The end of the storm-ridden quarter saw Ohioans and their insurers grappling with yet more rigorous rounds of storms leading to massive damage and losses. A report complied after a statewide preliminaries show that homeowners & renters insurance companies incurred losses in excess of $400 million just within the last week of May 2011. The Ohio Insurance Department stated that this was the deadliest and most costly disaster to ever hit Buckeye state in recent history. The last time such devastation was witnessed was during April 1974 when Xenia tornado struck followed by Hurricane Ike five months later. The damage caused by these storms has seen between 68,000 – 77,000 claims filed. The intensity of the destruction in Ohio is much the same as that which was experienced in May 22 when EF-5 tornado wept across Joplin, MO. Close to nine tornadoes were experienced in Ohio between May 22-26 and five of which were EF-1. The northern and southwestern were the worst hit this time round.
Property Claim Services reported that at least 19 states through out the mid-west were affected by the May 20-26 storms. The risk modeling agency, AIR Worldwide on the other hand estimates that insured losses from homes & autos were nearly $47 billion. The agency also expressed its concerns that the May’s outbreaks are most likely to be the costliest in the entire US history.
These recent storms are among the top five major storms to hit Ohio in less than six months. This is in retrospect of other natural catastrophes that struck Ohio between the months of February and April. Storms in late February brought about a great deal of devastation, with insured losses totaling to $69 million while April events caused $123 million.
Some of the major losses covered by insurance companies include property damage due to heavy winds and water. Insurers also cover expenses from further damage which is done under the homeowners insurance. Others include deductibles for commercial and homeowner’s claims. The Ohio Insurance Institute advises customers to obtain repair estimates before filing a claim in the event they feel that the damages are close to deductibles. It further recommends the need to keep all the necessary documents-such as receipts-in good custody to facilitate claims filing.
Michael E. Dortch
President & Managing Agent
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania 19446
(800) 807-0762 ext. 602