During Severe Weather Awareness Week, Ohio Department of Insurance Director, Judith French is urging Ohioans to conduct a spring insurance review including evaluating the need for flood insurance.

Just one inch of flood water can cause up to $25,000 of damage to a home. Flood insurance is not typically included in a standard property insurance policy and usually must be purchased separately.

To avoid paying out of pocket for damages caused by flooding, French encourages property owners to conduct a spring insurance review with an agent and to contact the Department of Insurance for further questions.

Federal Government information indicates that policyholders outside of designated high-flood areas file nearly half of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood insurance claims and request one third of federal disaster influence for flooding.

French provided a spring insurance review checklist with a few steps. The first one being considering flood insurance.

The federal government's NFIP program provides most most flood insurance polices. Sold by insurance agents, a 30-day waiting period applies before coverage begins. Also, determine if insurance coverage, you should determine if insurance coverage for sewer or drain backup is appropriate to add to your property policy. 

The second step is to review coverage amounts. Most standard homeowners, renters and business insurance cover rain, hail, lightning, wind and tornado damage. However, policyholders should determine whether or not their coverage amount reflects the value of their property and possessions, as well as review any policy exclusions.

The third step is to evaluate personal possessions coverage. Actual cash value pays the value of the item the day it was destroyed. Replacement cost coverage pays in accordance with the value of a comparable item at the current market price. Renters should consider renter's insurance to protect their possessions.

The fourth step is to assess roof repair/replacement deductibles. Most policies have a wind/hail deductible. It is either a flat dollar amount or percentage amount based on the home insured amount rather than the damage amount. Be clear on how much you have to pay.

The fifth step is to determine the after-the-fact expenses coverage. Inquire if the company pays for such things as fire department charges, temporary repairs, debris removal, trees and shrubs, personal property storage and certain living expenses.

The sixth and final step is to conduct a home inventory. Listing your possessions with photos and their value could prove worthwhile during claim filing. It will also help determine adequate amounts of insurance.

A severe weather preparation and recovery toolkit is available here.