In Ohio, Summer Storm Insurance Losses Pegged at $440 Million

Severe weather that struck Ohio this summer racked up losses of more than $433.5 million in what insurers are saying is the state’s third-costliest natural disaster in recent memory.

The Ohio Insurance Institute (OII) released its loss estimate Monday related to a round of summer storms that hit Ohioans with a “derecho” storm and other severe weather in a six-day period between late June and early July.

About 16 percent of claims from those storms were related to car insurance coverage, making up the second-largest category of claims; homeowners claims made up the vast majority.

Ohio sustained about $34.4 million in auto-related losses from the storms, according to the OII. The size of the average auto-damage claim was roughly $2,200.

Those same storms cut a wide swath through the Midwest and northeastern U.S., bringing flood, hail, tornadoes and wind gusts that caused $1.125 billion in damages, followed by more storms concentrated in the Midwest from July 2-4 that caused another $300 million in damages.

Ohio bore the financial brunt from both of those storm events with the highest dollar-loss estimates of other states hit by the severe weather, including Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to Property Claim Services.

July Thunder, Hail Followed June ‘Derecho’ Storm

The National Weather Service (NWS) reported that a “derecho” storm—a wide, fast-moving band of thunderstorms—moved 600 miles in 10 hours on June 29 before being declared a federal disaster the following day. Hail and wind gusts reaching as high as 100 mph were reported in several cities, including Lancaster and Dayton. Reports of tornadoes came from Tuscarawas County in eastern Ohio, where winds “uprooted trees and downed power lines.”

Days later, thunderstorms struck southwest and central Ohio with especially strong winds and outsized hail. Miami County and Clark County saw significant wind damage. Clermont County was hit with hail the size of golf balls while baseball-sized hail struck Ross County, according to the OII.

Estimate Is Likely Lower Than Actual Losses, OII Says

The six-day period of storms from June 28 to July 4 produced 107,300 insurance claims for a total of at least $433.5 million in damages, according to the OII, which added that actual losses are likely higher because its estimate did not include reports from all of the state’s insurance companies.

The storms followed Hurricane Ike in 2008 and the Xenia Tornadoes in 1974 as the third-costliest natural disaster in Ohio’s recent history, according to the OII.

OII President Dan Kelso said that the storms made up Ohio’s eighth major natural disaster since 2011. Others include two winter storms and six hailstorms.

OII Offers Recommendations to Claimants

In such weather events, cars subject to damage from hail and flooding or projectiles brought by high winds are typically covered by a policyholder’s comprehensive coverage, also known as “other-than-collision” coverage. The OII also recommends that a policyholder who thinks the amount of car damages is close to the deductible should get a repair estimate before filing an insurance claim.

About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for Patch.com and the Desert Dispatch and was the editor in chief of the Guardian (the twice-weekly newspaper at the University of California, San Diego) before coming to Online Auto Insurance News.

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