A principal piece of information you need to know is whether your homeowner’s insurance policy carries a hurricane, named-storm or wind and hail deductible. Homeowner’s policies carry basic all peril deductibles which generally range from $250.00 to $2,000. However, after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, separate hurricane deductibles, named-storm deductibles, and wind and hail deductibles were common in coastal states. These deductibles typically range between two and five percent of the insured value of your home. For instance, if your home has an insured value of $200,000 with a two percent deductible, you agreed to pay $4,000 out of pocket before your insurance “kicks in.” This means if the damage to your home is $4,000 or less, the insurance company will not be responsible for paying on your claim. You can find your deductibles on the first page of your homeowner’s policy or call your agent for more information.
The Single-Season Hurricane Deductible Law was enacted in 2009, the year after back to back Hurricanes Gustav and Ike hit in 2008. A single-season hurricane deductible lessens the financial impact a policyholder must bear when multiple hurricanes cause destruction to an insured property during a single storm season (or calendar year). This law helps homeowners limit the cost of recovery if they are hit more than once during a hurricane season or calendar year.
The Louisiana Insurance Commissioner stated in 2018, that insureds are responsible for only one hurricane deductible per calendar year. That means, if additional damage makes it necessary to make a claim in connection with Hurricane Delta, the remainder of your hurricane deductible or your policy’s peril deductible, whichever is greater, will apply to the Hurricane Delta claim.
*Individuals insured under Surplus Lines Insurance Policies may incur a second hurricane deductible as insurance companies providing surplus lines of coverage are not prohibited by Louisiana State Law from assessing insured’s additional hurricane deductibles. Review your policy and/or contact your agent if you are unsure whether you have a Surplus Lines Policy.
If your first claim falls below your deductible and must be paid out of pocket, document the damage of that storm with photographs and keep receipts for replacement purchases and repairs. The money spent on damages related to the initial storm or hurricane can be applied to the next deductible should you sustain damage in a second storm during that same season.