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In a recent storm, a tree branch crashed into your roof and tore a hole in it.

Will this be subject to your homeowner’s insurance deductible?

The answer: it depends on whether the storm damage was a hurricane or not.

The Evolution of Hurricane Deductibles

Florida, especially along the coast, is susceptible to hurricanes. Back in 1992, after Hurricane Andrew, insurers were unexpectedly inundated with so many claims that they needed to reduce their potential hurricane losses[1]. Thirteen years later, in 2005, insurers were once again facing financial distress due to the deluge of claims following Hurricane Katrina[2]. To protect themselves, the hurricane deductible was broadly introduced throughout the state. Over time, the use of hurricane deductibles has become more refined. Initially, they were based solely on wind speed criteria, but now they often consider the storm's track and official declarations by state authorities to determine when the deductible applies.

When is the Hurricane Deductible Triggered?  

Florida has very specific laws about what triggers a hurricane deductible. First, there needs to be a hurricane declared by the National Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service[3]. Second, the damage caused by the hurricane must occur beginning when the National Weather Service issues a hurricane watch or warning anywhere in Florida until 72 hours following the final hurricane watch or warning for any part of the state[4]. This means that if your property is damaged because of hurricane conditions during this period, the hurricane deductible—not your standard homeowners insurance deductible—will apply to your claim. Understanding these conditions is crucial for Florida homeowners as it affects how much they might have to pay out of pocket before insurance coverage kicks in for hurricane-induced damages.

Difference between an AOP Deductible and Hurricane Deductible

An AOP deductible is usually a set dollar amount such as $500 or $1000. This is the amount of money that a homeowner must pay themselves before the insurance coverage starts. In contrast, a hurricane deductible is usually either 2, 5, or 10 percent of the insured value of the home[5]. For example, if a home is insured for $300,000 and has a 5 percent hurricane deductible, the homeowner will need to pay $15,000 out of pocket before the insurance company pays anything.

Returning to our original example of a tree branch crashing into your roof, if this were caused by a regular storm, the insurance company would likely cover the cost of repairs after you meet your AOP deductible. However, if this were caused by a hurricane, you will need to meet the higher hurricane deductible before your insurance will reimburse you for damages.

If you have damage to your home or property as a result of a regular storm or a hurricane, contact a public adjuster, like United Claims Specialists. We specialize in deciphering coverage details in insurance policies and negotiating with insurance companies to make sure that you receive as much coverage for your losses as possible.


When you have damage to your home or business, it can be daunting.  Dealing with your insurance company can be incredibly stressful.  Do not let your inexperience dealing with the insurance company cost you time and money!  Our team at United Claims Specialists is here to provide you with the best service so you get the highest settlement for your claim.


United Claims Specialists has a team of experienced, dedicated, and professional public adjusters who work for you to ensure you receive the settlement you deserve when your property or business has property damage.  We work on both residential and commercial claims and will make sure that your loss is handled quickly and properly and that you get the highest settlement possible.


With offices throughout Florida, New York and New Jersey, United Claims Specialists have helped thousands of home and business owners around the country.  Contact us today so we can help you.


[1] Insurance Information Institute. Background on: Hurricane and windstorm deductibles | III. Accessed April 27, 2021.

[2] Insurance Information Institute. Background on: Hurricane and windstorm deductibles | III. Accessed April 27, 2021.

[3] The Florida Senate. Chapter 627 Section 4025 – 2020 Florida Statutes ( Accessed April 27, 2021.

[4] The Florida Senate. Chapter 627 Section 4025 – 2020 Florida Statutes ( Accessed April 27, 2021.

[5] Florida Department of Financial Services. FloridaHurricaneDeductible.pdf ( Accessed April 27, 2021.