Winter weather insurance costs - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Winter weather insurance costs

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We've already broken the record for most snow this winter, but a new report shows it could be one of the costliest in Ohio history.

13abc's Christine Long is in Perrysburg Township where residents know this wild weather is not only brutal, but expensive.

We're talking about insurance claims.

Insurers in Ohio have received more than 14,000 claims so far. Most are from homeowners after pipes froze.

Last week, flooding damaged more than a dozen homes in a Perrysburg Township subdivision during the brief warm up.

Outside on Starlight Road, the week-old water line cuts through the snow.

Inside, it's a dirty mark at the top of a telescope.

"I'm grateful, honestly, our house is still standing," says Andrew Halka.

These are before and after shots in a neighborhood off of 795 and Oregon Road.

A river ran through this stretch of Starlight Road last Friday thanks to heavy rain combined with the snow melt and ice jams clogging sewers and a nearby drainage ditch.

The Halka family had more than five feet of water in their finished basement.

It swelled to the top of the stairs.

Today, it smells.

Salvaged pictures of generations of memories lay out drying on tables as paneling pops off the walls.

 "Our insurance isn't helping us at all. Clean-up, nothing," says Halka.

The Halkas are one of thousands who have filed claims this winter due to weather damage.

The early January polar vortex and deep freeze could make this the most expensive winter ever state-wide.

The Ohio Insurance Institute says bills from just a four-day time period – January 5th through January 8th --- are running up to 124 million dollars.

The residents on Starlight are relieved they are no longer pumping dozens of gallons of water every five minutes.  They're thankful the water receded before the next arctic blast could turn it into a skating rink.

But for those rejected by insurance, bitterness washes away the silver lining.

 "We've had them for 20 years, we've never filed a claim and then they won't help us out when we need them, so we're definitely going to drop them," says Halka.

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