How much does your windstorm deductible actually cost you?

The Atlantic hurricane season is here, so now is a good time for homeowners along the coast and inland to check their insurance coverage. The annual hurricane season runs for about six months, from June through November.

“A good place to start is your deductible,” said Chris Orletski, President of Blankit Insurance Group, an agency that works on behalf of consumers with insurance. “It’s really helpful to know what the dollar amount is and the true out-of-pocket expense.”

Most homeowner insurance policies for coastal properties now have separate deductibles for damage caused by hurricanes, and the amounts are generally based on a percentage of the home’s insured value, rather than a flat dollar amount. Details of a policy’s hurricane deductible will typically be explained on the policy’s “declarations” page.

It’s always a good idea to check with your insurance agent if you do not fully understand what your policy requires, so you can plan for out-of-pocket costs in the event of a storm.

 

Is it a good idea to increase my deductible percentage to save on premium? 

While a deductible of 2 percent may not sound significant, if the home’s insured value is $350,000, that means the deductible is $7,000; with a 5 percent deductible, it’s $17,500. The math is simple, but the cost may be high.

For that reason, consumers should be cautious about increasing hurricane deductibles to lower their insurance premiums.  A percentage deductible for some, could cause a serious financial shortfall if you weren’t expecting a large bill. Some insurers include the dollar value of the deductible, along with the corresponding percentage, to eliminate confusion.  A Blankit Insurance representative will also take time to explain these details to you.

A hurricane deductible is distinct from the deductible for other sorts of damage to the home and usually goes into effect when a storm is categorized as a hurricane by the National Weather Service — or, in some cases, when a storm is named, even if doesn’t become a hurricane. (Some policies have separate windstorm deductibles that apply even for unnamed storms.)

For these reasons, Blankit Insurance Group wants you to carefully consider the outcome when selecting a proper homeowner policy. As always, we are here to answer any of your questions, whether the policy was procured through us or not. Blankit is here for you.

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