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Florida Hurricane Deductibles

Living in Florida, we’re no strangers to the potential havoc hurricanes can cause. As hurricane season rolls in, it brings with it the possibility of damaging storms that can leave our homes in disrepair. We can’t prevent these natural disasters, but we can prepare for their financial impact.

A key aspect of this preparation is understanding the role of hurricane deductibles in your homeowner’s insurance policy. This part of your policy plays a significant role in determining how much you may need to pay out-of-pocket for hurricane-related damages.

In this guide, we will help you navigate through the complex world of Florida hurricane deductibles. If you’re already dealing with hurricane damage to your home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Tighe, P.A. Our experienced team of property insurance lawyers is ready to assist with a free consultation.

What Is A Hurricane Deductible?

Hurricane deductibles are a specific component of homeowner’s insurance policies. They apply solely to damage caused by hurricanes. 

Unlike a standard homeowner’s insurance deductible, a separate hurricane deductible is typically stated as a percentage of your home’s insured value rather than a specific dollar amount.

For instance, if your home is insured for $300,000 and your policy carries a 2% hurricane deductible, you would be responsible for the first $6,000 of any hurricane damage. 

Understanding your hurricane deductible is critical in the aftermath of a storm, as it impacts the claim payout from your insurance company.

Definition of Hurricane for Insurance Purposes

So, how do insurance companies define a hurricane? According to the Florida Statutes, it must be officially declared a “hurricane” by the National Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service. Other tropical storms will not qualify. 

Definition of Hurricane Coverage

Hurricane coverage typically includes the loss or damage caused by a windstorm during a hurricane. Depending on your coverage, this can include:

  • damage to the interior of a building
  • damage to property inside a building 

If the direct force of the windstorm first damages the building, causing an opening through which rain, snow, sleet, hail, sand, or dust can enter and cause damage, this can be covered as well. 

It’s important to note that flood damage—typically defined as water that comes from the ground up, including storm surges—is not covered by standard hurricane coverage. For such damages, homeowners would need a separate flood insurance policy.

Understanding hurricane deductibles and coverage can make a significant difference when it’s time to file a claim. If you’re unsure of your policy or need assistance filing a claim, consult with a property insurance law firm to ensure you receive the fair and just compensation you deserve.

When Does A Hurricane Deductible Apply In Florida?

A hurricane deductible in Florida applies when a hurricane, as officially declared by the National Hurricane Center, causes damage to your home. 

Hurricane deductibles can typically be applied to damage incurred during the following time period:

  • After the National Hurricane Center has officially declared a hurricane watch or warning for any part of Florida.
  • Within the 72 hours following the termination of the last hurricane watch or warning issued by the National Hurricane Center for any part of Florida.

If these conditions are met, damage to your home during that period may be covered by hurricane deductibles. If not, your standard homeowner’s insurance deductible would apply instead. 

How Many Times Can A Hurricane Deductible Be Applied?

The hurricane deductible applies only once during a hurricane season. One of the unique aspects of hurricane insurance in Florida is the calendar-year deductible. This means that your hurricane deductible applies on a yearly basis, not on a per-storm or per-claim basis. 

If your home suffers hurricane damage multiple times in a year, you won’t have to pay your full deductible each time. Instead, you’ll pay until you’ve met your deductible for the year.

How Much Does A Hurricane Deductible Cost?

The cost of a hurricane deductible varies based on the insured value of your home and the percentage of your hurricane deductible. 

In Florida, the standard options for hurricane deductibles are $500 or 2%, 5%, or 10% of your home’s insured value. Remember, higher deductibles can lower your insurance premium, but they also mean higher out-of-pocket costs in the event of a hurricane.

Hurricane Deductible Options

Deductible options determine how much you will have to pay out-of-pocket in case of hurricane damage to your home. In this section, we’ll provide a brief overview of the standard deductible options ($500 or 2%, 5%, or 10%) and where certain exclusions apply. 

Dwellings insured for at least $100,000 through $249,999

An insurance company may offer a policy that guarantees that the company will not non-renew the policy in order to reduce the hurricane exposure for one 12-month renewal period. However, the policy may include up to a 2 percent Hurricane Deductible. 

Dwellings with insured limits of $250,000 or more

The insurance company does not have to offer the option of a $500 Hurricane Deductible. 

Any Dwelling with insured limits of less than $500,000

The policy may not have a Hurricane Deductible in excess of 10 percent unless: 

  • The policyholder personally writes and provides to the insurance company the following statement in his or her own handwriting, signs their name, and is signed by all other named policyholders on the policy and dated: “I do not want the insurance on my home to pay for the first (specify dollar value) of damage from hurricanes. I will pay those costs. My insurance will not.” (Per Section 627.712(2)(a)1, Florida Statutes)
  • If the insured structure has a mortgage or lien, the policyholder must provide the insurance company with a written statement from the mortgagee indicating the mortgagee approves the policyholder electing to have the specified deductible.

This is allowed by, and subject to, regulations outlined in s. 627.701(d)1(a) and (b), Florida Statutes.

Remember, navigating the world of hurricane deductibles can be tricky, but understanding how they work can save you a great deal of stress and financial strain. Consider consulting with a property insurance law firm to fully understand the hurricane deductible in your policy.

What Should I Do After My House Was Damaged In A Hurricane

If your house has suffered hurricane damage, it’s crucial to take the following steps:

  • Ensure safety: First and foremost, ensure that you and your loved ones are safe. Evacuate if necessary and avoid returning until it’s declared safe to do so.
  • Document the damage: Once it’s safe, take photos and videos of the damage to your home, both inside and out. This will be valuable evidence when filing your insurance claim.
  • Contact your insurer: Notify your insurance company of the damage as soon as possible. They will provide instructions on how to file a claim and what information you’ll need to provide.
  • Mitigate further damage: If possible, make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. Remember to keep receipts of any expenses incurred.
  • Consult a property damage lawyer: If your claim is denied, underpaid, or delayed, a property damage lawyer can help fight for the compensation you deserve.

How Can A Property Damage Lawyer Help?

A property damage lawyer can be invaluable after hurricane damage to your home. They can help you understand your policy, navigate the claims process, and fight on your behalf if your insurance company denies, underpays, or delays your claim. 

From ensuring thorough damage documentation to challenging insurance adjusters’ decisions, a property damage lawyer can help you secure the compensation you are entitled to.

Why Florida Homeowners Trust Our Property Insurance Lawyers

Florida homeowners trust the property insurance lawyers at Tighe P.A. because we bring experience, knowledge, and a passionate commitment to every case. We have a proven track record of successfully advocating for homeowners against insurance companies. 

Our team understands the intricacies of Florida’s insurance laws and hurricane deductibles, and we fight tirelessly to ensure our clients receive the compensation they need to rebuild their lives after a hurricane.

Our Case Results

Over the years, we have helped countless Florida homeowners receive the insurance payouts they deserved. We’ve successfully challenged insurance companies that have denied or underpaid claims, securing millions of dollars in compensation. 

You can view our detailed case results to see how we’ve helped others in situations similar to yours.

Areas We Serve

Our offices are located in Palm Beach, but we proudly serve homeowners throughout the state of Florida. No matter where you are, our team is ready to help you navigate the claims process and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Florida Hurricane Deductible FAQs

Navigating through the aftermath of a hurricane can be daunting, especially when it comes to understanding the ins and outs of your insurance policy and hurricane deductibles. To help clear your doubts, we’ve put together Florida Hurricane Deductible FAQs.

How much does a Florida property damage lawyer cost? 

Most Florida property damage lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing upfront. They only get paid if they successfully recover compensation for you. 

Does a roof deductible apply at the same time as a hurricane deductible? 

Typically, the hurricane deductible applies, not the roof deductible, when damage is caused by a hurricane. 

How is the hurricane deductible applied to my policy? 

The hurricane deductible is a percentage of your home’s insured value and is applied to any loss resulting from a hurricane. 

How does the inflation guard endorsement affect coverage and the hurricane deductible? 

The inflation guard endorsement increases your dwelling coverage limit annually, which may also increase your hurricane deductible as it’s based on your dwelling coverage limit.

Schedule A Free Consultation With The Property Insurance Lawyers At Tighe, P.A.

If your home has been damaged in a hurricane and you are struggling to navigate the claims process or dealing with an uncooperative insurance company, you don’t have to face it alone. 

We are committed to fighting for Florida homeowners and ensuring you receive the fair compensation you are entitled to. Schedule a free consultation today with the experienced property insurance lawyers at Tighe, P.A.

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