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Wind Mitigation Inspections

How to save money on your home insurance
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With home insurance prices getting higher and higher, many people are looking for ways to save on their insurance.  Fortunately in Florida there is an easy way to save money without reducing coverage.

That is by having a
 Wind Mitigation Inspection.

A Wind Mitigation inspection can save several hundred dollars (depending on the features present on the home) off the price of your insurance.  Many people think that this will only save money on a newer home. That is often not the case.  I have found many older homes also qualify for discounts.  In fact I have done inspections on homes built in the 1950s that were eligible for discounts.

All in all, I have only found a handful of homes that did not qualify for at least one discount.  And that is not a one time discount.  It states right on the state mandated form that the inspection is good for up to 5 years.  Let's say you only qualified for a discount of $50.00.  That means that for the small price of the inspection, you will have saved up to $250.00.

What features can give you a discount?

  1.   The biggest discount is if the home has a hip roof.  A hip roof is more resistant to wind forces than a gable roof.
2.  If the roof was installed under the Florida Building Code, it qualifies for a discount.  That is because the Florida Building Code required that the roof coverings meet higher wind standards.  To meet this the application for the roof permit had to be made on or after March 1, 2002.  If there is no record of a permit for the roof, you will not receive the discount.
3.  If the roof decking was nailed as required under the Florida Building Code, you will qualify for a discount.  The Florida Building Code required that the roof decking be nailed with 8d nails and that the nails had to be spaced no more than 6 inches apart   Many homes were nailed this way even before the FBC went into affect.

Also many older homes where the roof decking is dimensional lumber (individual boards as opposed to plywood) also qualify for this discount as long as the boards were nailed and not stapled.
4.  If the roof trusses or rafters are held down to the walls with metal strapping, the home will qualify for a discount.  The strapping has to be nailed with at least 3 nails to the truss and the strap has to be installed no more than 1/2" from the truss or be properly blocked up to 1 1/2" from the truss.

I have had customers receive over $200.00 discount just for this alone.
5.  Installing a secondary water resistant barrier can also qualify for a discount.  This can be done in one of 3 ways.  A self adhering bitumen tape (peel and stick) can be applied to every joint in the roof decking, a self adhering bitumen material can be applied to the entire roof deck or an approved spray-on foam adhesive can be applied to all the joints between the sheets of plywood and the trusses in the attic.  To qualify for this discount, I will need to have either photos of the material applied to the roof or documentation such as a copy of the paid invoice from the roofing contractor.

6.  If the home has approved hurricane shutters installed it will also qualify for a discount.  The shutters have to be installed over every opening or the opening must be "impact" rated.  This means that if the front door or garage door does not have a shutter, you will not receive the disocunt.  Also note that the garage door may be "wind" rated but if it doesn't have a shutter, it has to be "impact" rated.

It is not common in Central Florida to find homes that meet this requirement.
It is important to understand that many of these features must be documented with photos.   If I can't access the attic to take the photos, I will not be able to state on the form that the home qualifies for the discount.

Feel free to contact me if I can answer any other questions.  More information can also be found here.
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