There are many misconceptions as to what the Wind Mitigation Inspection is, & what info it provides. Often times, people will request their agent quote with assumed credits & without it, indicating they do not grasp the point of the inspection. Another misconception is that this info can be found on a standard pre-purchase homeowners inspection. We will attempt to arm you with enough data to avoid these pitfalls.
Context Clues… This was an elementary school idea where your English Language Teacher taught you how to figure out a word’s meaning by its context.
Wind Mitigation Inspection = An inspection that details the Wind Mitigation Protections existing at a particular location.
Ok, let’s back up. If you are coming from another State, you may never have heard of this inspection; & perhaps never needed to get this done on your prior homes. However, Florida, is exposed to Hurricanes. As we collectively have become more cognizant of this exposure, building codes & construction techniques have been inacted that mitigate & reduce claims resulting from wind/hurricanes. Therefore, it is imperative for an insurance carrier to understand exactly what protections exist in order to properly price the insurance they sell you. The way these protections are evidenced are by way of a Wind Mitigation Inspection.
So what do they look at?
There are many variables that the inspection examines. Some of the important ones can typically include…
- Florida Building Code – In most of the State, after 2001, new codes were enacted in the installation of a roof. So homes built after that time implicitly have these credits. Homes built prior to 2001 do not have it unless the roof was replaced & it is verified on the inspection. This is a big credit on your Homeowners Insurance Policy.
- Roof Shape
- Roof to Deck Attachment
- Roof to Wall Attachment – In the 40’s and 50’s most homes had anchors by way of toe nails or clips. More modern construction includes double wraps that carry a much greater credit.
- Opening Protection – Hurricane resistant openings are more common on newer or updated structures. There is no way of verifying this without the aforementioned inspection. The credit is very big for homes with wind resistant openings. However, beware, if you replace all the openings save one, you do not get the credit at all!
The cot of insuring a home without the Inspection Credits can be EXPONENTIALLY MORE MONEY than with one an inspection that evidences credits. Another key point, is that unlike the homeowners inspections that check for all sorts of issues, the wind mitigation inspections often cost as little as $75. So what do you do if you are buying a new home.
- Obtain an inspection – If you suspect the home has any credits, you want the evidence to prove it.
- Make sure you use a well regarded inspection company. If an inspector cannot gain access to a certain part of the home, they can check off no access. This leaves you with an inspection that may not illustrate all the credits you should have. The better carriers do what they need to do to evidence appropriate credits.
- Review the inspection – Make sure you review the inspection to ascertain it meets what you believe are the credits associated with the property. For example, if the seller tells you the roof was replaced, but it is not reflected on the inspection, it may reflect unpermitted work & increased cost of insurance as a result.
- Evaluate deficiencies – You want to review these with a good broker who can potentially help you evaluate the cost benefit analysis of updating a particular component Vs the annual insurance savings.
Call me directly if you need help navigating these inspections & coming up with an appropriate way to MITIGATE your insurance costs.