We’re finally reaching the time of year when insurance carriers breathe a sigh of relief and start licking their wounds as the hail season begins to die down. Although hail storms can and do occur any time throughout the year, March through June usually marks the heart of hail season during which 71.4 percent of all hail claims occur.
My beautiful state of Texas, for example, ranked #1 in the nation between 2010 and 2012 for hail claims with over 320,000. That’s 16 percent of the total hail claims for the nation, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). So what do Texas and other areas of the U.S. frequented by hail have in common (other than hail)? Wind/hail deductibles.
Yes, that’s correct, there’s a separate deductible that applies to the exposure of wind and hail. These deductibles, called Percentage Deductibles, first became a popular option on earthquake coverage in the western states, then made their way onto policies in hurricane prone areas, and now they are an option where hail is prevalent. The days of flat $250-$500 deductibles for wind and hail in some parts of the country are fading fast. Both personal and business customers are now seeing 1-2 percent, and even as high as 5 percent, deductibles based on the insured value of their home or business. So if your home is insured for $200,000 and you have a 1 percent wind/hail deductible, you would have to pay the first $2,000 of a covered loss before your insurance policy would kick in.
So what can you do to find the best coverage and value for your insurance dollar?
- Have your independent agent find the best option for your situation. Are you comfortable with taking the higher deductible to earn premium savings, or is the security of knowing that you will only have to meet a smaller deductible in the event of a loss worth the extra monthly premium? Your agent can quickly use “what if” quoting to determine the best value for you.
- Consider a hail resistive roof. Although most claims adjusters in Texas will tell you there is no such thing as a roof that can withstand the force of a hail stone the size of a baseball falling from the sky, some people feel they can be effective.
- Consider a Deductible Buy Back. Some carriers offer a policy covering the deductible you would normally pay in the event of a covered loss such as wind or hail. These can be especially useful when a mortgage company or lender will not accept the risk of a high percentage wind/hail deductible.
To learn more about your wind/hail deductible, contact your independent insurance agent. For more on the basics of deductibles and how they work, view our video above!
The coverages here are described in the most general terms, and are subject to the actual policy conditions and exclusions. For actual coverage wording, conditions, and exclusions, refer to the policy or contact your agent.