Severe winters can add up in damages to your home

Ohio is a mix of big cities and small towns. Blizzards and the potential for flooding are just a couple of unpredictable events that Ohio owners should be prepared for by purchasing a comprehensive home insurance policy.

How Much Does Ohio Home Insurance Cost?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2010, the average annual premium for homeowners insurance in Ohio was $614. Insurance companies consider numerous factors when deciding the cost of a homeowner’s insurance.

The homeowner’s insurance premium is determined by the type of construction, the age of the house, the home’s distance from fire protection, the deductibles on the policy, any discounts on the policy, and the claims history and credit score of the policy holder. A history of prior claims may raise the cost of the premium, as may a poor credit rating. A policy holder may be offered a premium discount by obtaining homeowner’s insurance and automobile insurance from the same company, or by installing safety features in the insured property. New homes may also qualify for discounts, and brick homes will cost less to insure than frame houses.

What Does It Cover?

Homeowner’s insurance protects your house, any other detached structures, and personal property from damages resulting from perils outlined in the homeowner’s policy. Homeowner’s insurance may pay for repairs or replacement of your home or possessions lost, damaged, or stolen. Home insurance usually provides liability protection in case you are found at fault for injuring someone or damaging their property. Protection against flooding and earthquakes are not covered in most policies.

Do I Have to Get Home Insurance in Ohio?

Home insurance is not required by law in Ohio. However, buying insurance can help protect your house and property against damage from unforeseen circumstances, and liability for accidents that injure other people or damage their property. The Ohio Department of Insurance has more information for consumers about home insurance.

Optional Coverage to Consider

  • Flood. Ohio is prone to severe storms and flooding, and even if you are in a low-risk area, you may want to consider flood insurance. Flood insurance is not typically covered in a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. A separate policy for flood or mudslide coverage is available for homeowners in participating communities through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). A building may be insured for up to $250,000, and the contents up to $100,000, if the community participates in the program. Ohio has more than 34,500 NFIP policies with more than 278,000 structures at $11 billion within flood plain areas.
  • Fire and Lightning. Standard homeowner’s insurance policies cover fire and lightning damages. The insurance rate may be impacted by the quality of fire protection services in the home’s area, the home’s distance from a fire department or fire hydrant, and housing material (a brick house will withstand fire better than a frame house). Some communities charge a fee for fire emergency response, and some policies provide reimbursement of up to $500 for that fee. In the event of a fire, you should contact your insurance agency immediately, and refrain from throwing damaged goods away until an inventory of all damages is made for use in developing an insurance claim.
  • Windstorm. Windstorm and hail damage is typically covered in a homeowner’s insurance policy. Discounts may be provided for the installation of storm shutters and wind-resistant laminated glass. Areas of Ohio may be prone to tornadoes and high winds. Additional coverage and endorsements may be purchased for protection against windstorm and hail damage.
  • Earthquake. Earthquake endorsements in Ohio are relatively cheap considering the risk of a serious earthquake in Ohio is low. However, considering there have been numerous small earthquakes in Ohio, it may make sense for you to purchase additional earthquake endorsement. Damage to a brick home is more likely than to a frame home in an earthquake and may result in a higher premium.

Mobile Home Insurance in Ohio

Mobile home insurance, also known as manufactured home insurance, functions similarly to homeowner’s insurance. It covers the structure of your home and the furniture, clothing, and appliances within it from damage caused by fire, lightning, smoke, falling objects, weight of ice and snow, vandalism, and theft. Some mobile plans may also include liability insurance and coverage for credit card and check forgery, debris removal, trip coverage when moving your home, and additional living expenses.

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