Lauren Hetzel, Staff Writer

The Ohio Insurance Institution (OII) said it received almost $69 million in insurance claims in losses from the severe storms that hit Ohio in late February.

The OII said the storms that hit Ohio on the night of February 27 dropped three to four inches of rain in areas of northern Ohio that had already been drenched earlier in the month. As the storm moved across the state, it caused flooding that ranged in severity in a number of areas in southern Ohio.

Most Miami University students report having no property damage from the storm, or even really recalling the severe rain at all. However, senior Alex Von Eckartsberg said he specifically remembers the storm because a tree limb fell on his neighbor’s car across the street.

“He always had that car parked in the same spot in front of his house,” Eckartsberg said. “I mean, I feel bad that the tree completely smashed it but, at the same time, I always hated that car so I was kind of like, ‘yes!'”

President of Red Brick Property Management Matt Rodbro said the company did not need to file any insurance claims after the storm.

“We always have damage but nothing out of the ordinary this year,” Rodbro said.

OII spokesperson Mary Bonella said she doesn’t really consider the February storms to be “unusual” or “a novelty.”

“This is just part of living in Ohio,” Bonella said.

Bonella referenced the Groundhog Day Blizzard which also took place in February this year. According to the OII Winter Storm History records, the storm resulted in insured losses totaling $23 million or more.

“The types of losses we sustain in Ohio aren’t to the degree of some other states, so that’s good,” Bonella said.

According to Bonella, OII has estimated $15,000 in claims thus far. Bonella said OII can only estimate the amount of money from the claims made in February for two reasons.

First, in order to come up with the total, the OII surveyed insurance companies throughout the state that deal with property and casualty claims.

“The survey didn’t cover all individual providers in Ohio,” Bonella said. Twenty-four companies participated in this survey, which represents a range of 30 to 78 percent of the auto, homeowners and commercial insurance markets. The claims filed with companies that did not participate in the storm survey were, as a result, not included in the $69 million estimate.

Second, in some cases, Bonella said property damages might not have been detected yet. She also said most claims were closed within eight to 10 days of filing and some could simply not have been finalized by the time the survey was issued.

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