On the two year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, Judge Travis L. Francis of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County, ruled that the “[a]pplication of the Named Storm deductible for damage caused by Sandy [was] consistent with the clear and unambiguous language of the Policy.”1

Continue Reading Trial Court Rules Superstorm Sandy was a Named Storm and Applies ‘Named Storm Deductible’ on Commercial Policy

If you live in an area of this country which is prone to hurricanes, you likely have a homeowner’s insurance policy which includes a separate deductible for a hurricane or windstorm event. A reoccurring question which plagues homeowners is: “When exactly does this deductible apply?”

Continue Reading Hurricane Deductible Triggers – New York State is Seeking to Establish Standards of Application

Knowing is half the battle…Do you know the specific amount of your hurricane deductible in your insurance policy? Do you know specifically if that hurricane deductible would apply to a Super-Storm Sandy claim? A Bill recently introduced this New York Legislative Session would specifically answer both these questions. It seems to simplify the amount and applicability of hurricane deductibles to policyholders in New York. Before the last couple of years, some might have scoffed at the idea this would occupy the New York Legislature; a hurricane in New York?! But after the last couple seasons, it makes perfect sense.

Continue Reading Proposed New York Legislation Seeks To Eliminate Surprise To Policyholders From Large Hurricane Percentage Deductibles

In the past few days, my colleagues in Florida have written some excellent blog posts on Hurricane Sandy, providing helpful tips to all those who have suffered property loss. I want to continue along the same lines, but with a focus on the topic of insurance policy deductibles.

Continue Reading In the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Not All Homeowners Will Have to Pay Hurricane Deductibles

If you haven’t already heard, last week the Weather Channel announced it will begin naming winter storms during the upcoming 2012-2013 winter season. This is a first for the U.S., where hurricanes and tropical storms are given names but winter storms have historically not received the same treatment. The Weather Channel’s goal is “to better communicate the threat and the timing of the significant impacts that accompany these events. The fact is, a storm with a name is easier to follow, which will mean fewer surprises and more preparation.”

Continue Reading The Weather Channel is Naming Winter Storms. Will that Affect Your Deductible?

A blanket property insurance policy covers different types of property at one or more locations and does not specify the valuation of the items protected under the blanket, but instead allocates an overall limit to the policy, upon which premiums are based.

The expression “blanket policy” is a term of art in the field of insurance. It appears to be most frequently used in connection with fire insurance policies and has acquired a rather precise connotation. A blanket policy is said to be one which contemplates the risk of shifting, fluctuating or varying, and is applied to a class of property rather than to any particular risk or thing…. A compound or blanket policy invariably covers and attaches to every item of property described in the policy and insures the property collectively, without providing in the event of loss for a distribution of the insurance to each item.

Nat’l Bank v. Fidelity and Casualty Co., 125 F.2d 920, 924 (4th Cir. 1942).

Continue Reading How Many Deductibles? Proper Application Of Deductible Under A Blanket Policy On Commercial Properties

A deductible is an important element of every insurance policy. It is the amount the policyholder agrees to pay before insurance coverage kicks in, or the portion of the risk the policyholder agrees to self insure. It is no secret that insurance carriers prefer to issue policies with higher deductibles for certain perils, including hurricane losses. In Florida, insurance carriers can require a separate and distinct deductible for hurricane losses and another deductible for other perils under the insurance policy. The bait for consumers to accept a higher deductible for hurricane losses is a lower affordable premium. Many times, policyholders are not even aware they have a separate deductible for hurricane losses and only find out after their hurricane loss. This exposes policyholders to potential financial ruin. To ensure that policyholders are aware of the separate and usually higher hurricane loss deductible, the Legislature requires admitted carriers to print a notice in bold font.

Continue Reading Florida Statute §627.701 Requires Insurance Carriers to Warn Policyholders of Higher Hurricane Deductible

There were many insurance claims filed after the 2005 hurricanes that devastated Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. Although many different legal issues arose in the ensuing insurance litigation, a bad faith case in Louisiana revolved around the issue of whether the insurance company applied the correct deductible. This week I will explain the Fifth District Court of Appeals’ March 2011 holding in SEACOR Holdings, Inc. v. Commonwealth Insurance Company.

Continue Reading Shell Game as to which Deductible Applies

Many clients and claim professionals often have questions about their deductible responsibility toward their business income claim. Typically, if the property has sustained physical loss or damage, the insured will be required satisfy the applicable peril-deductible to receive benefits to repair or replace the damaged property and trigger the business income coverage. However, insureds should keep in mind that while there may not be an additional monetary deductible to trigger business income coverage, their business income claim will probably be subject to a waiting period of 24-72-hours, which often is the most crucial period of time after the loss. This waiting period is supposed to encourage the insured to take prompt and adequate repair measures to mitigate the business losses. However, any lost profits during this waiting period are not recoverable, and many consider this waiting period a “time deductible.”

Continue Reading A Business Income Deductible is a Concept of Time – Understanding Business Interruption Claims, Part 54