The short answer to this question is NO, but the answer is a bit more complex than a one-liner unfortunately. When it comes to a standard homeowners insurance policy issued in Florida, if it is on an HO3 form (as most of them are), it will automatically include Wind, Hailstorm AND Hurricane coverage unless you specifically opt out of this coverage by completing a handwritten statement along with your signature when purchasing your policy. Insurance agents commonly refer to the “Wind, Hailstorm, and Hurricane” portion of coverage simply as “WIND” (Ex. Your agent may provide a quote and label it EX-WIND, which likely means that quote does not cover Wind, Hailstorm, or Hurricane coverage.) and therefor they may present a quote that includes this coverage, and one that does not. Further, because the insurance landscape in Florida is so complex and an ever-changing environment, there are times when your agent may suggest for you to purchase 2 separate policies to get the best value. (You are able to purchase a Homeowners policy that excludes Wind, Hailstorm, and Hurricane coverage and then purchase a second policy that ONLY provides Wind, Hailstorm, and Hurricane coverage).
If you decide to purchase a policy that includes Wind, Hailstorm, and Hurricane coverage, losses as a result of Hurricane are subject to a higher deductible, which is labeled as a percentage on your quote or policy. Many people assume the hurricane deductible is a fraction of the overall claim amount, which is incorrect, it is actually a fraction of the homes insured value (Coverage A on your quote or policy). This “Hurricane Deductible” is typically 2% or 5%, but I have seen deductibles as low as $500 flat, to as high as 20%. It is important to understand your hurricane deductible now and know you can comfortably pay that portion of the claim rather than after the fact; A 2% deductible on a $300,000 ($6,000) home is much lower than a 5% deductible ($15,000), and many times the cost to lower from one to the other comes down to only pennies a day.
While the definition may vary from one carrier to the next, many carriers use the same rule of thumb when determining which losses are due to a hurricane, and which losses are simply due to normal wind or hailstorm. Since this “definition” decides which deductible to apply and how much you are responsible to cover, it is also very important to know. Citizens takes the following approach when making this determination: From the moment a tropical storm or hurricane watch or warning is issued for ANY part of Florida up until 72 hours AFTER all watches and warnings have expired, all wind losses in Florida in this timeframe would be considered Hurricane losses and subject to the Hurricane deductible.
If you’d like us to review your current coverage with you, please call Evolve Insurance Agency today at 941-244-2760 and speak with an agent. We have many options for homeowners and many options that provide wind, hailstorm, and hurricane coverage.
Principal Agent, Evolve Insurance Agency