Dealing with Insurance Deductibles after a Hurricane
After many insurance companies dealt with several major hurricanes in the early 2000s, insurance policies began to evolve. Many states began allowing insurance companies to add hurricane deductibles to their policies. Florida is one of nineteen states that use such deductibles. After a storm, how much are you expected to pay out of pocket? A careful examination of your policy and consulting with an experienced Florida disaster relief attorney are key to ensuring you obtain as much compensation as possible after a storm.
The hurricane deductible
Most insurance deductibles are a flat amount—for example, a homeowner may be expected to pay anywhere from $500 to a couple thousand dollars or more before the insurance company assumes the remainder of the damage costs. However, with a hurricane deductible, the homeowner must actually pay a percentage of the home’s value before the insurance company steps in to assist. If your home is insured for $500,000, your hurricane deductible could be up to $25,000 if the deductible is 5 percent.
Hurricane deductibles only apply when a storm named by the National Weather Center damages a home. In Florida, the hurricane deductible applies for any damage that occurs from the date the hurricane watch or warning is issued until 72 hours after the watch or warning expires. It applies at any time there are hurricane conditions in Florida.
Hurricane deductibles apply to any type of damage from a hurricane. They may also apply to tropical storms.
The hurricane deductible applies once per year. If two storms hit in the same year, the deductible will be the larger of the amount remaining of the first hurricane deductible, if all was not used; or the “all peril” deductible included in the insurance policy.
However, hurricane deductibles may not cover flooding—generally, a separate flood insurance policy is required for flood damage.
Windstorm deductibles may apply if a hurricane deductible does not. Windstorm policies generally cover damage caused by winds that exceed 35 miles per hour. Generally, windstorm insurance covers damage to the exterior and the interior of a home. In some cases, it may also apply to pools, garages, storage sheds, and other detached structures.
Windstorm deductibles also do not cover any damage caused by flooding. Again, a separate flood insurance policy is required for such damage.
What if my insurance company is denying my claim?
If your insurance company is denying your claim after a hurricane, you should speak with an experienced Florida disaster relief attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. In some cases, simply hiring our attorneys is enough to force the insurance company to do what it is supposed to do. In others, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. However, with our Florida insurance claim attorneys on your side, your rights remain thoroughly protected throughout the case. Our goal is obtaining the maximum amount possible from the insurance company for your claim. You pay us nothing unless we recover compensation for you.
Call our aggressive Florida hurricane damage claim lawyers today for help getting the compensation you need
The Florida insurance claim attorneys at GED Lawyers have more than 50 years of combined experience dealing with hurricanes, disasters and the denied insurance claims that follow. We know all the tricks insurance companies use to avoid paying your coverage and we stop them. We fight for you and your family while you get back on your feet. To schedule your free consultation with our team, call 844-443-3529 or visit us online. We have offices throughout Florida and will come to you if you can’t come to us.