Storms have been costly for insurance companies

The tornado that hit Greene County Tuesday caused thousands of dollars in damages, but insurance experts don’t expect the costs to mount to what other historical storms to hit the Miami Valley.

Insurance companies have, however, been writing plenty of settlement checks in recent years.

Data shows the number of catastrophic events prompting losses of $25 million or more between 2010 and 2014 exceeded the number reported in the entire previous decade of 2000 to 2009, said Mary Bonelli, the OII’s senior vice president for public information.

In fact, six out of the seven costliest years for catastrophes as defined by the amount of insured losses in Ohio have occurred since 2008.

“This is data that is critical to projecting the potential of disaster-related losses in the future,” Bonelli said.

The Ohio Insurance Institute estimated that Ohio’s average homeowner’s insurance premium would rise $29 to $830 in 2015, up slightly from the $27 increase projected for 2014, but lower than the $53 increase in 2013. Still, those rates lag comfortably behind the rest of the country: the OII projected average homeowners’ rates would rise $39 to $1,152, nationwide.

Ohio’s average homeowners insurance expenditure ranks ninth-lowest in the U.S., according to the Insurance Information Institute.

The costliest year for Ohio insured losses remains 2008, when claims of nearly $1.4 billion were made, most of them connected to wind damage caused by Hurricane Ike.

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