All about wind mitigation: how to save on your Florida home insurance

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If you’ve never heard of a wind mitigation report, you’re probably paying too much for your homeowners insurance.

What is a wind mitigation inspection report?

A wind mitigation inspection determines your roof’s sturdiness in the event of strong winds or a hurricane. A good report can lead to a discount of up to 45 percent off of a homeowners policy. 

This is, of course, given that the home has the right features in place to withstand high winds. 

Many new homes in Florida already do. But your home insurance provider won’t know this and pass on the discount unless you provide a wind mitigation report.

How can I get a wind mitigation inspection report?

In order to get this report, you will need to schedule a wind mitigation inspection. A certified inspector will come to your home and look for certain features and add-ons that tend to minimize the damage your home would suffer in the event of a major storm. 

You can also reach out to a HoneyQuote agent, who can handle scheduling an inspection for you and apply the discount to your insurance policy. 

Some of these wind mitigation features include:

  • Age of the roof
  • Roof shape
  • Roof decking attachment
  • Roof to wall attachment
  • Resistance of openings such doors and windows

What do the report sections mean?

The following are sections found in a typical wind mitigation inspection report.

Building Code

This part of the report states whether the structure your home complies with state building laws. Most homes built after 2001 already do.  

If your home qualifies for this credit, your report would see option ‘A’ will checked.

Roof Covering

This part of the report states when your roof was installed and whether it meets building codes. In Florida, the code standard was updated in 2001.  

If your home qualifies for this credit, your report would see either option ‘A’ or ‘B’ checked.  

Roof Deck Attachment

Here, the report assesses the way your roof decking is used and how it is attached to the underlying structure.  

The option checked depends on whether your roof is nailed or stapled down. And if it is nailed, the option checked will depend on the nail length and the spacing between each nail.

Roof Wall Attachment

In this section, your roof attachments are assessed. It states, for example, if the trusses are attached with nails or hurricane clips.  

Roof Geometry

The shape of your roof is considered in this part of the report. It states whether your roof qualifies for either a hip or flat shape.  

A hip roof is one with sides that slope downwards. A flat roof is no sloping sides and sits completely horizontal over your home.

If your home qualifies for a hip roof, your report would have option ‘A’ checked. Option ‘B’ is checked if your home has a flat roof. Insurers prefer hip roofs to flat roofs.  

Secondary Water Resistance

Here, the reports states whether your roof has this type of barrier, also known as a Sealed Roof Deck. This barrier protects your home from water intrusion in the event that your roof is lost in the middle of a hurricane.  

This barrier is considered to be new, so homes built before 2008 might not have it. If your home does have this, option ‘A’ in your report will be checked.  

Opening Protection  

This section of the report states the presence of any shutters and other wind protection devices for doors and windows. It also states if they are hurricane-rated.  

Most insurers require that all of the openings are covered with hurricane-rated protection in order to qualify for a discount.

How can I ensure a positive inspection?

If you feel you may lack in some of these wind mitigation areas, there are ways you can improve your home to ensure it passes the inspection. Sure, it can cost money to install these wind mitigation features, but they may end up paying for themselves if you snag a decent price drop in your insurance premium. 

Not to mention, the investment can protect you, your family and anyone else living in your home by lessening the impact of disasters, which sounds pretty priceless to me.

People’s Trust Insurance Company, for example, recommends the following:

  • Water Barriers – sealing your roof deck is a good way to prevent water intrusion in case the roof shingles blow away in the middle of a storm.
  • Roof to foundation – reinforcing your home’s walls to the roof and foundation will help it resist strong winds.
  • Window and door protection – covering windows and other openings is a good way to prevent damage from wind or flying debris. Many people opt for shatterproof windows, hurricane-rated doors as well as storm shutters. Additional bracing is available for garage doors.

What if I've made some recent improvements?

If you already have a wind mitigation report, but it was done before you made some renovations, it's important that you schedule a new inspection. Without an accurate report that states your home is hurricane-ready, many insurance companies will not pass on your discounts.

It might seem pricey to engage yet another inspector, but the potential cost savings per year are worth it.

Reach out to an insurance agent today for advice on how to start saving. HoneyQuote.com lets you compare prices from insurers around Florida.

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