Understanding Hurricane Deductibles in Mississippi
A few named storms have already come and gone around the Biloxi and Gulfport areas, but you can be sure that there will be more to come during the 2017 season. Fortunately for many Mississippi residents, Tropical Storm Cindydissipated after making landfall on June 22, 2017, according to ABC-WLOX News. Homeowners know that it’s critical to continue watching the flash flood and tornado warnings and watches that remain in effect after a storm, especially since these weather conditions can still cause considerable damage. If your home is affected by a storm, your first steps – after taking proper safety precautions – would be to review your homeowners insurance policy and file a claim. However, insurance disputes may arise over hurricane and windstorm deductibles, so a general understanding of how they work is important.
However, every year prior to the start of Hurricane Season, local homeowners should review their policies and be sure they are covered in the event of a loss. If you home is damaged from a storm, you won’t be able to recover if your insurance has lapsed or you don’t have sufficient coverage. Also, it’s a good idea to take an inventory of your home and its possessions each year, including photographs. This will help you in the event you suffer a catastrophic loss to your home.
Hurricane Deductibles Overview
Hurricanes and tropical storms have caused billions of dollars in insured losses for companies over the years, going back to Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and more recently with Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. To reduce their exposure, many insurers in Atlantic and Gulf Coast states have implemented homeowners insurance policies that include deductibles that apply separately from those that cover more traditional types of damage. Nineteen states, including Mississippi, have hurricane deductibles, as does Washington, DC.
How Deductibles Work in Mississippi
Hurricane deductible provisions in homeowners insurance policies are on a percentage/dollar basis that’s higher than for other losses, such as damages due to a fire. The calculation is a percentage of the dollar amount of the total coverage on the structure: The homeowner pays the deductible amount and the insurer covers the remainder, depending on the specifics of the policy.
Trigger Events for Hurricane Deductibles
The weather events that trigger hurricane deductibles also vary by insurance provider. Typically, the provisions only go into effect when an official hurricane watch or warning is announced by the National Weather Service; the deductible clauses also terminate 24 hours after the last watch or warning for the named storm is issued for the relevant geographic region. In addition, for some policies, the intensity of the storm may impact the trigger event.
Insurance companies must clearly state on the homeowners policy the details for determining the deductible timing and offer a real-life example so policyholders can understand how the provisions work.
Biloxi Insurance Dispute Lawyers Can Help
You think that you have all the forms completed and requirements covered when filing a claim with your homeowners insurance provider, so it may come as a shock if the company raises the issue of hurricane deductibles. The application of these rules and identifying trigger events is complicated, and you’re up against the insurer’s legal department when there’s a dispute. Therefore, it’s wise to retain the services of a skilled insurance dispute attorney to represent your interests and pursue your rights under the police. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Judy Guice are dedicated to serving client needs in insurance dispute cases, and they can help with your matter. Please contact our Biloxi MS office today to schedule a free initial consultation.