Once again, a huge thank you to Michelle Mosher with Southshore Insurance for coming onto Waypoint Real Talk. We enjoyed be able to pick you brain about common issues and how hurricanes affect your Florida insurance!
Check out the entire interview:
Florida insurance law is very specific on hurricane deductibles so all cases are treated the same and fairly. The law covers what duration the deductible is applicable and how many can be applied in a calendar year.
What is a hurricane deductible and how much is it?
A hurricane deductible is the percentage paid by the policyholder before an insurance company pays anything.
Hurricane deductibles are typically 2, 5 or 10 percent of the amount of insurance covering the dwelling at the time of loss. For example, you only have to pay one hurricane deductible within the calendar year.
(Assuming you are insured with the same insurance company or group of companies for the second or subsequent hurricanes during the same calendar year.)
When Does the Hurricane Deductible Apply?
The hurricane deductible applies:
1. When a hurricane watch or warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center for any part of Florida.
- There must be a named hurricane at the time the first watch or warning is issued. If not, the hurricane deductible starts as soon as the storm becomes a named hurricane.
2. The hurricane deductible ends 72 hours after the last hurricane watch or warning is lifted by the National Hurricane Center for any part of Florida.
How is the Calendar Year Hurricane Deductible Applied?
The hurricane deductible applies to all covered windstorm claims that occur during a hurricane. Also, the hurricane deductible is applied on a calendar year basis as long as you are insured.
Sometimes, homeowners change insurance companies during hurricane season. If this is the case for you, you should understand these rules:
- The deductible is only applicable if you are insured by the same insurance company or insurance company “group”.
- Therefore, a partially paid down hurricane deductible will be considered invalid, if you change insurance companies completely!
Your Deductible with a Second Hurricane
Also, if a second hurricane were to hit in the same year, your deductible would be the deductible amount left over from the first hurricane (assuming you had damage).
Or, your deductible would be the “all peril” amount listed on the policy.
Special Notes on How Hurricanes Affect Florida Insurance
Policyholders should always file claims even when the cost to repair the windstorm damage is less than the hurricane deductible. If you file the claim, the company has a record of the amount of credit that should be applied towards the hurricane deductible for the second or subsequent windstorm claim resulting from a hurricane.
Moreover, it is very common to discover hidden damage once the contractor begins repairs.
If you have already filed the original claim, a supplemental claim can be easily added to the total amount.
It may cause additional delays and even a claim denial if the original windstorm damage was not reported to the insurance company timely manner.
Hurricane insurance policies do NOT cover flooding from a hurricane. In almost all cases, this would be a separate insurance policy. Hurricane damage is only caused by wind. I.e. Shingles are blown off and cause a leak.
If you enjoyed this interview, you can also check out “How Much Does Home Ownership Truly Cost.”