Owning an insurance policy for a home or apartment should provide a sense of security, but Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor said residents may need to review details of their coverage before an incident brings them unexpected repair delays or costs.
“Make it a goal to review your insurance, to understand your coverage better and talk with your agent to ensure you insurance needs are met,” said Taylor, who is also director of the Ohio Department of Insurance.
Taylor provided tips on common insurance coverage questions for standard policies:
Am I protected from flood damage?
Standard insurance generally does not offer protection against flood losses. Flood insurance needs to be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program. Also, coverage for sewer drain back up is not included – or is limited in scope – and must be added.
What about natural disasters such as earthquakes and tornadoes?
Damage from an earthquake is not usually covered in a standard policy. You need to purchase separate coverage. Tornado, wind and hail damage are typically covered.
What fire coverage is provided?
A typical policy will issue payment to replace or repair anything inside the home damaged by flames, smoke, soot and ash. While fire and lightning are usually covered, don’t be surprised if your insurer requests an inventory. The company is only required to pay for personal property you can prove you owned at the time of loss.
How does insurance apply to explosions?
Standard insurance will typically cover damage caused by explosions due to certain causes such as a gas leak.
What if someone breaks in and steals my belongings?
Most standard policies cover items that have been stolen. Certain categories like jewelry, antiques and art often have payout limits unless you purchase additional coverage. If valuable items exceeding those limits are stolen and you don’t have the extra coverage you may receive payment far less than the value.
What else isn’t typically covered?
Other risks not usually covered in a standard policy includes terrorism, war, nuclear accident, landslide, mudslide, sinkhole and any others listed in your policy.
Taylor urged Ohio residents to complete a home inventory.
“It will help you assess your coverage needs and prove vital if you file a claim,” she said.
Visit www.insurance.ohio.gov for a home inventory checklist or download the free myHOME Scr.APP.book app. Call the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526 with insurance questions.