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The Ohio Fair Plan explained

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More than 98% of Ohio property owners are able to find home insurance coverage at one of the insurance companies in the state. However, properties that are considered high-risk may be denied coverage entirely. If your Ohio property is denied coverage by two or more insurance providers, you could qualify for the Ohio FAIR Plan (OFP), a program which provides home insurance to homeowners who are unable to secure it on the private market.

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Key takeaways
  • If you’ve been denied home insurance by two or more insurance companies, you can apply for The Ohio FAIR Plan.
  • The Ohio FAIR Plan offers basic home and farm insurance to those who are unable to get coverage from a private company.
  • Properties covered under the Ohio FAIR Plan typically have high-risk characteristics. For instance, they may be situated on a flood plain or located in a high-crime area.

What is the Ohio FAIR Plan?

The Ohio FAIR Plan is an insurance coverage program established in 1968, during nationwide civil rights riots. When these riots caused significant insurance losses in inner cities, many insurance companies stopped offering home insurance to these areas entirely. Without home insurance, homeowners found it difficult to make repairs when their properties were damaged. The Johnson administration established the OFP to cover homeowners who couldn’t find coverage on the private market.

Homeowners insurance under the Ohio FAIR Plan is offered at “standard rates,” according to the program’s website. The amount of coverage you choose will help determine your premium. The OFP offers insurance quotes through independent, local agents. The website provides an “Agency Locator” tool that allows you to find an agent nearby.

You may want to look at the average cost of homeowners insurance in your state to get a better understanding of how much you can expect to pay for property insurance. Ohio FAIR Plan insurance may not be the cheapest homeowners insurance on the market, as it is meant to offer a last-resort option for those who cannot otherwise get coverage.

What does the FAIR Plan cover?

The OFP offers basic property insurance that covers damages to the structures and contents of properties located in Ohio that meet the program’s criteria. An OFP policy covers damages from issues such as fire, windstorms, hail, riot, vehicle damage, explosion, smoke, and vandalism.

According to the coverage summary, OFP caps the number of properties that a single policyholder can insure under their policy. For instance, dwelling fire coverage will cover between one and four family dwellings, whether that property is tenant- or owner-occupied. OFP homeowners insurance is available for one or two family dwellings, so long as those properties are the owner’s primary residences.

Who is eligible for the Ohio FAIR Plan?

Insurance under the Ohio Fair Plan is available to homeowners statewide. However, to qualify, applicants must meet the following criteria, outlined in the Ohio FAIR Plan Underwriting Association Agent’s Guide:

  • All property taxes, assessments, penalties, and other charges must have been paid on time and in full.
  • The insurer must have applied to regular insurance companies. At least two insurance companies must have denied property coverage after applying.
  • At least 50% of the property must be occupied and safe from any type of trespass.
  • Property must not violate any building, housing, pollution, sanitation, health, or fire safety code or rule. It must not provide any type of health or safety hazard.

How do you apply for the Ohio FAIR Plan?

Local insurance agents have a responsibility to help property owners apply for Ohio FAIR Plan coverage, and OFP pays these agents commission to do so. As mentioned, you can find one of these agents by using the “Agency Locator” tool — and they can help you apply for coverage.

The agent assisting you must request a login ID and submit your application through the Agent Online Services portal. Once you receive your ID confirmation and password, you can select the application that best aligns with your property type and which coverage. After identifying if the property meets the eligibility requirements, you and your agent can submit the application through the portal.

Once an application is submitted, the application goes through an underwriting process. The earliest date that the property can receive coverage is the day after OFP has received a completed application along with a deposit.

Frequently asked questions

Written by
Lizzie Nealon
Insurance Contributor
Lizzie Nealon is an insurance contributor for Bankrate and enjoys making home, auto and life insurance digestible for readers so they can prepare for the future.
Edited by
Insurance Editor