With all the flooding that has occurred as a result of Sandy we thought this might be a good time to re post an old flood insurance blog article that gives a few facts about flood insurance.
This is an article posted on “Ohio Insurance Institutes” website:
As far as Ohio law goes, homeowners don’t have a legal obligation to shovel sidewalks due to a natural accumulation of snow and ice, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least try to maintain them.
In December 1993 the Ohio Supreme Court upheld this law when a guest attempted to sue a homeowner in Franklin County for a slip and fall outside of the homeowner’s house.
In the case Brinkman v. Ross, the court ruled that you are walking at your own risk when Mother Nature calls. The case stemmed from a visit by the Brinkman’s to the home of the Ross’ in February 1989. Ms. Brinkman slipped outside the Ross home breaking her ankle. She sued her hosts in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. The court threw out the complaint, indicating that it had long been established that Ohio homeowners are not obligated to remove natural accumulations of snow and ice.
The decision was reversed in the court of appeals, saying that if a homeowner knows of a hazardous condition and invites guests to visit, there is an obligation to at least warn them. The case then went to the Ohio Supreme Court where the judgment was overturned.
It’s up to your guests and other pedestrians to assume that due to the nature of Ohio winters, there’s always a risk of a slip or fall due to the natural accumulation of ice and snow.
Local snow removal ordinances
Local municipalities may invoke snow removal ordinances. If your city or township has an ordinance that requires residents to keep walkways free of snow and ice, then you have a responsibility to maintain your sidewalks. Some Ohio cities with snow removal ordinances levy fines for not removing snow in a timely manner while others issue warnings.
However, a local ordinance does not automatically implicate a homeowner if someone slips and falls on their uncleared property.
Examples of local snow removal ordinances/requirements
Below are links to information and/or ordinances for a handful of Ohio communities. The Ohio Insurance Institute suggests checking with your local municipality on any snow removal policies or requirements. Many provide this information online.
• Forest Park
A risk that is not addressed by many businesses in this era of technology is protecting data. Whether that data is your own data or that of your clients, it constantly stands at risk of theft or corruption. We always recommend taking risk management action such as firewalls, strong passwords, management of mobile devices, etc. However, one other risk management action we recommend is the purchase of insurance that will cover your business for network data breaches, electronic copy write infringements and computer viruses. We strongly recommend this to businesses that deal with Personal Identifiable Information (PII) which are things like dates of birth, social security numbers, addresses, credit card information, financial information and health information.
Cincinnati Insurance Company Blog by William Maples
There’s more to your homeowner policy than just coverage for the house you live in. It also provides coverage for other structures on your property.
These may include all structures and buildings not sharing a foundation with your house. Most insurance policies provide 10 percent coverage for other structures. For example, if you insure your home for $200,000 an additional limit of $20,000 applies to all other structures. Remember that if you have a total loss, you don’t receive $20,000 for each structure, but $20,000 total for damage to all other structures. A large detached garage by itself can exceed this amount in many cases.
So how do you know you have appropriate coverage?
If you have detached structures on your land, it is best to consult with your local independent insurance agent to discuss options. A pool house, large barn, garage with living space, fence, freestanding deck and stable may fall into different categories, and your agent can help make sure you have the correct coverage to protect you in the event of a total loss.
While the chances of losing all your other structures at one time are small, you want to secure enough coverage to protect your investments. You may need more than the 10 percent standard coverage for appurtenant structures.
Also consider that many different types of structures could qualify for coverage on your policy, and it’s important to select the correct category based on usage. Your agent can advise you on the information you will need to provide to obtain the coverage that’s right for your situation.
A good example is a barn. Barns can be built in many different ways from a variety of materials. By providing accurate information on usage and construction, you can be assured that your property is protected.
If your other structure is being rented, is used for a business or was not reported, you are most likely not adequately insured. Your agent has the expertise to guide you.
Finally, don’t forget to assess how much insurance protection you need for personal property housed in your other structures. For example, a home woodshop in your barn could have valuable equipment you’ll want to protect. Ask your agent for advice.
The best way to look at it is to think of insuring your other freestanding structures the same way you would your home. You want 100 percent coverage for each structure in the event of a loss. Replacement of these structures is typically less expensive than a home, but those costs can add up and represent a significant loss.
Coverages described here are in the most general terms and are subject to actual policy conditions and exclusions. For actual coverage wording, conditions and exclusions, refer to the policy or contact your independent agent.
Wall Street Journal had a very interesting article about flood insurance. In the wake of all that is going on in the aftermath of Irene, we thought this article would be a good one to share. As you may recall from our previous posts on flood insurance, it is run by FEMA. What is going to even make this whole flood topic even more interesting is that the FEMA flood program expires on Sept 30th, 2011 unless the lawmakers decide to continue the program. Stay tuned.
Click below to read the article:
As Homeowners Dive Into Pool Of Flood Insurance, Caveats Abound
Arctic temperatures can have a dramatic effect on your building — and your livelihood. Regular maintenance and a winter weather plan can help you avoid any negative impact.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN
Winter storms frequently cause electrical power failure, which in turn can disable your heating system. If this happens, water-filled piping (such as sprinklers, domestic water pipes and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems) may freeze and rupture. It is important to assess the potential for this hazard.
- Inspect all safety shutoff valves and cutoff switches on combustion equipment such as rooftop units, boilers and ovens, including water main shutoffs and main electrical service disconnects.
- Have qualified contractors or staff properly inspect heating, air-handling units and space heaters on at least an annual basis. Assure that space heaters are monitored for fire safety.
- Review the location and storage of flammable liquids such as propane, gasoline and diesel fuel. Should your sprinkler system freeze and require that it be disabled, it is recommended to reduce this storage to a minimum to minimize the amount of fuel in a fire.
Without proper winter weather preparation, your business could experience property damage — roof collapse, pipe rupture and more.
HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK
There are some strategies you can implement to protect your facility and minimize the impact of severe weather on your business:
- Maintain building temperatures above 55 degrees. Plan for maintenance personnel to properly monitor buildings during cold snaps, making more frequent visits to buildings or areas of buildings not normally occupied.
- Inspect all areas along the inside and outside perimeters of the building to ensure they are sealed and there are no drafty areas.
- Maintain roofs in good condition, including repairing leaks, securing flashing and clearing debris from the roof, roof drains and overflow scuppers.
- Check that downspouts are secured to buildings and clear of leaves and debris. If they iced over during a previous winter, consider properly installing heat trace to prevent major icicles and dams.
- Make sure all building openings are weather-tight so they do not admit cold air.
- Consider how you’ll address removing snow accumulation on your roof. If you or a contractor use a snow blower, make sure the height of the snow blower shave plate is adjusted higher as to not damage the underlying roofing material.
Gusting winds, heavy snow and bitter temperatures can create catastrophic property losses and havoc in your life, but a little preparation can prevent losses, saving you time and money.
Having a child that is just starting to drive can be very stressful. As a parent you will worry about them everytime they step into the driver’s side of a car. The only thing you can do, though, is to educate your new driver as best you can. Rough Notes created an educational video for new drivers. It focus on insurance but also talks about being responsible. This is a great video to show new drivers.
Credit cards are gradually moving away from the swipe and process cards to the wireless transfer of financial data. This make shopping lines move quicker but it does create a new kind of theft. The technology is called Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). All you do is hold a card near a RFID scanner and the data is transferred. The problem with this is that computer savvy criminals can create scanners that steal your financial data right off your credit card, even if it is still in your wallet. Credit card companies are becoming aware of this issue and have worked to solve the problem with on off switches on the card that are triggered when a finger presses the chip that is imbedded in the card. One other way to prevent scanning theft is to purchase a RFID protected wallet. For example the HuMn Wallet has material that doesn’t allow RFID scanners to scan cards in the wallet.
So be sure to take precaution if your new credit card has the RFID chip imbedded inside. Ask if you can have a card that has the on/off switch and if not look into purchasing a RFID protected wallet.