Most homeowner policies in Florida have a separate deductible for windstorm losses. Here’s what you need to know. . . .

Most Homeowner policies in Florida that provide windstorm coverage have a separate deductible for hurricane windstorm losses. This deductible might be a dollar amount, or more likely a percentage of the policy’s Coverage A Dwelling limit. The percentage is calculated and the equivalent dollar amount is listed on the policy’s Declarations page.

Per the FL Office of Insurance Regulation, the hurricane deductible applies only if the windstorm damage occurs during a hurricane named by the National Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service. Per Statute, the duration of the hurricane:

  • Begins when a hurricane watch or warning is issued for any part of Florida;
  • Continues while hurricane conditions exist anywhere in Florida; and
  • Ends 72 hours following the termination of the last hurricane watch or warning.

This separate deductible applies for a calendar year. No matter how many storms hit Florida and no matter how many times the home is damaged, the Insured is responsible for this deductible once during the calendar year. After they have met the deductible, it no longer applies to any subsequent covered windstorm losses after a hurricane watch or warning has been issued.

It’s important to be aware that all expenses are subject to this deductible, even those for emergency repairs. The Insured is required to make emergency repairs and prevent further loss. These expenses are included when the adjuster calculates if the Insured has met the deductible. When the Insured obtains a repair contractor to tarp the roof or extract water after a hurricane, the contractor will typically ask for payment because their bill is likely to be within the hurricane deductible amount.

It is very important for Insureds to keep all their receipts and track the expense total. Remember – this is a calendar year deductible. For example:

  • Insured has Coverage A of $280,000 and 2% Hurricane Deductible ($5,600).
  • Storm 1 happens on 7/20 and Insured has expenses to remove a tree from the roof, tarp the roof, replace 15 shingles, and fix a portion of the fence. Total is $4,300.
  • Storm 2 happens on 10/7 and Insured has expenses for water extraction due to broken window, replacement of wood floors in 2 rooms, and damaged contents. Total is $12,000.  Insured is responsible for the remaining $1,300 due on the Calendar Year Hurricane Deductible and the remainder of the second claim is covered according to the policy terms and conditions.