Editor:

Does your homeowner's insurance carrier allow you to determine how much coverage you wish to carry in the event of loss? Are you being forced by your carrier to pay excess premiums by carrying insurance protection far beyond your home's market or resale value? It appears some homeowner's insurance carriers or very close to it. Most purchasers of "goods" realize when they purchase a "new" item its resale value is worth less than the price they paid, even if they were to offer it for sale shortly after purchase. Is the same thing basically true about your home? The values in "all ready constructed" homes are well documented. The issues regarding mandatory "reconstruction cost" insurance are many.

Does the average homeowner feel the house they live in is a "sacred" dwelling? How many times will the average Ohio homeowner sell and re-purchase during his life? Why? The reasons are endless. Inflated dwelling valuation, inflates other coverage items in the policy causing further excess premiums. Even a small savings is important to those on a fixed income.

Is your home, something you have to "replace" as nearly as possible, if totally destroyed? Are you willing to accept an "all ready constructed" home, at a lower cost and lower insurance premiums? Who best can answer that question; you or the insurance carrier? The Ohio Department of Insurance and the Ohio Attorney General's office, Consumer Protection Division seemed to be the proper agencies to correct the situation. However, the position taken by these consumer protection agencies has been: The insurance carriers policy doesn't violate Ohio law so we will not assist the Ohio consumer. Did they drop the ball when they weighed in on the side of the insurance carriers?

A "bill" was submitted to the 128th General Assembly to correct this unfair policy. I believe it was House Bill 559. However, it did not pass before the session ended. It is expected a similar "bill" will be introduced in the current session. Even if you are happy with your coverage, barring contractual obligations otherwise, every Ohio homeowner should have the right to decided how much coverage he wishes to carry, not the insurance company. It is expected that the insurance carriers will oppose this "bill." Your help will be needed to secure passage. What can you do? Please contact your Representatives in the Ohio General Assembly and urge introduction, support and passage for a bill giving the homeowner this personal right that is currently being denied by some insurance carriers.

Emerson A. McGrew

Richmond