Florida is no stranger to strong winds, hurricanes, and other tropical storms. Poor weather can wreak havoc on your home. A wind mitigation inspection considers how well your home could stand up to high winds, and it could help you save money on your home insurance.
What is A Wind Mitigation Inspection?
A wind mitigation inspection is conducted to see if your home qualifies for any wind mitigation discounts. Florida requires home insurance companies to offer discounts to homeowners who have wind mitigation features installed. The inspection isn’t checking to see if your home meets any state requirements for wind mitigation. Instead, it’s looking to see what wind mitigation features your home has and then determining if you qualify for any discounts on your home insurance policy. A good wind mitigation report could yield discounts of up to 45 percent off your home insurance policy.
What Information is On the Wind Mitigation Form?
The Florida wind mitigation form, or OIR-B1-1802 form, is the standard form used in Florida. The form has seven sections, and each one provides homeowners with the opportunity to receive home insurance discounts.
1. Building Code
The first question simply considers the year that your home was built. If your home was built after March 1, 2002, you can qualify for a discount in this section. If you live in a home built prior to March 1, 2002, you cannot qualify.
2. Roof Covering
The second question looks at when your roof was installed. The inspector selects the type(s) of roof covering(s) that your home has and writes on what date it was installed or replaced. If your roof was installed or replaced after March 1, 2002, you qualify for this discount.
If you don’t qualify for this discount but would like to, you can buy a new roof and then have another wind mitigation inspection done.
3. Roof Deck Attachment
This section looks at how your roof decking is attached to your home’s trusses. New roofs tend to qualify for larger discounts. If you have an older roof, you may not qualify. It depends on how the older roof was constructed. For example, if your roof connects to the trusses with shorter nails spaced farther apart, you won’t qualify for this discount.
4. Roof to Wall Attachment
Next, the form asks about how the roof is attached to your home’s exterior walls. If your home has clips, single wraps, structural attachments, or double wraps, you qualify for the largest discounts. Homes with “toenails” (an older style of attachment) do not qualify for the discount.
5. Roof Geometry
Homes with a greater than 90 percent hip shape qualify for a discount. Hip-shaped roofs have sloped angles on all sides. That means no vertical ends, peaks, or flat sections. The wind mitigation inspector knows how to measure your roof to calculate the percentage.
6. Secondary Water Resistance
If your roof has secondary water resistance or SWR, you qualify for this discount. An SWR is a peel-and-stick layer that sticks to your roof decking. It adds another layer of water resistance to your home’s roof, protecting your home from water damage if your roof gets blown away by a storm. It also waterproofs holes made by shingle nails.
7. Opening Protection
Finally, the form asks about exterior opening protection. Inspectors are looking at the type of windows, doors, shutters, and other wind protection devices that you have on your home. The inspector must list the “weakest form of wind-borne debris protection installed on the structure.” Openings include windows or entry doors, garage doors, skylights, and glass blocks. Most insurers want to see that all of your openings have hurricane-rated, impact-resistant protection.
How Can I Ensure a Good Inspection?
If you live in a newer home or a new construction home in Florida, odds are that your home will meet most, if not all, of the criteria that insurers look for when providing wind mitigation discounts. If your home is older, you can make improvements to your home to improve the wind mitigation report. These may include:
- Installing a new roof that is up to code
- Adding a secondary water resistance barrier to seal your roof deck against water damage in case shingles come off during a storm
- Upgrading to shatterproof windows and hurricane-rated doors
- Installing storm shutters over all openings
Wind Mitigation Inspections in Florida
Wind mitigation inspections give Florida homeowners a chance to receive steep discounts on their homeowner’s insurance policy. They also help owners understand how well—or ill-equipped their home is against high winds. If your home isn’t eligible for wind mitigation discounts, consider making some changes. Wind mitigation improvements can be costly, but the insurance savings and peace of mind of knowing that your family and home are better protected against hurricanes is well worth it.
Wind Mitigation FAQs
Who performs a wind mitigation inspection?
A licensed home inspector, building contractor, architect, engineer, or inspector recognized by an insurer can conduct a wind mitigation inspection. In some cases, the professional installing your roof may be licensed and fall into one of those approved categories.
How often can I get a wind mitigation inspection?
Wind mitigation inspections are valid for five years. However, a new wind mitigation inspection must be performed if there are any significant structural changes to the home. For example, after installing a new roof or new windows, you would need to have a new wind mitigation inspection.
Is a wind mitigation inspection required in Florida?
No, a wind mitigation inspection is not required in Florida in order for you to purchase a home insurance policy. However, Florida requires all home insurance companies to offer wind mitigation discounts to customers. The only way to qualify for these discounts is to have a wind mitigation inspection.