New York State's Department of Financial Services has ruled that, for insurance purposes, Hurricane Sandy wasn't a hurricane when it hit the state. 

The distinction will aide homeowners whose insurance policies impose higher deductibles for damages incurred as a result of a hurricane. Under many such insurance contracts, borrowers must pay between 1% and 5% of the cost of repairs, the DFS said.

"We have informed the insurance industry that hurricane deductibles are not triggered because Sandy did not have sustained hurricane-force winds when it made land in New York," Benjamin Lawsky, the Superintendent of Financial Services, said in a press release.

Under New York insurance rules, storms must meet agreed upon criteria in order for insurers to charge the additional premiums.

New Jersey and Connecticut have also informed insurers that they will not be allowed to charge deductibles.

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