Insurance deductibles can be complicated, especially when the reason you need to use your insurance is hurricane related damage. A deductible is the policyholder’s share of the loss to be assumed or paid prior to the insurance company paying for coverage under the policy.
Typically, there are standard or “other perils” deductibles of $500.00 or $1,000.00 in most homeowners’ policies.There are three deductibles for homeowners policies related to wind damage: hurricane, named storm, and windstorm and hail. Wind, named storm and hurricane deductibles are typically a percentage of your home’s insured value.These deductibles usually range from 1% to 5%, though they can be higher in high-risk coastal areas. Louisiana also allows insurers to charge special deductibles for hurricane damage.
Fortunately, insurers generally cannot increase the named storm or hurricane deductible on homeowners insurance policies that have been in effect for more than three years. Insurers also cannot impose more than one named storm or hurricane deductible per hurricane season. In 2009 the Louisiana Legislature passed a statute known as the Louisiana Homeowners’ Hurricane, Named-Storms and Wind and Hail Deductible Law, which addresses both the trigger and the application of the Specified or Separate Hurricane, Named-Storms, and Wind and Hail Deductibles in homeowners’ policies issued in Louisiana. La. Rev. Stat. § 22:1337.
Named storm deductibles are activated when the National Hurricane Center reports that a storm reached tropical storm strength, which is when winds reach 39 miles per hour.
Hurricane deductibles are activated when the National Hurricane Center reports that a tropical storm reaches hurricane strength, which is at 74 mph.
Most homeowners’ insurance does not cover damage from hurricanes without extra insurance. If there is time before a storm it is important to document the state of your home to the best of your ability, and do the same once it is safe after the storm. Homeowners facing these storms also want to make sure that their belongings inside the home are covered by their insurance. It is best practice to keep receipts for the expensive or most important items in your home if you live in a hurricane prone area.
However, some insurance companies use their own property adjusters to value damaged items within the home. In those cases, receipts can help ensure that you are justly compensated for your belongings. In addition to homeowners’ insurance, residents may need to purchase flood and/or windstorm insurance separately to be compensated for all the damages they incur during a hurricane. Additionally, in Louisiana, there are separate deductibles from your regular home coverage deductible for damage caused by hurricanes.
Homeowners Insurance Policies may owe you 100% of the full value of your policy. Under Louisiana’s Valued Policy Law, if the insurer places a valuation upon the covered property and uses that valuation for purposes of determining the premium charge made under the policy, in the case of total loss, the insurer shall compensate any covered loss or damage to the property. Insurers can set forth a different method of computing the loss in the policy that you sign and agree to in the contract you make with your insurance company. In Louisiana, if the insurer sets out a different method to be used in the computation of loss for the policy and they provided clear notice of the different method, then the insurer may not be required to pay the full value of the loss.
If the cost to repair your property exceeds the total value of that property, then the property is considered a total loss and Louisiana’s Valued Policy Law will apply. The issue arises when a hurricane hits and the total loss is a result of the combination of wind, which would be covered under the policy, and flooding damage, not covered by policy. This makes it difficult to determine if the Valued Policy Law applies.
Experience, Dedication and Results
In 1993, Mr. Cueria founded the Cueria Law Firm, LLC, located in New Orleans, in order to focus on the representation of injured individuals, where his true passion is. Mr. Cueria uses his past experience to diligently advocate for the injured and disabled clients he now represents against the insurance companies.
At Cueria Law Firm, LLC, our team frequently handles a variety of personal injury and accident cases from start to finish. Our accomplished personal injury attorney worked as a defense attorney for insurance companies, and understands the tactics they use to justify their low-ball settlement offers. No matter what type of accident you or your loved one suffered an injury from, our team will take a dedicated and personal approach, ensuring you get the money you need to recovery.
At Cueria Law Firm, LLC, we understand the financial stress that comes with being the victim of a personal injury accident. We offer a free consultation for any person who contacts our New Orleans office with a potential personal injury case. We have no upfront retainer fees, and only collect our payment once we have successfully secured your settlement or trial award.
Let our team at Cueria Law Firm, LLC, guide you down the path of recovery while handling each step of your case. Contact us today by calling or texting (504) 525-5211.
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"A GUIDE TO LOUISIANA PERSONAL INJURY & MARITIME LAW"
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