Hurricanes and homeowners’ insurance deductibles

Florida is the only state with calendar year deductibles, which are applicable to all losses that occur in one calendar year. Here, a sprinkler spews out water after a tree came down on a fence in Surfside, Fla., during Hurricane Irma on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) A standard homeowners policy covers damage from wind. However, damage from hurricane strength winds is a different matter and can cause severe damage to property, even demolishing buildings. Many states in hurricane prone areas have developed specific deductibles that apply in the event of a hurricane. Many endorsements use watches and warnings from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) or the National Weather Service (NWS) as the trigger for use of the deductibles. Both agencies are part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Deductibles are often available as a dollar amount or a percentage. The insured selects the deductible that individual is comfortable with, and it is scheduled onto the endorsement. Florida is the only state with calendar year deductibles. Calendar year deductibles are applicable to all losses that occur in one calendar year. If the policy spans more than one calendar year, then two separate calendar year deductibles are used. Consider this: A policy is effective from June 1, 2016, through that same day the following year. The calendar year deductible is $5,000. In August 2016, the insured sustains a hurricane loss and the $5,000 deductible is applied. In June 2017, the insured sustains another hurricane loss. Because this is a different year, even though it is the same policy period, another $5,000 hurricane deductible is applied. Christine G. Barlow, CPCU.


About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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