Compensation for Hurricane Damages

Hurricanes are one of the most destructive forces in nature. If your home or business has been destroyed by a hurricane, figuring out the compensation your insurance company owes you can be very confusing. If you have suffered hurricane damage, you should immediately reach out to an experienced Metairie attorney. The Fisher Law Firm can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Read below for more information about compensation for hurricane damage in Louisiana.

Compensation for Hurricane Damages

What Does Hurricane Insurance Cover After a Hurricane?

The amount of compensation you could expect to receive after suffering hurricane damage depends on the terms of your policy and the damage that you suffered. Losses commonly covered by standard homeowner’s insurance include:

  • Wind damage to siding or roof;
  • Downed power line or tree damage;
  • Water damage caused from the roof, siding, or window damage;
  • Structural building damage;
  • Damage to personal property from flying debris; and
  • Temporary living expenses, like rent, food, and transportation costs. Some policies limit living expenses to a specific time period, for example, one year. In contrast, other policies will limit living expenses to a percentage, generally 20%, of the insurance coverage on your home.

Because Metairie, Louisiana is located in a coastal area, some major insurers exclude wind and hail damage from standard homeowner’s insurance. If this is the case, you will need to purchase an endorsement or supplemental policy, or you will not be covered for any damage caused by hurricane winds.

In addition, most standard homeowner’s insurance policies exclude flood damage caused by a hurricane. Instead, you will need a separate flood insurance policy to cover water and storm surges from hurricanes.

What are Factors That Affect Compensation for Hurricane Damages in Louisiana?

Various factors affect the compensation that you are entitled to in Louisiana, including the type of insurance policy and your policy limits.

  • Type of Policy

In general, insurance policies either provide replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage. Replacement cost coverage provides policyholders the dollar amount needed to replace or repair damaged property without deducting for depreciation (the decrease in value due to age, wear and tear, and other factors). Actual cash value coverage pays the policyholder the amount needed to replace or repair the damaged item minus depreciation. For example, if your ten-year-old washing machine is destroyed beyond repair, actual cash value coverage will not pay the full amount of a new washing machine. Replacement cost coverage is typically more expensive than actual cost coverage.

In addition, compensation depends on whether you have an extended replacement cost policy. In general, if your home is damaged beyond repair, homeowner’s insurance policies will only pay up to the limits of the policy. However, if you have an extended replacement cost policy, your insurer will pay a certain percentage over the policy’s limits (anywhere from 125% to 150%). This type of policy is helpful because, after a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, building costs can go up unexpectedly as demand rises.

  • Policy Limits

It is critical to be aware of your policy limits and ensure that the amount is large enough to rebuild your home. Insurance policies recommend that your dwelling is insured for 100% of the replacement cost. If you make significant improvements to your home, you should notify your insurance company to confirm that you are not underinsured.

When Does a Hurricane Deductible Apply in Louisiana?

To limit their exposure, many insurance companies in coastal Louisiana charge a special deducible for hurricane damage in addition to the standard deducible. The hurricane deducible is usually two to five percent of the insured property value. For example, if the home has an insured value of $200,000 and your policy has a five percent hurricane deductible, you will have to pay $10,000 out of pocket before the insurance coverage took effect. Depending on your policy, some damages may not be subject to the deductible.

The hurricane deducible only kicks in after a specific trigger, such as the National Weather Service issuing a hurricane warning in Louisiana. Under Louisiana law, insurance companies can only charge one hurricane deducible per season.

Your Metairie Hurricane Insurance Attorney

If you have a question about a property damage claim for hurricane damage, you should reach out to a local Metairie attorney. The Fisher Law Firm is a full-service law firm dedicated to providing the best legal services to Louisiana residents. Call us today at 504-304-4944 to schedule an appointment at our Metairie, Louisiana office.


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