Dealing with hurricanes is part of life in Florida, but hurricanes or other storms with strong winds can cause catastrophic damage to life and property. Some areas of the state might be affected more often, but protecting your home and family from storm damage is something everyone should understand—whether you live in the Panhandle, the Keys, or next door to Disney. You can be proactive in staying safe and saving money at the same time.
So, what is a wind mitigation inspection?
During this type of inspection, your home is checked for key wind mitigation features, or wind resistant features. These are things that can reduce the amount of damage your home might suffer in a hurricane or strong windstorm. Some examples of these features include shatterproof windows, storm shutters, roof to foundation anchoring, and a layer of sealant protecting the roof from water leakage.
Adding these features to an existing home may cost more money up front, but it will save you money long-term. The safety it can provide to loved ones and pets is of course, priceless, but the monetary savings could be substantial as well.
In February 2021, WFLA News Channel 8 in Tampa reported on current legislative proposals to change roofing insurance coverage. Legislators are trying to change the current coverage policy from “replacement cost” to “actual cash value.” This means that insurance companies can offer policies for roofs over 10 years old that will only cover the value of the current roof, leaving the homeowner to pay for most of the roof out-of-pocket.
Jim Boyd, a senator from Bradenton, believes that homeowners have an obligation to maintain their own homes and should therefore expect to replace the roof as a matter of course. He suggests that people save money in anticipation of normal wear and tear. So if a roof is over ten years old, homeowners should expect to pay for a new roof themselves, even if it has been damaged by a hurricane or some other disaster.
However, insurance providers don’t want to wait for the legislation to pass. Some of them have been contacting homeowners whose roof is over ten years old and telling them to replace their roof or lose coverage.
If you live in Florida, you should get a wind mitigation inspection
But what if the roof is still in good shape? Depending on factors such as the type of roofing material, the shape of the roof, the type of windows, and other safety features, a roof can last longer than ten years. This is one way a wind mitigation inspection can be of value. Providing your insurance company with a current inspection stating your roof is in excellent condition could delay the need for a replacement just because it is a certain age.
Another way a wind mitigation inspection can help you, regardless of the age of the roof—is by saving you money on your policy. Florida law requires insurance providers to offer discounts and credits for existing building features and home improvements that reduce damage and loss from wind.
The average cost of a wind mitigation inspection is around $100, and it is valid for five years. Homeowners in areas prone to hurricanes or other windy storms should seriously consider wind resistant features for their homes, along with validation from a reputable wind mitigation inspector. The safety of your home and family is, of course, invaluable.
About the author
Rachelle is an author, blogger, content crafter and a savvy consumer.