RALEIGH, N.C.-As the Carolinas take the first steps toward recovery from Hurricane Florence, the insurance industry is hard at work helping residents, businesses, and affected communities jump-start the rebuilding process. The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is providing home and business owners important information regarding insurance deductibles as recovery begins.
“A storm of this magnitude causes massive disruption of people’s lives and businesses. However, insurance agents and adjusters are already cutting checks and delivering assistance to policyholders,” said Chris Hackett, PCI’s senior director of personal lines. “Homeowners starting the rebuilding process should report all damages as soon as possible and talk with their insurance company or agent to get specific information regarding their deductibles and steps they can take to settle the claim quickly and accurately.”
In the wake of Hurricane Florence, there have been numerous questions and sometimes conflicting information regarding the type of deductible that may be applied to claims arising from this event.
Homeowners insurance policies typically have a standard all-perils deductible, which is the portion of loss arising from any type of insured damage that the homeowner pays upfront. This amount is usually a flat dollar amount such as $500 or $1,000. In both North and South Carolina as well as 17 other states and the District of Columbia, the use of hurricane deductibles is permitted in place of, or in addition to, a standard deductible when a named hurricane or tropical storm occurs. They are usually triggered when the National Weather Service (NWS) officially names a storm or issues a hurricane or tropical storm watch or warning, or by the intensity of the storm.
“A key difference between the two types of deductibles is the amount of the claimant’s out-of-pocket expense — a hurricane deductible is often based on a percentage, usually 1 to 5 percent of the home’s insured value,” said Hackett.
Hurricane deductibles are an important risk management tool. These deductibles allow insurers to promote the affordability and availability of property insurance for consumers in disaster prone areas.
“Insurance policy contracts, state laws, and regulations govern how deductibles are handled. It is clearly stated in the insurance policy when a deductible applies. As a result, it is important to check your policy and talk with your insurer or agent to determine the amount for which you are responsible,” added Hackett.
2018 Hurricane Season Resources:
The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) member company Toll-Free Policyholder Claim Phone Numbers.
Online Magazine: http://bit.ly/HurricanePrep2018
2018 Insurance Checklist: http://bit.ly/InsuranceChecklist18
2018 Hurricane Fact Sheet: http://bit.ly/HurricaneFacts18
2018 Insurance Claim Tips: http://bit.ly/InsuranceClaimTips
Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value: http://bit.ly/replacementvscashvalue
PCI’s contractor fraud and abuse digital interactive guide is a one-stop shop to learn more about how to avoid contractor fraud and abuse.