What Is a Wind Mitigation Inspection?
As a homeowner with windstorm insurance, state law entitles you to certain premium reductions, but without an inspection, you can’t get them! If you haven’t had a windstorm insurance inspection at your current home, you are PROBABLY PAYING TOO MUCH FOR YOUR WINDSTORM INSURANCE!
During a wind mitigation inspection, a certified inspector reports on the key features that may decrease the amount of damage your home suffers during a hurricane or strong windstorm. These features fall into several categories, such as exterior construction type, roof shape and construction methods, age of roof covering, door and window opening protection as well as the actual year the home was built. Another factor may be the elevation of a property and how it relates to wind speed.
Wind Mitigation Inspections
Protecting your home and property is important to your peace of mind. In Florida, that protection should include features to prevent windstorm damage.
In a severe wind storm, such as a hurricane, homes are battered by heavy wind and, often, rain. Features that help protect against wind damage – wind mitigation features – make a home stronger and help it withstand these forces. Wind mitigation features that are documented by a wind mitigation inspection also can save you money over the long term by helping you qualify for discounts on your insurance premium.
Common wind mitigation features include:
- Doors and windows built to withstand wind pressure and projectiles
- Storm shutters and panels that protect your windows and other openings from wind, rain and projectiles
- Roofing materials and coverings that shield your home from wind and rain
- Special attachments for walls and roofs to prevent the roof from being blown off by severe winds
- Roof and building shapes that are more resistant to high winds
Wind mitigation inspections are beneficial because they:
Identify mitigation features that are present on your home
- Help you understand how to make your home stronger and more resistant to damage
- Provide documentation for insurance premium discounts for the eligible wind mitigation features on your home
Wind mitigation specifically targets the structural and nonstructural aspects that prevent or lessen damage caused by high winds that occur with storms. In Florida, our primary concern is the wind damage caused by hurricanes. Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. That means for five of twelve months of every year, Floridians are at risk for exposure to high winds. Also, it is not unusual to have a hurricane or tropical storm outside of hurricane season. The first step is to have an inspection of your home. Obtaining an inspection generally costs, but is well worth the investment to fully mitigate your home. Activities to mitigate your home are research based recommendations.
Multiple organizations including the Florida Department of Financial Services, Florida Division of Emergency Management, Florida’s Foundation, Florida Alliance for Safe Homes, and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety all endorse the same research based recommendations and provide resources to inform and assist homeowners.
What changes constitutes mitigating your home?
The primary damages from hurricanes are wind and water intrusion. Water, as rain directed by varying wind directions, enters homes through gable ends, soffit vents and poorly sealed windows and doors. Once rain enters homes mildew can develop within days. Like water, wind causes damage by entering the home through poorly sealed openings. Wind damages homes by increasing pressure and causing uplift forces on the roof.
Your insurance company required to notify homeowners of premium discounts for hurricane loss mitigation and establishes a uniform mitigation verification inspection form. If your home has undergone a wind inspection you are potentially eligible for insurance discounts or credits. Beyond insurance savings – the value of your home increases and there are cost savings when a disaster occurs. These savings are dependent on many different variables and cannot be predicted.
Florida Wind Mitigation Inspections May Reduce Insurance Costs
Notice of Premium Discounts for Hurricane Loss Mitigation for Florida Homeowners
Information contained in your windstorm policy explains the premium discounts, the discount amounts, and the requirement to have a Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection performed by a qualified inspector.
In NW Florida, most homes qualify for an average windstorm premium discount of $250.00; the cost of the inspection is only $125.00 (for single family detached homes).
All residential structures including single family homes, condos, townhomes or apartments may qualify. The windstorm premium discounts are based on your home having one or more of the following wind resistant features.
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