Wind mitigation inspections almost always save you money on your home insurance pricing. Why do we even need one? What are they?
Why Wind Mitigation
In the early 2000s, following several intensely active hurricane seasons including 2004’s Charley, or 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, Florida saw a number of insurance carriers declare bankruptcy due to claims and claims costs. This caused many carriers to flee our state leaving homeowners high and dry and either unable to find coverage or being unable to afford it to purchase it.
|These inspections offer savings to your home insurance for 5 years so to me as an agent, my advice will always be to get one
~Tracy Lynne Rennspiess - Licensed Agent, SWFL Insurance
What is a Wind Mitigation Inspection?
Florida’s solution came in the form of wind mitigation inspections, this proved a means of safeguarding properties in targeted areas in the hopes that insurance carriers would increase their odds of insuring more secure, less damage susceptible properties.
In 2006 Florida became the first state to mandate that insurance carriers offer insurance discounts if a wind mitigation inspection is completed by a certified inspector (usually a state-certified contractor, architect, or engineer).
Savings will depend on your property’s features, the inspector will evaluate your property’s wind mitigating features and then make
recommendations if he feels there could be improvements made to benefit you.
What does an Inspector look for?
- Roof Covering - Inspectors want to know when a roof was installed and if it meets building codes. Typical roof coverings in Florida are composition, architectural tile, metal, and concrete tile. In Florida, the standard for roof coverings was updated in 2001.
- Roof Deck Attachment - Inspectors will determine what type of roof decking is used and how it’s attached to the underlying structure. They determine if it’s nailed or stapled down, if it’s nailed they determine how long the nails are and how far apart they are.
- Roof To Wall Attachment - The focus in this area is trusses, are they attached with nails or clips, are the metal wraps single or double? The more secure your roof, the more insurance savings you will enjoy.
- Roof Geometry - Is your roof hip shaped? Hip shaped is shaped like a pyramid, they offer the most discounts in this category and are the preferred shape of home insurance carriers. Other shapes are gable and at however be aware that many carriers surcharge for shapes other than hip.
- Gable End Bracing - If you have a gable style roof the inspector will review if the ends are braced to Florida Building Codes. Gable ends measuring more than 48 inches tall must be braced for reinforcement.
- Wall Construction Type - Inspectors will review the construction materials used for framing, reinforcement, and outer fascia, and what percentages. Steel reinforced concrete block offers a much better insurance discount than wood-framed/plywood walls/vinyl siding.
- Secondary Water Resistance - This is a water-resistant roof underlayment that provides protection in the event the primary roof covering is damaged or penetrated by hurricane-force winds and wind-driven rain. If your roof was installed or upgraded before 2008 you probably do not have this barrier which offers a substantial discount.
- Opening Protection - Inspectors are looking at your storm shutters, impact-resistant glass, and installed protection from windblown debris. To qualify for this discount 100% of your openings (doors and windows) must be protected.
Only you can decide to spend money (roughly $100 to $150) on a wind mitigation inspection. I can tell you if you live in coastal Florida, the peace of mind that your home can withstand the hurricanes we are prone to, is priceless. Also, these inspections offer savings to your home insurance for 5 years so to me as an agent, my advice will always be to get one.
Also Read: Do I Need Flood Insurance In Southwest Florida?