Fla. Legislature to Consider Changing Multiple Deductible Rule in December

November 29, 2004

In December the Florida Legislature will consider changing the state’s multiple-deductible rule during future hurricane seasons. The legislature is considering eliminating multiple deductibles for future hurricane seasons and at the same time might considering providing financial assistance to homeowners who had to pay multiple deductibles this year.

Some homeowners in central and west Florida had their properties struck by three hurricanes in August and September, in effect tripling their 2 percent or 5 percent deductible on their home’s insured replacement cost. Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne destroyed more than 25,000 Florida homes in August and September and another 4,600 had major damage, according to the American Red Cross.

In 1992, when Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida, insurers received permission to charge homeowners separate deductibles for different storms. At that time, numerous changes were enacted to cushion insurance companies from losses and to keep them from leaving Florida. At that time, legislators could not foresee what would happen if four hurricanes hit the state in one summer and what effect multiple deductibles would have on homeowners.

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