Some insurance companies in Louisiana have a clause that states if a home is damaged by a named storm (tropical or hurricane), the deductible is anywhere from five percent to two percent of the home’s value.
A house worth $100,000 that has a two percent seasonable deductible, the deductible would be $2,500. Some insurance companies have as high as a five percent seasonable deductible.
By chance if two hurricanes hit or make landfall near Vermilion Parish which results in hurricane damage to the homeowner each time, the homeowner will have to fork out the first $2,500 for each claim filed.
Some state legislatures want to change the way insurance companies operate and limit the deductible to one named storm per year instead of each storm.
Sen. Nick Gautreaux, D., of Abbeville sits on the State Senate Insurance Committee. He and other legislators are trying to change the way insurance companies set their deductibles.
“We are asking the insurance companies to wave those deductibles to just one deductible,” he said. “We are asking insurance companies waive the deductible for each and have a seasonal deductible.”
This means the homeowner would only pay a $2,500 deductible no matter if there was one hurricane or 10 to hit Louisiana, he said.
Sen. Donald Cravins, D-Opelousas, chairman of the committee, said he will send a letter to all insurers next week asking them to voluntarily charge one deductible this storm season.
Last week, Gautreaux and the committee introduced the idea of a one-named storm deductible to Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon during the meeting.
Donelon said he would support the bill in 2009 but he did not think it was a good idea.
“Banning the named-storm deductibles would result in most major carriers departing the state,” Donavan said. in the Times Picayune newspaper. “To ban it is to shut down the insurance companies in the state.”
If a company takes advantage of the law, it would be required to file a business plan detailing how it intends to write new business.
The law kicks in when Donelon’s office finishes drafting the rules and regulations for the program, a process that could take months.