Ohio Home Insurance
The seventh most populous state in the U.S. has some of the lowest taxes in the Midwest, a comparatively high standard of living and affordable prices for consumer goods. This attracts many insurers that together make Ohio rank eighth in the nation for the total number of policies underwritten, including ones for home insurance for owners, renters and landlords.
The Ohio Department of Insurance recommends that you consider the quality of service provided by insurers you consider. You can obtain objective reviews of insurance companies' performance by consulting reports published by ratings companies like:
- A.M. Best Company
- Fitch Ratings
- Moody's Investors Service
- Standard & Poor's
Real estate lenders in Ohio usually require borrowers to insure their homes for at least the amount of the mortgage balance. Most home insurance policies in the state stipulate that the property be covered for at least 80 percent of the replacement cost. Anything less than that proportion becomes grounds for the company to reimburse only a portion of a claimed losses, leaving the policyholder to pay the rest out of pocket.
Many insurers help protect you from inadvertently underinsuring your property by offering you the option to buy a guaranteed replacement cost policy. This effectively assures that your insurance coverage keeps up with inflation in the cost of repairs and construction. The policyholder accepts increases in monthly premiums in order to have the maximum coverage ceiling raised at regular intervals. A lot of these policies will officially undergo a renewal when the prices and coverage maximums go up.
Policy Renewals and Cancelations
Whether you have a guaranteed replacement cost policy or another type of coverage, insurers have the right to decide on an annual basis whether to renew your account for another year. Ohio law allows companies to cancel policies if a policyholder files claims too often. Lots of small claims will also increase the likelihood of a cancelation.
In the event that any insurer decides not to renew your policy, you are notified in writing at least 30 days in advance of the policy expiration. However, you're not entitled to 30 days advance notice if:
- You're terminated because of failure to pay
- The company finds evidence of misrepresentation or fraud on your part
- There's sufficient proof of arson, or intentional fire setting
Hopefully you won't have any of those problems. Written notification of a policy termination has to include a description of how to apply for the Ohio Fair Plan. This program provides insurance to properties denied coverage by private insurers, without guaranteeing policies for all applicants. Indeed, you will have to do the work to find a new insurance provider whether or not you qualify for a Fair policy. It's in your best interest to search for alternatives to Fair coverage, because it costs a lot more than any other insurance you could buy. All companies that sell policies in Ohio offer Fair plans, and market them to applicants who are denied standard coverage. As is the case for standard insurance applications, an inspection of your home helps insurers determine whether to grant you a Fair plan.
Fair plans are the sort of thing only a minority of consumers have to consider. Most of Ohio's shoppers for home insurance have sufficiently strong credit to obtain good deals on policies, and hopefully you're one of them. Choosing a policy that suits your needs will give you peace of mind and a sense of security.