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Economy and Business

This winter has been tough on Ohio insurers
Damage from the snow, ice and extreme cold could cost insurers more than $120 million

Kevin Niedermier
The Ohio Insurance Institute predicts this winter will be among highest for weather related damage claims.
Courtesy of Ohio Insurance Institute
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In The Region:
It’s the first day of spring, but insurance claims for Ohio property damage from the harsh winter are still coming in. As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, the losses could be among the highest in state history.
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Based on survey of members companies, Mitch Wilson of the Ohio Insurance Institute say snow, ice and extreme cold temperatures have already taken a heavy toll.

“Estimated losses in Ohio are exceeding $98 million and could go as high as $125 million. What we’ve found is that the majority of those losses fall under the homeowner’s area, at least $76 million ... from about 13,000 claims.”

What will happen to insurance rates?
The other claims are for auto and business damage. Wilson says Ohio racked up its highest recorded winter insurance claims after the blizzard of 1993, $120 million, which would equal nearly $200 million today. Insurance companies cannot raise rates to cover past losses.

But Wilson says insurers can project ahead using models, including data from the National Weather Service "to look at the type of weather events that might be happening within a certain part of the country were that company might be writing insurance business to determine what might happen. A lot of predictive modeling is now based on weather and all types of other events that might occur.”

These rate adjustments must first be approved by Ohio’s Department of Insurance to ensure they’re not too high or too low. Nationally, the Insurance Information Institute says this year is on track to be one of the five most expensive for insurers since 1980. So far, there’s been $1.5 billion in damage, compared to $2 billion for all of last year.            




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