What Are Wind Mitigation Credits in Florida?
The State of Florida requires insurance companies to offer discounts for protecting your home against damage caused by windstorms. These discounts are known as wind mitigation credits. In order to be eligible for them, a certified inspector needs to perform a wind mitigation inspection of your home.
Unlike some home inspections – such as a four-point inspection – this one is not mandated by your insurance company or your lender: it’s completely optional. However, most wind mitigation inspections result in savings that at least cover the cost of the inspection in the first year, so they’re generally worth pursuing.
It’s important to note that you will never be penalized for not having these safety features.
What Does a Wind Mitigation Inspection Include?
An inspector will come to your home and look for specific factors that would make your home more resilient to a windstorm. Specifically, they will be looking at your roof and openings into your home such as doors and windows. Florida wind mitigation inspectors examine these key safety features:
- Roof shape
- Roof bracing of gable end
- Roof deck attachment
- Roof covering
- Roof-to-wall connections
- Secondary water resistance
- Protection of openings (such as windows and other openings)
These features will be evaluated to determine how wind resilient your home is with its current features. All Florida homes built after 2002 were constructed to certain safety codes that will likely result in a savings to you. If your roof hasn’t been replaced since 2002 but was built after 1974, we still recommend having a wind mitigation inspection. Based on how it was constructed, there are some features of the roof that may still qualify you for discounts.
There are a few cost-effective measures you can take to safeguard your home and reduce your hurricane-wind premium: securing your roof with hurricane clips or wraps, for example, or hurricane protecting all windows, doors and other openings to your home. To qualify for the opening protection credit, all windows and openings must be protected by wind impact resistant glass. This also includes a hurricane-resistant garage door.
How Much Does a Wind Mitigation Inspection Cost?
A wind mitigation report will cost, on average, $75.00-$150.00. However, with minimal wind mitigation features in place, the inspection will pay for itself in the first year. Credits can go up to the maximum savings of 88% off the hurricane/wind premium.
Who Can Perform a Wind Mitigation Inspection?
Only certain Florida-certified construction professionals can perform a wind mitigation inspection. This includes:
- Home inspectors who have completed a training course approved by the Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB)
- Building code inspectors
- General building or residential contractors
- Professional engineers
- Professional architects
- Any inspector recognized by the insurer as possessing the necessary qualifications
Homeowners cannot perform their own wind mitigation inspections and general roofers can’t either unless they’re also licensed in one of the categories above.
How Long Do Wind Mitigation Credits Last?
The credits continue for the life of the insurance policy in which the inspection report was used to apply credits. However, the inspection report expires after five years, therefore if you change companies after five years of the inspection you will need to obtain a new wind mitigation report to submit to the new insurance carrier.
Please contact your Personal Insurance Advisor at Wallace, Welch & Willingham to discuss wind mitigation credits and find out if you could benefit from the inspection!