Report: February Storms in Ohio Caused More than $28M in Losses

April 14, 2010

The Ohio Insurance Institute (OII) has reported that amount of insured losses from the series of February winter storms will be at least $28.2 million, with 12,173 claims filed to-date across the state.

Because some property damage has yet to be detected or reported, OII reports that losses will rise over the next few months.

February was unusually harsh for Ohio, bringing record snowfalls to many parts of the state. Three major winter outbreaks affected states throughout the Midwest and Atlantic Coast on Feb. 4-6, Feb. 9-11 and Feb. 23-28. On Feb. 13, the National Weather Service reported that every state had snow on the ground, with the exception of Hawaii.

Twenty-five property/casualty insurance companies participated in the OII February winter storms loss survey. They represent 67 percent of Ohio’s personal auto market, about 78 percent of the homeowners’ insurance market and almost 28 percent of Ohio’s commercial lines market based on 2008 Ohio premium volume. Insurance company estimates ranged from no losses to 3,250 claims.

Losses reported by companies varied from none to more than $8 million.

“It’s important to note that not all insurance companies are represented by this survey. Also, some insurers weren’t able to provide Ohio-specific data or didn’t experience a major uptick in claims to track losses specific to these particular storms. Actual losses will be higher than our initial findings,” said Kelso.

OII preliminary February winter storm loss estimates (based on information from 25 P/C insurers):

  • Claim estimates: 12,173
  • Homeowners: 11,173
  • Auto: 384
  • Business: 616
  • Loss estimates: $28.2 million
  • Homeowners: $25 million
  • Auto: $255,940
  • Business: $2.9 million

About 92 percent of the claims filed to-date pertain to homeowners or renters insurance. The storms caused power outages, frozen pipes, back-up of sewers and drains, fallen trees/limbs, and roof, gutter and interior water damage from ice, ice dams, wind, water and heavy snow accumulation.

About 3 percent of the claims pertain to auto insurance, some due to damage caused by fallen branches and debris from ice and snow accumulation.

The increase in auto claims frequency may not have reached catastrophic levels for all insurers, therefore some were unable to pinpoint Ohio claims related to auto caused by Ohio February storms.

Commercial losses, based on 616 claims, currently stand at about $2.9 million.

Source: OII

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