Homeowners get reprieve from hurricane deductibles, Cuomo says

A downed tree in Brooklyn following hurricane Sandy
A downed tree in Brooklyn following hurricane Sandy

New York homeowners that experienced property damage from Hurricane Sandy, will not have to pay hurricane deductibles, Governor Cuomo announced yesterday. The New York Daily News reported that because Sandy was not producing sustained hurricane-force winds by the time it reached the East Coast, the New York State Department of Financial Services has told insurers not to ask for hurricane deductibles.

Typically hurricane deductibles, which are built into homeowners’ insurance polices, range from 1 percent to 5 percent of a home’s value. Therefore a 5 percent deductible on a home insured for $300,000 would leave the homeowner on the hook for the first $15,000 of damage.

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“That is good news for New Yorkers,” Benjamin Lawsky, New York State Superintendent of Financial Services, told the Daily News. “It means they will have to pay less out of pocket.”

According to one industry survey, just 13 percent of homeowners have flood insurance nationwide. Moreover, homeowners’ insurance does not cover flood damage caused by storms — giving Cuomo’s announcement an acute timeliness for many New York homeowners. [NYDN]Christopher Cameron