Catastrophic storms in the past few years played a role in Ohio's top 10 homeowner insurance companies raising rates by 7.6 percent in 2012. But Ohio homeowners still pay about $300 less than the national average.

Catastrophic storms in the past few years played a role in Ohio’s top 10 homeowner insurance companies raising rates by 7.6 percent in 2012. But Ohio homeowners still pay about $300 less than the national average.

Data released this week by the Ohio Department of Insurance shows Ohioans on average pay $624 for homeowners insurance compared to the national average of $906, meaning Ohio has the sixth-lowest rate in the United States.

Information based on 2012 activity from the Ohio Department of Insurance shows the state’s top 10 private passenger auto insurance groups increased 4.1 percent. Ohioans on average pay $619 for premiums compared to $791 nationally, according to 2010 data, the most recent numbers issued by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Those numbers rank as the ninth-lowest in the nation.

Ohio Insurance Institute estimates for 2012 were slightly higher, with the average Ohio homeowner paying $685 against a national average of $968 and auto insurance customers paying $648 against a national average of $848.

A press release from Lt. Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor said changes in homeowners’ rates are due to weather-related claims plus building and material costs. Auto insurance rates can change based on the number of automobiles, repair costs, medical costs and weather-related claims.

Ohio Insurance Institute data shows that five of Ohio’s six most catastrophic weather-related insurance events have happened since 2007, causing a total of more than $3.3 billion in damages in the past five years. The top six Ohio catastrophes, adjusted into 2012 dollars:

Hurricane Ike, Sept. 14, 2008: $1.334 billion

Xenia tornado outbreak, April 3-4, 1974: $1.063 billion

June-July 2012 storms: $845 million

Hailstorm, June 8, 2007: $306 million

Superstorm Sandy, Oct. 29-30, 2012: $292 million

 

Ohio-based Nationwide Insurance cut rates in 2011 for automobile and home insurance, but raised auto rates by 8.5 percent and homeowners’ insurance by 9.6 percent in 2012.

“The increase in severe weather trends has led companies, including Nationwide, to update its views on expected losses from future storms, which is driving part of the increase,” the company wrote in a prepared statement. “In addition, general inflation for building materials and the like continues to add pressure.”

Farmers Insurance increased its rates 15.9 percent for homeowners and 26.3 percent for autos. State Farm upped its homeowners rate by 2.9 percent, but cut its auto rate by 0.4 percent.

“Ohio’s historically competitive insurance marketplace continues to provide consumers with choice and affordable options for auto and homeowners insurance,” Taylor said in the press release. “Our strong, but fair regulatory standards and emphasis on reducing regulatory red-tape for insurers are benefiting consumers.”

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©2013 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)

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