Connecticut officials have alerted insurers that they will not be able to impose much larger hurricane deductibles from damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Despite having the name of Hurricane Sandy, state officials said Tuesday that the winds produced in the storm did not meet the newer definition of a hurricane, which allows for higher deductibles.
“The state moved very swiftly to alert the industry that this storm – although devastating to so many – did not meet the criteria for a hurricane deductible under state law. Homeowners will not have to pay high-cost hurricane deductibles for damage resulting from this storm,” Governor Dannel Malloy said. “Based on the lessons learned from Tropical Storm Irene, we have built stronger consumer protections into our insurance laws. The Insurance Department will be working with the industry to monitor these claims.”
In the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, Governor Malloy signed into law new criteria for insurers in order to impose the higher hurricane deductible. The law requires that a hurricane warning be issued for Connecticut and that the National Weather Service record sustained hurricane force winds of at least 74 miles per hour.
State Insurance Commissioner Thomas Leonardi notified the industry on Tuesday that based on data from the National Weather Service, Storm Sandy did not meet the statutory criteria and therefore “companies may not impose a hurricane deductible on Connecticut claims.”
“Our consumers and the industry deserve and received clarity from this state as soon as possible,” Commissioner Leonardi explained. “The Insurance Department is monitoring the industry closely to ensure that carriers fully comply with all state insurance laws. Our priority is protecting Connecticut policyholders and we stand ready – as we have for every disaster – to assist policyholders with questions and complaints.”
The Insurance Department has set up a special Storm Sandy webpage that offers a number of important resources including, toll-free claims numbers to companies, locations of mobile claims vans, flood insurance claims filing information, and more. Consumers with additional questions can contact the Insurance Department by phone at 1-800-203-3447 or 860-297-3900, or by utilizing the online contact options.
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