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July 12, 2021

What You Should Know About Named Storm Deductibles

Some insurance policies have a special deductible for losses caused by named storms. The insurer applies this deductible only when a named storm causes damage. This deductible is separate and different from the normal deductible in a homeowners policy.  

A deductible is the amount you, the policyholder, owe before your insurance company starts paying its share of the loss.  

Insurers do this to reduce their financial exposure. Here’s what you should know about named storm deductibles. 

MAIN CONSIDERATIONS  

Named storm deductibles first came about in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew. They became more common after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when the insurance industry lost $64 billion.  

For the loss to be covered, it must be caused by a named storm. According to the Center for Insurance Policy and Research (CIPR), a hurricane deductible usually applies to damage from a National Weather Service (NWS) or National Hurricane Center (NHC) declared hurricane. Named storm deductibles can also apply to other NWS or NHC weather events, such as typhoons, tropical storms or tropical cyclones.  

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW  

In many hurricane-prone states, homeowners’ insurance policies include deductibles applying to damage caused by named storms. A named storm deductible is usually a percentage of the home’s value, making a policyholder responsible for a larger portion of a loss compared to their normal homeowners deductible. Percentages can range from 1% to 10% of the value of the insured home. For example, if a homeowners policy has a 5% named storm deductible on a $300,000 house the policyholder would be responsible for paying $15,000 out of pocket. Named storm deductibles can also be a fixed dollar amount. 

Read your policy to find out whether the deductible is per event, per season or per calendar year. If multiple named storms cause damage to your home during the coverage period, you may have to pay the deductible more than once. 

Hurricane and named storm deductibles allow insurers to provide coverage and manage the cost of premiums. Premiums are the set amount you pay each month to have an insurance policy. Lower premiums can be obtained if the deductible is higher. However, higher deductibles mean consumers take on more financial responsibility overall should a loss occur.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia currently have some form of hurricane or named storm deductible in place. These nineteen states are currently Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Other states may allow insurers to include hurricane deductibles in property insurance policies. Contact your state Department of Insurance with questions about your coverage or deductibles.  

THREE THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT NAMED STORM DEDUCTIBLES  

  1. Named storm deductibles are separate and may be a different amount than your normal homeowners deductible.  

  1. Deductibles for named storms can range between 1% to 10% of the value of your home. A higher deductible means a lower premium, but make sure you can afford the deductible if a claim arises.  

  1. Your deductible for named storms could be per event, per season, or per calendar year. Read your policy to understand which type you have.  

Source: Hurricane Deductibles, CIPR