Are you ready for winter?

We’ve already seen sub-freezing temperatures and a few flurries, so winter weather can’t be far away. So it’s no coincidence this is Ohio Winter Safety Awareness Week.

Helpfully, the Ohio Department of Insurance has outlined five ways Ohioans can avoid costly setbacks:

1) Review your homeowners and auto insurance and amounts with an agent.

Most property policies generally cover structure and contents damage from wind, ice, water (but not flooding) and burst water pipes.

Vehicle damage caused by water-related events, ice, heavy snow and burst water pipes normally are covered under the “other-than-collision” (also known as “comprehensive”) portion of an auto insurance policy. But this is optional coverage.

2) Review personal possessions coverage options.

If you have a loss, actual cash value pays the value of the item the day it was destroyed. Replacement cost coverage pays in accordance with the value of a comparable item at the current market price.

3) Ask about after the fact expenses.

Determine if the policy pays for such things as fire department charges, temporary repairs, debris removal, trees and shrubs, personal property storage and certain living expenses.

4) Complete a home inventory.

Listing your possessions with photos and their values will prove worthwhile in a claim filing situation and help you determine if you have adequate insurance coverage.

5) Winterize your property and vehicle.

For your home, clean debris from gutters and downspouts, address missing shingles and overhanging tree limbs. Inspect the underside of the roof from the attic for signs of leaks. Protect against frozen and burst water pipes by maintaining adequate heat in your home and winterize your pipes.

For your vehicle, tires should have adequate tread and air pressure. Keep the windshield wiper fluid tank filled and maintain at least a half tank of gasoline. Carry a windshield scraper and brush for ice and snow removal. Also keep a snack, water, extra warm attire, blankets and a first aid kit in your vehicle.

Oh, and tread carefully.