin, Hamilton and Montgomery, according to the National Weather Service (NWS)-Wilmington. Cleveland NWS reported wind speeds of 59 mph near Mansfield. Downed trees and power lines caused power outages to 20,600 AEP central Ohio customers and 16,000 Duke Energy customers in southwestern Ohio. 30,000 Miami Valley customers lost power to damaging winds.

Property Claim Services (PCS), a division of Verisk Analytics, estimates preliminary total insured losses at nearly $350 million from the two-day spring outbreak affecting Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington DC, with Ohio estimated losses at $57.8 million. PCS reports Ohio’s estimated insured losses as second highest of the affected states, with Indiana expecting to have the highest level of paid losses that currently stand at $71.4 million. PCS compiles insured property loss estimates from catastrophes for the insurance industry.

Insurance industry estimates do not include losses involving uninsured property or flood-related losses, some of which are covered under the National Flood Insurance Program.

“Not all insurance companies are represented by OII’s survey or PCS findings. The range of $52.6 to $57.8 million in losses for Ohio is the industry’s best guesstimate at this time,” said OII President .

OHIO PRELIMINARY STORM LOSS ESTIMATES

Ohio Insurance Institute
OII estimates are based on a survey of its member companies representing over ¾ of Ohio’s personal auto and homeowners insurance markets and 37% of Ohio’s commercial lines market, based on 2014 Ohio market share data. 25 property/casualty insurance companies participated in the OII April 2-3 windstorm survey.

Initial insurance company claims estimates ranged from none to 2,950. Insured losses reported by companies ranged from $500 to over $16 million.

Total claims:  9,334
Total insured losses: $52,581,200
Homeowners:  8,265 claims   $36.1 million
Auto:  764 claims   $1.2 million
Commercial:  490 claims   $8.6 million

Note: Loss estimates by policy type do not add up to the total insured loss amount. Not all insurers provided dollar losses by policy type. Claims by policy type also do not add up to total claims estimates. Not all insurers reported claims information by policy type.

OII survey findings show that the majority of claims reported to-date (about 89 percent) pertain to homeowners insurance. Most losses were the result of high winds causing damage to roofs, gutters, siding and windows, and to autos. Water damage to ceilings and walls were also reported. Insurers expect to have most claims paid within 10-30 days of filing.

PCS
Ohio’s preliminary insured property loss estimates, according to Property Claim Services are as follows:

Total claims: 10,300
Total insured losses: $57,780,000
Homeowners:  8,700 claims   $51.5 million
Auto:  900 claims   $2.03 million
Commercial:  700 claims   $4.25 million

Common losses and coverage
Most property damage related to high winds is covered by homeowners insurance. Expenses incurred when taking measures to protect against further damage (such as placing plastic/tarp over a damaged roof, covering windows to prevent further water damage, etc.) are usually reimbursable under homeowners insurance. OII advises saving these receipts for claims filing.

Deductibles apply to auto, homeowners and commercial claims. OII recommends obtaining repair estimates prior to filing a claim when you suspect the damage is close to your deductible.

Damage from flooding is excluded from standard homeowners, renters and business insurance policies. Flood insurance coverage normally can be purchased through a separate policy for homes and businesses. Coverage is separate for the building (structure) and its contents. Licensed property/casualty insurance agents can sell flood insurance. NFIP’s agent referral program is available at www.floodsmart.gov or call 800-638-6620 for coverage assistance.

 Insured storm-covered perils include:

  • Property damage hail, high winds and flying debris: Homeowners, renters and commercial insurance policies cover damage caused by high winds, tornadoes and hail. Homes or belongings damaged as a result of a fallen tree – whether it is your tree or a neighbor’s tree – are covered under your homeowners insurance policy.
  • Wall and ceiling water leaks: If roofs and gutters have been damaged by a covered loss (i.e. wind, tornado, hail), interior wall and ceiling leaks from seeping rain are covered by homeowners insurance.
  • Vehicle coverage: Vehicles damaged by hail, flooding or high winds are normally covered under the “other-than-collision” (also known as “comprehensive”) portion of an auto insurance policy. This is optional coverage that protects insured vehicles in situations other than a collision or overturn.
  • Power failure: While homeowners policies differ, food spoilage is normally excluded if the cause of loss is an off-premises power outage. Limited coverage may be added by a policy endorsement.
  • Basement water backup: Coverage for water backup in basements (drains/sewers) is excluded from flood insurance and most homeowners insurance policies. However, this coverage is available by endorsement on many homeowners insurance policies. Check with your insurance provider as details and coverage varies by company.

Click here for more info on losses caused by wind/rain/tornado, and coverage including repair tips.

OII is a trade association representing insurance companies and agent groups for Ohio’s property/casualty industry. Its main objective is to increase understanding of insurance and related safety issues.

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Online resources

Contact info:
Dean Fadel, 614.228.1593