Against the Wind: Hurricane Season

– Why Your Deductible Matters

When your home suffers wind damage from a storm, you don’t want to be surprised by the insurance wind deductible for the repair costs. Windstorm related damage can be confusing to understand. If you live in coastal regions, insurance policies often incorporate some form of wind percentage damage related deductible. Typically, there are three different wind deductibles:

1. General Windstorm deductible –applies to any wind damage, or

2. Named Storm deductible – damage caused by a “Named Storm” by National Weather Bureau, or

3. Hurricane deductible – wind related damage caused by a Hurricane

The wind deductible you have will make a difference in your out-of-pocket costs. The difference between the various wind deductible types is important to understand.

If your home is valued at $500,000 and you have a 2% general windstorm deductible, you’d incur a

$10,000 out of pocket for any windstorm damage. If, however, you have a ‘Hurricane Only’ wind deductible

then you would not incur any out-of-pocket wind deductible expense as it was not a Hurricane. Look for a policy offering no windstorm deductible. If that is not possible request a Named Storm or Hurricane only wind deductible policy. In either of those, the National Weather Bureau must declare the storm or hurricane name before that type of deductible would apply. These are more fair. This benefits you as a homeowner If you have to make repairs resulting from a wind-driven nor’easter, then the windstorm deductible wouldn’t apply. Ask for the lowest available named storm or hurricane deductible.

To reduce wind related risks, take the necessary precautions such as removing or pruning trees near the home to allow the wind to pass through; install storm shutters, clear loose debris from the yard, and have the roof inspected. New roofing products are available that will warranty up to 150 mph winds And when the storm does come, keep the doors and windows closed and protected.

As with any insurance question, consult with an insurance professional to determine the policy that best meets your needs. Insurance is only one piece of an overall risk reduction strategy to safeguard and protect your assets.

Douglas MacDonald is the CEO & President of Murray and MacDonald Insurance Services, Inc, with offices in Falmouth and Bourne. Visit www.riskadvice.com to learn more.