Fairfield, Ohio — With a potential above-normal hurricane season predicted and a record number of tornadoes across the country already this year, Ohio Casualty is urging policyholders in its eight-state region to take important precautions to prepare for, and recover from, severe weather.

Part of Liberty Mutual Agency Markets, a business unit of Liberty Mutual Group, the Fairfield, Ohio provider of P&C personal and commercial lines insurance is offering a free Disaster Planning Guide to consumers at www.ohiocasualty-ins.com, under the Insurance Resources tab. The guide helps homeowners develop an action plan for evacuation, details what necessities should go into an emergency kit and explains the importance of undertaking a household inventory, among other important safety tips.

Being prepared for severe weather also means policyholders’ understanding whether or not they have adequate or enough insurance coverage. A recent survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) found that 28% of those questioned were not sure whether they purchased replacement cost or actual cash value coverage. Further, a majority responded that they do not have coverage to protect them from losses that aren’t reimbursable under standard homeowner policies, such as earthquakes, floods, or water and sewer line breaks.

“Policyholders should contact their agent to discuss their policies and coverages every year,” says Matt Warye, VP, personal lines underwriting. “We especially encourage policyholders in historically catastrophe-prone areas to review the scope of their coverage and understand the precautions they should take to minimize both physical and financial risks.”

Commercial customers and Ohio Casualty appointed agencies also have free access to Open for Business, an online tool developed by the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), an association comprising insurers and reinsurers that conduct business in the United States or reinsure risks located in the United States, which allows businesses to plan for, and recover from, natural disasters. According to IBHS, at least one-fourth of all businesses never reopen following a disaster.

“Small businesses can really benefit from using Open for Business,” says Mark Anderson, VP, field claims operations. “This online resource guides companies through the process of developing property protection and recovery plans so they can be in a position to get back in business quickly following a natural disaster.”

Commercial lines policyholders can contact their agent for an access code and then log into the Open for Business program at www.ibhs.org/policyholder/register.asp. Once there, business owners answer questions about human resources, physical resources and business operations, in order to build individualized property protection and recovery plans.

Property protection plans are matched to the potential catastrophic risks that exist for a particular zip code, including hurricanes, high winds, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes and wildfires. Recovery plans are based on each company’s critical business functions, and the role that employees, suppliers and vendors play in daily operations. The plans also outline how vital records, equipment, vehicles, computers and voice/data communications can be integrated from a chosen recovery location to help a business stay open following a natural disaster.

Source: Ohio Casualty

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