State Farm hurricane deductible jumps to 5 percent

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News,Business

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — One month into the hurricane season, State Farm's 308,000 Louisiana homeowner's customers are confronting an unpleasant change: their policies now include a mandatory 5 percent hurricane deductible.

State Farm spokesman Gary Stephenson tells The Advocate (http://bit.ly/1xRvyrZ ) the hurricane deductible was included on new policies in November and added to existing customers as they've renewed their policies on or after Dec. 1. Most policies had a 2 percent hurricane deductible.

That means a customer with a $200,000 house and 5 percent hurricane deductible will pay for the first $10,000 in damage before insurance kicks in, compared to the $4,000 the customer would have paid under a 2 percent deductible.

The mandatory hurricane deductible accompanied an average statewide rate increase of close to 9 percent on premiums policyholders pay for insurance. The increase averages 9 percent in Orleans and Jefferson parishes, 7.5 percent in East Baton Rouge, and 9.4 percent in Lafayette, according to the Louisiana Department of Insurance.

The increased hurricane deductible wasn't part of State Farm's previously reported rate filing nor was it required to be.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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