Attaching a dollar amount to your peace of mind is something most people have trouble with. You don’t need to rack your brain too hard calculating an exact amount; that’s what insurance is for. For Florida residents, up to 70% of their home insurance premium can be for wind damage coverage. It’s to be expected since Florida has almost twice as many recorded hurricanes as the runner-up, Texas. What if we told you that you could save money with a wind mitigation inspection?
By performing a wind inspection, you get to pay a lower insurance rate and rest easy knowing your home is protected from wind damage.
What is wind mitigation?
For most people, their home represents the most valuable asset they own. A lifetime’s worth of saving and investing, not to mention the memories and emotional connections people have with their homes. Homes also represent safety and security for your entire family. It makes sense to do what you can to protect your home and those living there. Wind mitigation includes a host of building techniques and home improvements that can be employed to avoid or minimize wind damage.
Common wind mitigation features include:
- Window and door coverings. Impact-rated doors and windows, along with shutters, can go a long way towards water and rain damage. They can also withstand wind speed of up to 140 mph and are less likely to break under heavy pressure.
- Roof covering. Although Florida’s standard for roof coverings changed in 2001, the materials in roofs can hugely vary. They are commonly composed of metal, tile, and concrete.
- Impact-resistant garage doors. When facing extreme winds, garage doors are one of the first parts of your home that give way to pressure. In order to resist the effects of strong winds, garage doors need to be constructed from high-quality materials. They can also be anchored to ensure they remain in place.
- Roof attachments. Your roof’s decking is probably stapled or nailed down. The spacing and size of the nails can affect how well it is affixed. There is also roof-to-wall and roof-to-foundation anchoring that can dissipate pressure from the roof to the entire house.
Lower your insurance rate by performing a wind inspection
You read that correctly; Florida state law entitles you to an insurance premium reduction if you complete a wind inspection. The reduction to your insurance rates can be substantial, meaning that the inspection pays for itself. Wind mitigation inspection in Florida is valid for five years, so it saves you money in the long run too.
A thorough wind inspection report will inform you of the wind mitigation features of your home. Inspectors will also tell you if you can qualify for a deduction of insurance premium. Most homes that were constructed or had their roofs redone after 2003 should be viable for insurance discounts.
Wind inspectors will look at the state and age of your roof, along with how well your doors and windows are protected. Besides saving money, with a wind mitigation inspection, you can also learn about the upgrades you can make to your home. If you live in Florida or Texas, it never hurts to increase your hurricane preparedness. That can actually be another way to save money.
What to do if your home has suffered wind damage
In case of damage to your home caused by heavy winds, you can file an insurance claim. Your insurance company will assess the damage and offer you an amount of money based on the property loss. They can determine this by sending an adjuster to look at your property and see the value of compensation insurance needs to cover.
You might disagree with their claim appraisal and think they undervalued the damage to your home. In this case, you can hire your own Certified Appraiser. If there is a disagreement between the adjuster and appraiser, an Umpire can be brought in. An Umpires is an independent party that looks at both appraisals and determines the final settlement. By hiring your own appraiser, you might be able to get more money from the insurance company.
Another time when you’ll need an appraiser is when you first purchase home insurance. You can go a step further and save money with a wind mitigation inspection and improvements based on what the inspectors suggest. This could lead to significantly reduced insurance rates from the start.
Make wind mitigation improvements to your home
You can apply many improvements to your home that will make it wind-resistant and safer to live in. You can then use these improvements to further lower your home insurance premium. Florida law regarding emergency preparedness offers hurricane windstorm insurance discounts for residents who install wind-resistant features in their homes.
Here are some wind mitigation improvements:
- Materials that are up to code. Make sure the roofing materials meet Florida building standards.
- Add water barriers below the roof. Water-resistant material can be placed under the roofing to minimize the risk of water damage.
- Apply roof anchoring. Roof-to-foundation anchoring means that bolts are used to fasten the roof to the house’s foundations.
- Door and window opening protection. Shutters protect your windows and doors from wind-propelled debris that would otherwise cause damage.
The bottom line
We have looked at a few ways that you can save money with a wind mitigation inspection, as well as by adding improvements to your home. Both of these can reduce your insurance premium, saving you money and paying for themselves. Besides saving money, wind mitigation will increase your safety and hurricane preparedness. If wind damage does occur, you might be able to get more insurance money by hiring an auditor. What’s not to love about saving money and preparing your home for bad weather at the same time?
Author bio: Stephen Torres has worked as a communications manager for many different moving companies in the past seven years and is now a consultant at Pro Movers Miami. Stephen has become a home improvement enthusiast, always trying to help people discover the newest trends in home design and decoration.