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  • Writer's pictureMaria Shalack

How Does Home Insurance Deductible Work?




Home insurance deductible

Navigating homeowners insurance can be daunting, especially when understanding terms like "deductible" and how insurance contracts affect claim payouts. Every homeowner should understand the basics of a home insurance deductible, from calculating premiums to the role of the deductible and ways to optimize insurance costs.


This page aims to simplify these concepts, offering clarity and insights to help you make informed decisions about your home's coverage and ensure you're adequately prepared for potential claims.


What is a Deductible in Home Insurance

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) definition, a deductible is the fixed amount of an insured loss that is the insured's responsibility and incurred before any amounts are paid for the insured loss under the insurance policy.


Home Insurance Policy Deductible

  • Purpose of Deductibles: Deductibles have been integral to insurance for years. They represent the amount a policyholder pays before insurance coverage kicks in during a claim. They share the risk between the insurer and the insured.

  • Deductible Definition: If an insured event happens (like an accident or disaster), the deductible amount is removed from what the insurance would pay. For instance, with a $2000 deductible on a $10,000 claim, the insurer pays $8,000.

Deductible Types:

  • Dollar Amount Deductible: A fixed sum subtracted from the claim.


  • Percentage Deductible: Based on a percentage of the insured value, mainly for homeowner policies. A 2% deductible on a home insured for $100,000 results in a $2,000 deductible.


  • Frequency of Application: For most auto and homeowner insurance, deductibles apply to each claim. Some states, like Florida, have exceptions for hurricane deductibles, which apply once per season.

  • Coverage Limitation: Deductibles usually pertain to property damage, not liability. A damaged property in an accident would have a deductible, but a liability claim from an injured party wouldn't.

  • Saving with Deductibles: Raising your deductible can reduce insurance premiums. For example, increasing a home insurance deductible from $1000 to $2000 might lower the cost. However, policyholders should be comfortable with their chosen deductible as they must pay it during a claim.

Disaster Deductibles

In the property insurance industry, an event is categorized as a "catastrophe" if it's an unusually severe natural or man-made disaster. The event must meet certain criteria to be deemed a catastrophe, including anticipated claims reaching a specific dollar threshold and affecting a certain number of policyholders and insurance companies.


  • Hurricane Deductibles: Special deductibles might apply in hurricane areas, determined by specific triggers like official storm naming or warnings. These deductibles are generally higher and are often in percentage forms. Sometimes, a fixed dollar amount deductible can be chosen for a higher premium.


  • Wind/Hail Deductibles: Common in places prone to windstorms and hail. They're often in percentages, ranging from 1% to 5%.


  • Flood Insurance: Deductibles can be in dollar amounts or percentages. Choosing separate deductibles for a house's structure and contents is possible.


  • Earthquake Insurance: These deductibles are in percentages, based on the home's replacement value. Areas with higher earthquake risks have higher minimum deductibles.


As Florida public adjusters handling claims with experience in deductibles, we can help you understand your policy’s specific deductible terms and conditions. Contact us to schedule a no-obligation 15-minute consultation or visit to your property.


A public adjuster is specialized and knowledgeable in handling claims and typically manages the claim efficiently to obtain higher payments from the insurance company.


As public adjusters, we represent your interests and work strictly on a contingency basis, meaning that our fees are transparent, regulated by the State, and can only be collected after the insurance company pays for the claim.


Homeowners Insurance Hurricane Deductible


Hurricane Deductible

It states that damage caused by windstorms is covered under standard homeowners, renters, and business insurance policies. However, a specific "hurricane deductible" will be applied to property loss claims resulting from hurricane-caused damage. This hurricane deductible typically ranges from two percent to five percent of the property's insured value.


Florida’s Hurricane Deductible

Given its unique geographic position, Florida is highly susceptible to hurricanes. Therefore, it's crucial to understand the specifics of Florida's hurricane deductible when navigating insurance policies. This provision, designed to manage windstorm claims resulting from hurricanes, is applied uniformly and is highly specific in terms of its application, duration, and frequency within a calendar year.


A hurricane, by definition, is a storm system declared as such by the National Hurricane Center. Any insurance coverage for damage brought about by windstorms during a hurricane is classified as 'Hurricane Coverage.' However, it's essential to note that this does not include flood damage.


What is The Deductible For Hurricane Insurance?

The 'Hurricane Deductible' refers to the initial amount you, as the policyholder, are responsible for before the insurance company makes any payment. Usually, this amount is deducted from the estimate of the damages. These deductibles equate to 2%, 5%, or 10% of your dwelling coverage at the time of the loss.


A unique feature of Florida's hurricane deductible is that you only need to pay it once within a calendar year, provided you're insured with the same company or group for the duration of that year.


This deductible occurs when a hurricane watch or warning is issued for any part of Florida and lasts 72 hours after the final hurricane watch or warning has been lifted. It is pertinent to remember that a separate roof deductible does not apply when the hurricane deductible is in effect.


The hurricane deductible applies to all windstorm claims during a hurricane on a calendar-year basis, provided your insurance stays with the same company or group. In the event of a second hurricane within the year, your deductible will be the remaining balance from your first hurricane deductible if it hasn't been fully met or the standard 'all peril' deductible as stated on the policy.


Prompt reporting of damages is critical, and all claims should be filed even if the repair cost is lower than the hurricane deductible. This allows the insurer to record credits that could be applied towards a deductible for future claims within the same year. Additionally, hidden damages may be uncovered during repairs, and having filed the original claim will make it easier to add a supplemental claim.


In determining whether a Hurricane Deductible should apply and for how long, you need to ascertain whether a windstorm caused the loss and if the storm system reached hurricane strength.


You also need to know the timeline of hurricane watches and warnings for Florida and when they were lifted. It is always necessary to check the policy to verify the deductible amount and how the specific insurance carrier determines it.


To confirm if the insurer is applying the correct amount for the Hurricane Deductible, it's important to know your policy's effective date, the amount of Coverage A (Dwelling Coverage) listed on your policy's Declaration Page, and the hurricane deductible percentage indicated.


Understanding the potential impact of the Inflation Guard Endorsement on your Hurricane Deductible is also vital.


In the event of multiple claims within a hurricane season, the Inflation Guard can affect both the coverage amount and the deductible amount on the claims. Therefore, it's advisable to thoroughly understand these factors when dealing with insurance policies in Florida.


How to Get Home Insurance Deductible Waived

Home insurance policies may have a specific feature known as the "waiver of deductible." In standard home insurance policies, homeowners must usually pay a deductible when making a claim. However, a waiver of deductible is an exception to this rule.


If a policy has this clause, the homeowner might not need to pay the deductible under certain circumstances, such as a major loss. The presence and specific criteria of these waivers vary among insurance companies. Homeowners should check their policy details or talk to their insurance provider to understand if they have this feature and how it functions.


Understanding these waivers can be financially advantageous when choosing insurance and making claims.


Another type of waiver, the "disappearing deductible," is reduced over time if a policyholder makes no claims. It's a reward mechanism for customer loyalty and a good claims history. However, there's an emphasis on doing the math to ensure that it's genuinely cost-saving.


Also, in other scenarios where a single event affects multiple insurances (like home and auto), having both insurances with the same provider might lead to paying only one deductible.


Policyholders may use these concepts to create strategies to save on insurance costs once they understand the specific policy terms, the benefits of consolidating insurance, and the potential savings from shopping around or negotiating with insurance providers. Discuss these options with your Florida public adjuster and see which is the best approach for your case.


Importance of Deductibles when Assessing Financial Risks

How do insurance deductibles affect premiums? Homeowners must be aware and get the right amount of home insurance. Among these strategies, raising the deductible is a way to lower the insurance premium. By choosing a higher deductible, homeowners agree to pay more out-of-pocket for any potential claim, reducing premium costs. This trade-off allows homeowners to manage better and predict their annual expenses.


Get Insurance Deductible Help

Why You Need a Public Adjuster in Florida. Navigating the intricacies of insurance claims can be overwhelming. Maria E. Shalack is an experienced Public Adjuster licensed by the State of Florida since 2002 and has settled thousands of claims over her career. She is experienced enough to help you with some of the following:

  • Optimize your understanding of your homeowner's insurance policy.

  • Promptly report claims within time-sensitive deadlines.

  • Safeguard your rights throughout the claim process.

  • Enhance your claim payout potential.

  • Prevent getting a claim denied.


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