A Windstorm Mitigation Inspection of your Home will almost always Save You Money

Hurricane

Here’s why – Following an intensely active tropical storm season and resulting all-out battery on the US, a handful of insurance companies not-surprisingly went bankrupt over mounting claim costs. Officials in states like Florida and Louisiana, hard hit by strong storms like 2004’s Charley and Ivan and 2005’s Katrina and Rita, saw an exodus of insurance companies and homeowners left high and not-so dry. They knew they needed to do something to help property owners and insurance companies alike and do it FAST.

The solution: Incentivize wind mitigation inspections as a means of safeguarding properties in targeted areas, in the hopes that insurance companies would increase their odds of insuring more secure, less damage-susceptible properties.

In 2006, Florida became the first state in the nation to mandate that insurance companies offer some reduction insurance costs if a wind mitigation inspection is sought and certified upon review by a qualified inspector (usually a state certified contractor, architect or engineer) with other coastal states including Louisiana, following suit.

So….How much can I save and what does a wind mitigation inspection cost.

Savings depends on the features of your property. An inspector will evaluate the wind-mitigating characteristics of your home or business. Post-inspection, that inspector will make recommendations for any improvements or repairs that you could make to enhance its sustainability against windstorm damage. He then submits a state-standard inspection report to you for your use. The report is viewed as a benchmark of your home’s ability to withstand storm damage, and your agent can provide you with details of your discount.

Fees for a Wind Mitigation Report can be as low as $75.

Features of your home that will be inspected:

  1. Roof Covering: inspectors want to know when the roof was installed and does if it meets building codes. In Florida, the code standard was updated in 2001.
  2. Roof Deck Attachment: inspectors will determine what type of roof decking is used and how it’s attached to the underlying structure, like if it’s nailed or stapled down. If nails are used, nail length and spacing between each will also be noted.
  3. Roof to Wall Attachment: the roof attachments become the focus here: are trusses attached with nails or hurricane clips? Are the metal wraps single or double? The more secure your roof, the better impact on your wallet!
  4. Roof Geometry: is your roof hip or not? Nope, the inspector won’t care how cool it is, just how it’s shaped – a hip roof resembles that of a pyramid, and is a definite qualifier for a discount.
  5. Gable End Bracing: if the roof is a gable style, an inspector will review if the gable ends are braced to Florida Building Code standards. Gable ends measuring more than 48 inches tall should be braced for reinforcement, and inspectors will be checking for this qualification for discount.
  6. Wall Construction Type: Inspectors will review the construction materials used on your home for framing, reinforcement, and outer fascia, and at what percentages. Steel reinforced concrete block homes may yield a better discount than one with a wood frame /plywood walls and plastic siding.
  7. Secondary Water Barrier: This is a newer item for roofs. If your roof was installed or upgraded before 2008, it’s fairly unlikely you’ll have this sort of barrier. As with most newer features, photo documentation, at a minimum, will be required for a discount in this area. Discuss this feature with your roofer when replacing a roof.
  8. Opening Protection: Here, inspectors are looking for shutters and installed-protection devices from wind-born debris for doors and windows. They will also be checking the rating of the devices, if you have them (as in- are they hurricane-rated?). 100% of all openings need to be covered with Hurricane rated protection to qualify for this discount.

In the end, investing in a wind mitigation inspection is at your own discretion. The potential cost-savings per year could easily outweigh the cost. If you live in a coastal region, avoiding a wind mitigation inspection is at your own peril.

For homes constructed in 2000 or earlier, some of the largest premium savings can be realized by having the Third nail added to your roof to wall attachment.  See more at The Third Nail.

Call us at 239-275-9577 to find out how much your savings will be.