Connecticut Regulators to Revise Hurricane Deductible Rules

October 14, 2011

Connecticut insurance regulators are working on revising hurricane deductible rules in the wake of tropical storm Irene.

The insurance department spokesperson told Insurance Journal that the new rules under consideration focus exclusively on wind speeds measured within the state. Whether a wind system was previously designated as a hurricane or whether a hurricane warning was issued will no longer be a factor if new rules are approved.

Focusing on Wind Speeds Measured Within State

Current Connecticut guidelines allow carriers to impose a hurricane deductible which begins at the time a hurricane warning is declared by the National Hurricane Center for anywhere in the state to 24 hours after a hurricane warning is terminated, or 24 hours after the hurricane is downgraded from a hurricane.

Connecticut Insurance Department spokesperson Debra Korta said the department began reviewing its rules for use of the hurricane deductible immediately following tropical Storm Irene. “The proposed rules under consideration would allow insurers to impose hurricane deductibles only if the state experiences hurricane-force winds of 74 mph within the state,” Korta explained.

“The department wants to be sure the new guidelines are fair to consumers while ensuring that Connecticut’s insurance marketplace remains competitive,” she said. “Further details and parameters of the guidelines are still under discussion.”

Some Connecticut residences whose hurricane deductibles were triggered have been protesting against the rules.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the District of Columbia and 18 states currently allow hurricane deductibles: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.

Hurricane deductibles typically range from one to five percent but can be higher in coastal areas. In some cases, insurers make them mandatory for homes in high-risk coastal areas.

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