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Recent extreme Ohio weather remains a long way from setting insurance records
A hurricane and a tornado top Ohio's damage list

Kevin Niedermier
Floodwater cascades down the steps of Cuyahoga Falls City Hall during Monday's heavy rain storms.
Courtesy of WKYC
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The very wet and windy weather across Ohio recently follows what could be a record setting winter for insurance claims. So far this month, Cleveland has been drenched with nearly 3.5 more inches of rain than normal. And flooding and storm damage have been almost daily occurrences across the state.

But as WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, Ohio’s records for insurance losses from individual weather events could stand for years.

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Last winter’s extreme cold pushed insurance claims to over $ 100 million so far, and that figure for ice and snow damage could surpass the record $12 million following the 1993 blizzard. That’s according to the Ohio Insurance Institute.

Spokesman Mitch Wilson says claims from the recent heavy rains and wind haven’t been tallied yet, but it’s unlikely to top the historic list. He says the F-5 Xenia tornado which destroyed that town and killed 34 people produced Ohio’s second highest number of weather-related insurance claims. But the most claims came from the remnants of 2008’s Hurricane Ike that rolled up from the Gulf of Mexico and hit Ohio.

“If you’re looking at 2013 dollars the losses are about $1.35 billion. Looking back at Xenia, which would have been April of 1974, again in 2013 dollars that’s about $1.1 billion.”

Wilson says insurance companies cannot raise rates because of big losses. But he says insurers do use computer models to predict future weather trends. And, companies can adjust rates up based on that data if state insurance regulators grant approval.                                                                      



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