Hurricane deductibles in 2022: Your state-by-state guide

Also known as named storm deductibles, hurricane deductibles are seen in 19 states, including Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and other areas prone to hurricanes or severe wind damage.

Pat Howard 1600Jennifer Gimbel

By

Pat Howard

Pat Howard

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Pat Howard is a senior editor and licensed home insurance agent at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

&Jennifer Gimbel

Jennifer Gimbel

Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

Jennifer Gimbel is a managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

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Homeowners in 19 states along the East Coast, Tornado Alley, and Dixie Alley that are prone to hurricanes, twisters, and bad windstorms usually have a special windstorm or hurricane deductible on top of their standard home insurance deductible. 

Also known as named storm deductibles, hurricane deductibles are typically higher than your regular home insurance deductible and calculated as a percentage of your home’s insured value — but sometimes they can be set at a flat dollar amount. 

We break down exactly when these deductibles are triggered and the laws of each state to ensure you’re fully prepared to file a home insurance claim should a hurricane, tornado, or other windstorm damage your home.

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What is a hurricane deductible?

Hurricane deductibles are what you’re responsible for paying when a hurricane damages your home before your insurance company kicks in to cover the rest. Hurricane deductibles are triggered if your home is damaged by wind or rain from a hurricane — though flooding caused by a hurricane isn’t covered by standard home insurance. You’ll need a separate flood insurance policy to be fully protected against storm surge during a hurricane or tropical storm.

Most hurricane deductibles are listed as a percentage of your dwelling coverage limit and apply specifically to hurricane-related wind and rain damage. However, some insurance companies may allow you to choose a hurricane deductible that’s a flat dollar amount — similar to how you choose your standard home insurance deductible.

If your house is severely damaged during a hurricane and you file a claim, your hurricane deductible amount is subtracted from your total claim settlement before you’re reimbursed for the loss. 

Which states have hurricane deductibles in 2022?

The following 19 states and Washington, D.C. currently have some form of hurricane, named storm, or windstorm deductible with varying criteria for when they can be triggered.

  • Alabama

  • Connecticut

  • Delaware

  • Florida

  • Georgia

  • Hawaii

  • Louisiana

  • Maine

  • Maryland

  • Massachusetts

  • Mississippi

  • New Jersey

  • New York

  • North Carolina

  • Pennsylvania

  • Rhode Island

  • South Carolina

  • Texas

  • Virginia

  • Washington, D.C.

→ Jump down to learn about the hurricane deductible laws of your state

When is a hurricane deductible triggered?

Your state and insurance company decides when your hurricane deductible is triggered — i.e. needs to be paid when you file a claim. It’s typically triggered when the National Weather Service (NWS) or National Hurricane Center (NHC) issues a hurricane warning in your area or state.

However, some states like Alabama and Georgia leave it entirely up to the individual insurance company to determine the rules for when a hurricane deductible is triggered.

How often do I have to pay a hurricane deductible?

Depending on your state and insurance company, hurricane deductibles are either paid:

  • Per storm: Your hurricane deductible is triggered every time a named storm damages your property — regardless of whether it happens in the same season or year

  • Per season: Only pay the hurricane deductible once during hurricane season — even if your house is damaged by multiple hurricanes

  • Per calendar year: Your deductible can only be applied a maximum of once per year

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How are hurricane deductibles calculated?

Most insurance companies calculate your hurricane deductible as a percentage of your home’s insured value — also known as your dwelling coverage limit. The typical hurricane deductible is between 1% and 5% — though it can go as high as 10% if you live in a high-risk area. While some insurers let you choose a hurricane deductible that’s a flat-dollar amount, that’s not the norm. 

You also might have the option of leaving the hurricane deductible completely off of your policy — in which case your standard all perils deductible would apply instead. Just keep in mind that you’ll likely be charged higher premiums if you don’t include a hurricane deductible in your policy.  

How does a hurricane deductible work?

Let’s take a look at a hurricane deductible in action. Say you have $200,000 in dwelling coverage, and a 5% hurricane deductible. Your house incurs $120,000 in wind and rain damage during a hurricane. When you file a claim, your insurer would deduct $10,000 ($200,000 x 0.05) from the loss amount before paying you the $110,000 claim settlement.

What caused the need for hurricane deductibles?

Hurricane deductibles became commonplace after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Insurance companies began to realize they were paying out too much in hurricane-related claims. These deductibles made it possible for insurance companies to pass a larger share of expensive wind losses off to consumers and keep insurance premiums relatively low.

→ Learn more about hurricane insurance

In some states, insurance companies may have named storm or windstorm deductibles either separate from or in lieu of a hurricane deductible. Named storm and windstorm deductibles broaden the criteria under which higher percentage deductibles can be applied to claims.

Hurricane deductibleNamed storm deductibleWindstorm deductible
What it isA deductible that applies to wind damage specifically caused by a hurricane with wind speeds of 74+ mphA deductible that applies to wind damage cause by a named storm — i.e. a tropical storm with wind speeds of 39+ mphA deductible that applies to any type of wind damage — whether from a mild storm to a hurricane
When it’s usually triggeredWhen the NWS or NHC reports wind speeds greater than 74 mphWhen the NWS or NHC gives the storm a nameWhen your home is damaged from wind that’s not tropical storm related
States where it’s commonFlorida, Louisiana, and other states at high risk for hurricanesMississippi, New Jersey, and other states at high risk of tropical stormsOklahoma, Texas, and other states in Tornado Alley

Hurricane and named storm deductibles may also include a timing element. For example, the exact trigger could be 12 hours before the NWS issued a warning for any part of the state. And it might last until 24 hours after wind speeds of 74 mph or greater were last recorded. 

If your home insurance has a hurricane or named storm deductible, be sure to check the fine print of your policy so you know for sure when it applies and when it doesn’t. 

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Hurricane deductible laws by state

Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding what kind of percentage deductibles insurers can charge as well as when they’re allowed to charge them. 

Here are the current deductible laws in each state, according to the Insurance Information Institute. [1]  

StateWhen hurricane deductibles are triggeredWhere to get help
AlabamaAt your insurance company’s discretionAlabama Department of Insurance
ConnecticutWhen the NWS declares a hurricane with winds of 74+ mph anywhere in the state — lasting until 24 hours after the termination of the last hurricane warning or 24 hours after the hurricane is downgradedConnecticut Insurance Department
DelawareAt your insurance company’s discretion — though rules must be clear and prominentDelaware Department of Insurance
FloridaFrom the time a hurricane watch or warning is declared for any part of the state until 72 hours after the watch or warning ends, as well as anytime hurricane conditions exist in the stateFlorida Office of Insurance Regulation
GeorgiaAt your insurance company’s discretionGeorgia Office of Insurance
HawaiiVaries by insurance company — but most trigger it when the NWS issues a hurricane watch or warning and it lasts for 72 hoursHawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Insurance
LouisianaWhen the NHC reports wind strength of 74+ mphLouisiana Department of Insurance
MaineWhen the NWS issues a hurricane warning for a forecast zone that includes your home’s municipality — and it ends 24 hours after the NWS terminates the last hurricane warning for your forecast zoneMaine Bureau of Insurance
MarylandWhen there’s a hurricane warning in any part of the stateMaryland Insurance Administration
MassachusettsAt your insurance company’s discretionMassachusetts Division of Insurance
MississippiWhen the NWS or NHC issues a named storm or hurricane watch or warning anywhere in the state — and it ends 24 hours after the last named storm or hurricane watch or warning is terminatedMississippi Insurance Department
New JerseyWhen a storm is designated a hurricane by the NWS and when winds are 74+ mph anywhere in the state — the period begins 12 hours before the first time winds of 74+ mph are measured and ends 12 hours after the last time hurricane-force winds of 74+ mph are measuredNew Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance
New YorkWhen a storm is designated a hurricane by the NWS or NHCNew York State Department of Financial Services
North CarolinaWhen an advisory, watch, or warning for a named storm is issued for any part of the state by the NWS — it ends 24 hours after the last named storm advisory, watch, or warning is issued for any part of the state, whichever is the latestNorth Carolina Department of Insurance
PennsylvaniaAt your insurance company’s discretionPennsylvania Insurance Department
Rhode IslandVaries by region of the state — though typically triggered when a warning is issued or hurricane-force winds are recorded by the NWSRhode Island Department of Business Regulation
South CarolinaAt your insurance company’s discretion — though they must include a clear explanation in your policySouth Carolina Department of Insurance
TexasOne single windstorm deductible is triggered for all types of wind loss — whether from a hurricane, tornado, named storm, or other stormTexas Department of Insurance
VirginiaAt your insurance company’s discretionVirginia State Corporation Commission
Washington, D.C.When hurricane-force winds are recorded or the NHC designates the storm a hurricane in D.C.District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking

Frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What hurricane deductibles are available in Florida?

Homeowners in Florida can choose a hurricane deductible that’s $500 (only for homes insured up to $250,000) or 2%, 5%, or 10% of their dwelling coverage limit, according to the Florida Department of Financial Services.

What hurricane deductibles are available in Louisiana?

Homeowners in Louisiana can choose a hurricane or named storm deductible that’s between 2% and 5% of their dwelling coverage limit, according to the Louisiana Department of Insurance.

Are hurricane deductibles waived for Category 5 hurricanes?

No, hurricane deductibles aren’t waived for Category 5 hurricanes. However, your deductible might be absorbed by your insurance company if the total loss and damages caused by the hurricane exceeds your policy limits — i.e. you file a total loss claim.

Where can I find my hurricane deductible on my policy?

You can check the declarations page on your home insurance policy to find all of your deductibles — including ones for named storms, hurricanes, and wind/hail.

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