The Ohio FAIR Plan — explained

The Ohio FAIR Plan provides home insurance to high-risk homeowners who’ve struggled to find coverage in the regular insurance market.

Kara McGinley

By

Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley is a senior editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

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The Ohio Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan was established in the 1960s after several riots caused extensive property damage and insurers stopped covering homes in inner city areas altogether. [1]

It’s designed as a last-resort coverage option for homeowners that standard insurance companies consider too high risk to insure. This might include homes located in areas with high crime or severe weather, or homeowners with poor credit or a history of filing frequent claims. To qualify for the Ohio Fair Plan, you need to show proof you were denied coverage by two different insurers, among other criteria.

Summary

  • The Ohio FAIR Plan provides home insurance for high-risk Ohio homeowners who can’t find coverage from a standard insurance company.

  • FAIR Plans are typically more expensive than regular home insurance policies.

  • You’ll need to meet specific criteria to be eligible, including proof that you were  denied coverage by two different insurance companies

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What is the Ohio FAIR Plan?

The Ohio FAIR Plan provides you basic homeowners insurance coverage if you can’t find an insurance company willing to insure your home. 

Reasons you might be denied coverage on the regular insurance market in Ohio include:

  • Age of home

  • High crime rate

  • High risk for tornados

  • Low credit score

  • History of filing frequent claims

Since FAIR Plans are typically more expensive than homeowners insurance offered by standard insurers, it’s best saved as a last resort after you’ve exhausted all other options. With FAIR Plans, all licensed insurance companies in the state are legally required to contribute to paying out claims and collecting profits. 

→ Don’t live in Ohio? Check to see if your state offers a FAIR Plan

Who is eligible for an Ohio FAIR Plan?

In order to be eligible for the Ohio FAIR Plan, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:

  • Prove you were denied coverage by at least two different insurance companies

  • Insure your home for at least 50% of its replacement cost value

  • Live in your home full time as your primary residence

  • Not own any “dangerous” dog breeds, like a pit bull or pit bull mix

  • Not be in foreclosure or violate any state building or safety code laws

You can check the Ohio Fair Plan website for a full list of eligibility requirements.

What does the Ohio FAIR Plan cover?

The Ohio FAIR Plan offers multiple types of homeowners insurance, including standard HO-3 policies — the most common form of homeowners insurance available. HO-3 policies are open peril or all-risk policies, so they cover all perils except for those listed as exclusions on your coverage form. Common home insurance exclusions include damage from neglect, floods, and earthquakes. You can check your policy for a full list of what’s excluded from coverage.

Here's what an Ohio FAIR Plan HO-3 policy covers:

Coverage type

What it covers

Dwelling

Protects the structure of your home from different types of damage, like from break-ins, vandalism, and bad weather

Other structures

Covers damages to structures detached from your home, like a shed or detached garage

Personal property

Protects your personal belongings from damage

Personal liability

Pays for legal fees or medical expenses if you're found responsible for someone else's injury or damaged belongings

Medical payments to others

Pays for more minor medical expenses for guests injured at your home — regardless of who’s at fault

Loss of use coverage

Pays for you to temporarily live in a rental home or hotel if your house is being repaired after a covered loss

Your personal property is insured at its actual cash value

Your belongings will be insured at their actual cash value, not their replacement cost value. That means depreciation is factored into your claim payout — so you’ll get less money for your loss 

For example, if your 8-year-old TV is stolen, eight years of depreciation will be deducted from your reimbursement. This means your claim payout likely won’t be enough to buy the equivalent of a brand-new TV at today’s prices.

→ Learn more about actual cash value vs. replacement cost homeowners insurance

How much does an Ohio FAIR Plan cost?

The average annual cost of homeowners insurance in Ohio is $874, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). [2] But FAIR Plans tend to be more expensive than policies that you can buy on the standard insurance  market. Factors like the age of your home, your ZIP code, how much coverage you need, and your deductible amount will also affect the price of your premium. 

The Ohio FAIR Plan website includes a calculator that can estimate your premium costs. You’ll need to provide information like where your home is located, how close it is to a fire station, how much coverage you need, and more to estimate the cost.

How to apply for home insurance through the Ohio FAIR Plan

If you meet the eligibility requirements, here the steps you’ll need to take to get insurance through the Ohio FAIR Plan:

  1. Reach out to an Ohio insurance agent. Have proof ready to show that you were denied coverage by two different insurance companies. The experts at Policygenius can help you compare multiple insurers at once.

  2. Nail down your home’s replacement cost. You can find it on your old policy’s declarations page or by using a home insurance calculator. You could also hire an appraiser to get a replacement cost estimate

  3. Compile details about your home. This includes things like its age, construction type, roof age and materials, and more.

  4. Fill out the application and wait for a response. Once your application is accepted, you’ll need to make your first payment. You can do this through the Ohio FAIR Plan website.

References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of our

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  1. The Ohio FAIR Plan Underwriting Association

    . "

    Ohio FAIR Plan - History

    ." Accessed January 14, 2022.

  2. National Association of Insurance Commisioners

    . "

    Dwelling Fire, Homeowners OwnerOccupied, and Homeowners Tenant and Condominium/Cooperative Unit Owner’s Insurance Report: Data for 2018

    ." Accessed January 14, 2022.

Author

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

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Kara McGinley is a senior editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

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