We’re tested every year. It’s a way of life in Southeast Louisiana. Every year the roofs of our houses are tested by battering hail, our windows and walls by gusting winds, and our brains by the application of confusing deductibles on our homeowners insurance.  If you’ve made a claim for storm damage against your insurance policy, you’ve probably been left scratching your head trying to understand how your insurance company applied your deductible to your claim check.  If you have never made a claim, your day will probably come as it seems to be a rite of passage of homeownership in our region.

Every homeowner should understand how their deductibles work.

It seems that every year since Katrina, some storm event wreaks havoc on our property. Last year it was Hurricane Isaac. This year, so far, it has been the February 24th hail storm.  I managed to fare the hailstorm unscathed. However, I was not so lucky with Isaac. If I had sustained hail damage, I could expect my deductible to apply differently than it did for my Isaac claim. Here is why:

Hurricane Deductible

 

My personal homeowners insurance policy has a 2% Hurricane deductible, that applies in the event of a loss (fancy insurance word for “damage”) caused by a hurricane. I am on the hook for the first 2% of my Coverage A (Insurance speak for the dollar amount the company is covering my house) and the insurance company pays for the rest of the loss.

 

All Other Perils (AOP)

 

If I would have had damage from the hailstorm my AOP deductible would have applied. The AOP on most policies is a fixed dollar amount.  In my case AOP is anything other than hurricane since I have a specific deductible for hurricane losses.

 

Named Storm Deductible

 

Your policy has an AOP deductible, but the scope of what “Other Perils” covers can vary from policy to policy.  Your policy may have a specific “Named Storm Deductible” and not a “hurricane deductible”.  So “other peril” refers to any peril other than any named storm.  A named storm includes tropical storms and hurricanes.

 

Wind & Hail Deductible

 

Your policy may have a specific “wind and hail deductible”. In this case, “other peril” would refer to any loss caused by anything other than wind and hail.  Wind and hail includes tropical storms, hurricanes and any wind/hail event. Since this deductible is also typically a percentage of your coverage amount, it is likely it would be higher than if any wind or any hail (not named storm) was covered under your AOP deductible.

 

Confused Yet?

 

Here’s where you check your policy to see how the deductible language is written. We want to help you understand what to expect in the event of a loss. It is much better to learn now, than it is when your roof looks like a golf ball. Call the team at Garcia Insurance Services to review your policy.

 Do you know what type of deductible you have?