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Deductibles and Hurricane Damage Insurance Claims

Posted by on Apr 12, 2015

Most, if not all, insurance policies have deductibles. A deductible is that amount that a policyholder must pay for a claim. The insurance company pays any amount over and above the deductible.

Hurricane damage insurance is no different, although it is not usually a separate policy. It is usually a condition in a private homeowners’ insurance policy. Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover flood damage (although you can have a separate policy for that through the National Flood Insurance Program) but they should cover wind damage. A general deductible is a fixed amount. However, there are special deductibles for hurricane damage, typically set as a percentage (between 2% and 5%) of the cost of the damage.

The percentage specified in your policy makes a big difference to your out-of-pocket expenses. For example, if you have homeowners’ insurance for $200,000, you will cover the first $4,000 of the cost of repairing hurricane damage if you have a 2% deductible, but $10,000 for a 5% deductible. The deductible for non-hurricane damages or loss is typically about $500.

It is important to note that the deductible is only triggered in the event of a hurricane. Wind damage alone is not enough. The policy will impose the standard deduction for wind damage if there was no officially named hurricane by the weather service at the time of damage. For example, the damage wrought by Superstorm Sandy would not have triggered the hurricane damage deductible because it was not officially a hurricane. This important condition can spell the difference between an out-of-pocket $500 and $10,000. However, some policies may have a “windstorm deductible” clause so that loophole is closed.

The thing with insurance policies is that the terms and conditions can be so confusing. Most people only see the big numbers and fail to understand the fine print which can get them in trouble when the time comes. If you live in a hurricane prone area, it would be advisable to consult with hurricane insurance claims lawyers at Williams Kherkher regarding what your policy covers and under what conditions.

You can be sure though that even savvy policyholders get stonewalled when it comes to claims. If you are having trouble with your hurricane damage insurance claims, make sure to retain a competent insurance lawyer to help you out.

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