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Commissioner Donelon issued a cease and desist order against State Farm Fire and Casualty for applying a Hurricane Duration Deductible outlined in their homeowners policies when application of that deductible was inappropriate. (Photo: State Farm) As a result of the Louisiana DOI’s investigation, a cease-and-desist order from applying the Hurricane Duration Deductible to insured homeowners in the state of Louisiana when the policy indicates that deductible is not applicable was imposed upon State Farm Fire and Casualty. (Photo: State Farm)

It seems that lately, more and more insurance departments are taking closer looks at insurance company actions in response to consumer complaints or regional catastrophes that impact the industry. Recently, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (DOI) announced that Commissioner Donelon issued a cease-and-desist order against State Farm Fire and Casualty for applying a Hurricane Duration Deductible outlined in their homeowners policies when the application of that deductible was considered “incorrect” by the DOI.

The policy language states that the deductible applies to certain damages that occur during a “hurricane duration” and result from a storm system that triggered the duration. The storm must have obtained hurricane status, as classified by the National Weather Service (NWS), within 48 hours before causing damage or after first causing damage as long as hurricane status was designated while a hurricane watch or warning was in effect in the state. A hurricane duration period starts when a watch or warning is issued by the weather service.

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Christine G. Barlow, CPCU

Christine G. Barlow, CPCU, is Managing Editor of FC&S Expert Coverage Interpretation, a division of National Underwriter Company and ALM. Christine has over twenty-five years’ experience in the insurance industry, beginning as a claims adjuster then working as an underwriter and underwriting supervisor handling personal lines. Before joining FC&S, Christine worked as an Underwriting Supervisor for Maryland Auto Insurance Fund, and as Senior Underwriter/Underwriter for companies Montgomery Mutual, Old American, Charter Group, and Nationwide. The publications Christine has written or edited include Personal Lines Unlocked: The Key to Personal Lines Underwriting, Personal Lines Endorsements Coverage Guide, Commercial Flood Insurance Coverage Guide, Personal Flood Insurance Coverage Guide, Homeowners Personal Lines Coverage Guide 5th Edition, Personal Umbrella Coverage Guide 2nd Edition, and Condominium Coverage Guide 2nd Edition, all published by the National Underwriter Company. Christine regularly writes for Claims Magazine and National Underwriter Magazine. Christine regularly presents and moderates webinars on a variety of topics and is an experienced presenter. Christine graduated cum laude from Towson University, Maryland, with a degree in Sociology/Psychology with a concentration in Gerontology.

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