TAMPA, Fla. - Hurricane Matthew will likely cause billions of dollars in damage.
And that will mean some Florida homeowners will have to pay some big bucks, even before insurance kicks in.
Experts say different insurance companies handle claims differently, but in general, if a hurricane watch or warning has been issued in the area where the damage is located, hurricane deductibles will kick in….even if the eye of the hurricane never even comes on shore.
Wind strength and your proximity to the storm will affect whether a wind related claim will be considered an isolated event or a hurricane claim.
Here in Florida, most deductibles are two percent...or the first $2,000 in claims on a $100,000 home.
But some policies can be five or even ten percent deductibles.
Deductibles were adopted after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, as a way to keep home insurance companies from leaving the state.
Seven of the 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S history have impacted Florida, causing $68 Billion in losses.
Six of those hurricanes hit Florida in 2004 and 2005.
After that, deductibles were capped at one per homeowner per calendar year.
Even if you get minor damage, the Insurance Information Institute says you should notify your insurance carrier promptly, since sometimes damage can be worse than it initially appears.
The Insurance Information Institute also encourages homeowners to take an inventory of your home using a camera or smart phone, before hurricanes hit.
Here’s a link to a free app that will help you with that process: