Posted: 5/17/2013 7:54:32 AM
For several years now home insurance policies covering houses in coastal South Carolina have a separate deductible that is for wind and hail losses. Not all policies have this type of deductible but it is fair to say that a very high percentage include it.
This only applies if you feel that there is a high probability of your home being damaged by a hurricane. It's been almost 24 years since Hurricane Hugo devastated Charleston and other coastal communities of South Carolina. But before Hugo in 1989 the last hurricane to cause significant damage to this area was in 1959. I certainly hope that it is many more years before we are even brushed by the winds of a hurricane but personally I believe we're due.
The best type of policy doesn't have the hurricane or wind & hail deductible. The next best alternative is a "hurricane deductible". The hurricane deductible only applies if there is damage to your home because of a named hurricane. If you home were damaged by a tropical storm; winter storm, hail or any type of wind or hail that is not associated with a named hurricane then you're "all other perils deductible" applies. In most cases this deductible is $500 to $2500. The standard "wind & hail deductible" applies for any damage to your home because of any wind or hail regardless if it is a hurricane, tornado or winter storm.
The "hurricane deductible" and "wind & hail deductible" are most often a percentage of the dwelling limit which can be 2% to 10%. If your home is insured for $500,000 then with a 10% deductible of this sort, you would be responsible for paying the first $50,000 of damage!
After Hurricane Sandy in 2012, there were many homeowners who were caught off guard by these special deductibles. It is your responsibility to read your insurance policy. Call your agent if you have any questions. There may be a policy available with a lower deductible or better alternative like a hurricane deductible instead of the wind & hail deductible. The time to check is now and not after a claim. We're here to answer any questions that you have.
Larry Freudenberg, President, Triest Agency