Many Florida homeowner insurance companies offer dramatic savings for qualifying structures that have passed the Wind Mitigation Wind Inspection. But what is Wind Mitigation? Why does it affect my insurance? What do I need to do to qualify for this insurance discount?
What is Wind Mitigation?
According to FEMA,
“Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Mitigation is taking action NOW – before the next disaster – to reduce human and financial consequences later.”
Wind mitigation focuses on new construction or retrofitting your home, garage, or business structure in a way that will lessen or prevent any damage caused by high winds created by storms, particularly by hurricanes.
Why Does It Affect My Home Owners Insurance?
The damage caused by wind on structures throughout Florida from Hurricane Andrew through the storms of the 2005 hurricane season caused $115 billion in damages. This caused a number of the largest property insurers in the state of Florida to ask for a 45% rate increase focused on the wind insurance portion of homeowners’ insurance in 2006. Today, a number of homeowners’ in the Naples area are paying up to 70% of their homeowner’s insurance premium just for wind damage coverage, because these percentages are dependent upon your home’s location in Florida. To see how you might save on Wind Mitigation Insurance check out the Wind Insurance Savings Calculator.
Florida Law Allows Insurance Discounts
The State of Florida stepped in after Hurricane Andrew with a law requiring insurance companies to offer discounts, credits, or other rate differentials to homeowners whose homes passed certified wind mitigation inspections. These inspections certify that existing building features and home improvements are in place that will reduce damage and loss due to wind events.
Roofing Factors Looked at for Wind Mitigation
There are a number of factors that are looked at when a roof is being considered for wind mitigation certification. They are:
- Roof Covering – Certain Roofing Materials are more wind resistant than others.
- Roof Shape – The style of a roof, its geometry, is considered. (Did you know that a Hip Roof receives up to 40% less pressure due to wind that a gable roof?)
- Roof Deck Attachment – Even a partial failure of the roof deck can lead to major loss inside the home.
- Roof to Wall Connections – Using Hurricane Straps will strengthen the connection is crucial to the performance of the building.
- Secondary Water Barrier – This layer of protection shields your home if the primary roof covering becomes damaged or is blown off.
Wind Mitigation Certification Requirements
What documentation is required from roofing professionals for wind mitigation certification has changed over the years since Florida began requiring insurance companies to offer these discounts and credits. So have building code requirements.
Neither homeowners nor their roofing contractor may have thought to take photographs of work done a number of years ago. What is required reporting now for roof repair and replacement work was not required nor standard practice at the time many roofs were being constructed.
Please know that we here at Kelly Roofing will do what we can to help you in the wind mitigation certification process, but there is one thing we can’t do. We cannot go back 5 or 10 years to create records or photographs that were not required at that time. Yet, we can help you talk to your insurance company about past work we have done and provide you with the documentation we do have.
As wind mitigation certification requirements have changed, Kelly Roofing has kept up with the requirements and the building codes.
Contact us to help get your home ready to withstand hurricane season. We’ve been helping roof owners since 1972 and have seen dozens of hurricanes.
Originally published: Oct. 1, 2013
Information updated: July 16, 2015