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Homeowners won’t have to pay storm deductible

ALBANY — State officials have determined New York homeowners won’t have to pay an insurance deductible in seeking compensation for damage from superstorm Sandy.

Laws in 15 states including New York allow officials to waive the 1 percent to 5 percent deductible payment if a storm is downgraded from a hurricane. Sandy was downgraded from a hurricane just before making landfall Monday on the New Jersey coast.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Financial Services Director Benjamin Lawsky announced Thursday that the payment would be waived in New York.

Lawsky has informed insurance companies of the decision that could save a homeowner thousands of dollars.

The state has a disaster hotline to help. The hotline number is (800) 339-1759 and is staffed weekdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Complaints can be filed online at www.dfs.ny.gov.