Deductibles are a normal, expected part of insurance – health, auto, and home. Not all deductibles are created equal, and neither are the circumstances in which they apply. If you wonder what your homeowner insurance deductibles are, or why they vary so much from situation to situation, this can help clarify your deductible and prepare you for potential scenarios.
In Florida, the application of hurricane deductibles is triggered by windstorm losses resulting only from a hurricane declared by National Weather Service. Your hurricane deductible only applies once during each hurricane season, regardless of whether or not there are multiple damage-causing storms.
Your hurricane deductible may be calculated one of two ways:
- Percentage amount: This deductible is calculated according to the value of the insured home, and can be anywhere from 2% to 10%, although 2% is the most commonly used figure.
- Flat dollar amount: This deductible is typically $500 or $1,000. It’s advisable to set aside this amount prior to hurricane season in case of damage to your home.
Homeowners have the choice of a higher premium with a lower or fixed dollar amount hurricane deductible, or a lower premium with a higher percentage-based deductible.
Your hurricane deductible would apply to claims for damage that occurred from the time a hurricane watch or warning was issued for any part of Florida, until up to 72 hours after such a watch or warning ended, as well as anytime hurricane conditions exist anywhere in the state.
Windstorm and AOP Deductibles
Damage caused by wind, wind driven rain or hail, or “all other perils” is separate from damage caused by a named hurricane. The deductible for this type of damage also may be set at a flat dollar amount of $500 or $1000, although some carriers use a percentage amount for homes with coastal exposure (which means higher risk.)
If your home experiences damage from both a named hurricane and an unnamed windstorm in the same season, you will be responsible for both deductibles.
Damage caused by flooding is another completely separate deductible that applies under your flood insurance policy. Again, a flat dollar amount or percentage amount may apply, and the deductible for the home itself will be different and separate from the deductible for your personal belongings.
Setting aside money for deductibles in a savings account can help you prepare for the 2018 storm season, as can taking steps to protect your home from hurricane damage.
Hurricane season is right around the corner, now is the time to have your policy reviewed and make sure all your concerns are addressed.
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