If you have your home inspected for wind mitigation in Florida and in other states where hurricanes and high winds regularly cause property damage, you may be able to save quite a bit of money on your home insurance premiums.
Not sure if your home has wind mitigation features, or if you can save money on your insurance with a wind mitigation inspection? Learn everything you need to know below.
What Is A Wind Mitigation Inspection? How Does It Work?
As the name suggests, a wind mitigation inspection is done by a qualified home inspector, and it looks for features on your home that make it more resistant to wind damage.
These wind mitigation features are intended to help your home resist and withstand high winds caused by major storms and hurricanes. Some features like water barriers, storm windows, and roof-to-foundation anchoring can help your home resist wind damage – and if these are present in your home, you may be able to save on insurance.
A wind mitigation inspection consists of a qualified inspector examining your home and verifying the wind-resistant features that are present. You may choose to do this after buying a home if it already has mitigation features in place – or to have your home inspected after you have made improvements to enhance its resistance to high winds.
After your inspection is complete, you’ll get a report that you can present to your insurance company to prove that your home has wind-resistant features.
How Can I Save On My Insurance With A Wind Mitigation Inspection?
Legally, insurance providers in some states like Florida must offer credits and discounts on home insurance premiums for homeowners who take proper steps to protect their homes from wind damage. In Florida, these are referred to as “Wind Mitigation Credits.”
The majority of the cost of your home insurance policy in Florida may actually be due to the risk of wind damage. According to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, somewhere between 15-70% of the cost of your premiums can be linked to the risk of wind damage depending on your location, insurer, and other such details.
Therefore, showing your insurance company that you have had a wind mitigation inspection and that your home has been protected against wind damage can save you a lot of money each year – more than enough to pay for the cost of an inspection.
And don’t worry. There is no risk that your premiums will increase after a wind mitigation inspection. Your costs will never rise due to the results of your inspection, so it’s risk-free.
What Can I Do To Increase My Home’s Resistance To Wind?
Not sure how you can make your home more wind-resistant? If you have not yet taken steps to protect your home from wind, there are many improvements you can make before you have a wind mitigation inspection! All of these improvements may help reduce your insurance costs.
- Water barriers below your roof – An extra layer of water-resistant material below your roofing tiles or shingles can help reduce the risk of water damage caused by the loss of shingles or tiles in high winds.
- Roof-to-foundation anchoring – Using strong anchor bolts, the roof can be securely fastened to the walls. Then, another set of anchor bolts can be used to securely attach the walls to the foundation. The idea behind this is to create a “continuous load path.” Wind pressure on your roof will be transmitted through your entire home and into the foundation – instead of to the roof alone.
- Roof deck attachment – The wood roof deck can be securely attached to the underlying framing with strong fasteners to prevent it from loosening or blowing away in high winds.
- Impact-rated window/door coverings – Impact-rated doors and windows or storm shutters are important for preventing rain from entering your home, and mitigating water damage. These doors and windows must be able to withstand wind speeds of up to 140 mph. In addition, impact-rated windows and doors or storm shutters/doors help prevent windows from breaking. When windows break during strong winds, high wind pressure builds up below the roof. This high pressure, combined with the low pressure of the wind blowing over the top of the roof can result in the roof literally peeling away from the home, and being blown away.
- Impact-resistant garage doors – Garage doors are often a primary point of failure during windstorms and hurricanes. Hurricane-rated garage doors can often withstand wind speeds of up to 200 mph or more without failure, due to the high-quality materials and strong anchoring of the doors.
You can certainly save on your insurance policy if you make just one of the above improvements to your home, and have it inspected. But for even more savings – and to ensure your home is protected from hurricane damage – we highly recommend that you consider making as many wind mitigation improvements as you can.
In most cases, these improvements will add to the value of your home. Not only that, but the insurance savings over time will help pay for these upgrades. In addition, some of them, like impact windows and/or doors, may be financed with PACE financing, making it easier to budget for them over a long time period.
Make Wind Mitigation Improvements And Get An Inspection!
If you’re a homeowner in Florida – particularly in a High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) like Miami/Dade or Broward Counties or Coastal Palm Beach – you can save big on your insurance if you take steps to minimize the risk of wind damage, and have your home inspected.
So don’t wait. If you’ve already made wind mitigation improvements, schedule a consultation now. And if you’re just getting started, contact a reputable contractor near you to learn more about your options for residential wind mitigation.