Difference between hurricane deductibles and wind deductibles

I have been asked:  “Is there a difference between a hurricane and a wind deductible in a homeowner’s insurance policy?”  The answer is, generally, with most homeowner insurance policies, YES, there is often a difference between wind deductibles and hurricane deductibles.  It depends on how the insurance policy describes the deductible.  The deductible is the amount of the damage that will not be covered by the insurance policy.  This means the homeowner must pay out-of-pocket for minor damage that falls within the deductible, or if there is major damage the homeowner must pay out-of-pocket for a part of the loss.   While most homeowner’s insurance policies cover damage from a windstorm, some insurance policies provide no coverage for wind damage, while other insurance policies sell this coverage as a separate option.  An insurance policy may treat wind damage separate from hurricane damage, and have a separate hurricane deductible. Wind deductibles can be triggered by a thunderstorm, tropical storm, or a hurricane.  Wind deductibles can apply to the entire loss (i.e., additional coverage like debris removal and food spoilage), but again, it depends on how the insurance policy describes the deductibles.  The policy may limit the wind deductible to damage to your home.  It is also possible that more than one deductible will apply. There could be a wind deductible that applies only to buildings and another deductible that applies to debris removal or food spoilage.  The insurance policy must be read carefully to determine if the deductible is expressed as a stated dollar amount, or whether the deductible is stated as a percentage of the insurance coverage on the dwelling.

How does a percentage deductible work?  If your home is insured for $150,000 and the insurance policy applies a 3% hurricane deductible, the coverage for the damage from a hurricane will be subject to a $4,500 deductible (3% of $150,000), meaning the first $4,500 of damage from the hurricane is not covered by the homeowner’s insurance policy. If the hurricane deductible is a stated amount, without regard to the value of your home or the amount of coverage you have purchased, that dollar amount stated as the deductible is the amount you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance pays for any of the damage in excess of that deductible.

Protection for damage from windstorms is one of the basic perils that all of the standard homeowners policies cover. This means your insurance policy will pay for covered losses if a tornado, hurricane or other windstorm causes damage to your home or the personal belongings inside it.  The deductible is the amount you must pay before your insurance policy pays for the damage.


This blog is intended to provide general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice or solutions to specific issues.

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