Having your home properly inspected for wind mitigation, especially in Florida, is vital to the coverage of your homeowners insurance. Wind mitigation encompasses all the aspects and add-ons to your home that will help to protect it in the event of a windstorm or hurricane. It can refer to the process of adding these protective aspects on, or the ones that currently exist.
As we all know, Florida sees its fair share of inclement weather. Hurricane season can drag on and on, and even if we don’t get hit with anything substantial, there is always the tail end of a storm barreling through the Sunshine State.
Knowing how your home will handle the wind can make all the difference in how you prepare for storms, what you pay for insurance and establishing a peace of mind for you and your family. It’s easy to schedule one as well. You’ll just have to contact a reputable home inspector!
How a Wind Mitigation Inspection Affects Home Insurance
The Florida Division of Emergency Management states that around fifteen percent to seventy percent of Florida home insurance premiums are attributed to the risk of wind damage. The percentage depends on which company you choose for your insurance, among other home conditions.
There are upfront costs involved in getting a home mitigation inspection, but it’s really worth it in the end. If you can show your insurance company that you have had one, and your home has been sufficiently protected against serious wind damage, you’ll have the ability to save a significant amount of money each year.
Why Wind Mitigation Inspections Help You Save
It’s important to take advantage of the savings that a wind mitigation inspection can apply to your home insurance. After all, these inspections are not required by mortgage lenders or insurance companies…even in Florida!
Wind mitigation doesn’t fall under the normal home inspection areas, such as electrical, plumbing, HVAC and roofing. However, going ahead with the extra inspection will be worth every penny it saves you.
The reason you’ll save on insurance with a wind mitigation inspection has much to do with how much insurance companies payout during a particularly bad hurricane season. In fact, in 2005 after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, there was more than one insurance company that simply couldn’t cover the damage costs.
The damages from these storms were beyond substantial, insurance companies went bankrupt, and homeowners were left with flooded homes, unable to pick up the pieces in the weeks, months and years following the storms.
So now, depending on the protections that your home has (or that you plan on adding), a wind mitigation inspection can save you quite a chunk of change. It works in favor of both the insurance company and the client. Companies give discounts in exchange for homeowners doing more to help their homes brave the storms.
The Dangers of Hurricanes
How dangerous hurricanes have the potential to be is not lost on anyone, especially those who live along the coast in Florida. Even a category one hurricane can cause mass destruction and flooding.
The storm surge and storm tide that accompanies almost every tropical storm is incredibly dangerous, and contributes to loss of life on a yearly basis. Rip tides from waves breaking along the shore and surges of up to twenty feet cause incredible amounts of damage.
Rip currents produced by hurricanes have been responsible for the loss of life during a hurricane as well. Even hurricanes that never hit land can produce water surges strong enough to pull strong swimmers under and away from the shore.
Torrential rain and inland flooding are another major problem. Inland flooding can come from not only the rain, but the swelling waves of the storm surge as well.
Finally, hurricanes produce winds. Strong, damaging winds that can produce gusts of more than one hundred miles per hour. It takes less than that to destroy the roof of a home. Destruction potential weighs heavily on so many coastal residents during hurricane season.
It’s important to be protected, mentally and physically, against that destruction.
Wind Mitigation Recommendations
There isn’t a rule as to what you should do to your home to protect it against wind, but it might help you to know what inspectors are looking for. When you call for a wind mitigation inspection, they’ll be taking a close look at the following:
- Building construction
- Roof covering
- Shape of roof
- Roof deck attachments
- Wall/roof connections
- Secondary water resistance
- Year built and safety code compliance
- Opening protection, such as windows
Water barriers are important as well. Sealing the roof can prevent mass water damage if shingles are torn off during a storm. Securing the walls to the roof is another way to help with wind mitigation. This way, the roof has an anchor to stay put.
Also, installing hurricane safe doors, garage doors included, will ensure that your home is better protected from flying debris. There are dozens of upgrades that can be done, and you’re not under contract to do them all. The more, the better.
Preparedness Brings Peace of Mind
Despite what you can save on home insurance in the face of the dangers of a hurricane, nothing compares to the peace of mind you get knowing that it’s there. Having a wind mitigation inspection in Florida, and adhering to the inspector’s advice regarding what you can add to your home to make it safer, can ensure that you’re covered when hurricane season inevitably rolls around.
Living in Florida means dealing with tropical storms, it’s simply part of life here. Being prepared is essential, and can save so much from being lost. If you haven’t already, schedule a wind mitigation inspection for your home today.