Wind mitigation inspections do more than give Florida homeowners peace of mind.
Find out how a quick wind mitigation inspection can help lower your insurance premiums.
Floridians are well-versed at protecting our homes from hurricane-related wind damage. We secure doors and windows, fill up sand bags, and clear our yards of loose debris.
But most people forget about the biggest area of protection for their home: the roof.
Your realtor or home inspector might have recommended that you get a wind inspection, but what is it? And—more importantly—why is it so important?
What Is a Wind Mitigation Inspection?
A wind mitigation inspection looks at seven key areas of your roof to determine its ability to withstand strong winds and water intrusion.
During a storm (yes, even a typical summer thunderstorm), heavy winds can push rain against your home, where, being water, it will find its way into any crack or crevice.
Your roof is the first line of defense against wind, which is why wind mitigation inspections focus on your roof.
The inspection report will examine seven areas:
- Construction Year: the year your home was built, which tells the home inspector how strict the building codes were;
- Roof Covering: the type of roof covering (shingle, tile, etc.) and age of the roof;
- Roof Decking: the material your decking (i.e. the material your shingles are nailed to) is made of, the type of nails securing the shingles, and how far apart the nails are;
- Roof To Wall Attachment: the method used to attach the roof to your walls;
- Roof Shape: the shape and slope of your roof;
- Secondary Water Resistance: the type of material between the shingles and roof decking;
- Opening Protections: whether you have additional protections on openings such as sunroofs, garage doors, windows, etc.
Obviously, the newer, stronger, and better constructed your roof is, the more protection it can provide against wind damage.
Who Can Perform a Wind Mitigation Inspection?
Legally, wind mitigation inspections can only be performed by a licensed general contractor, building contractor, architect, engineer, building inspector, or home inspector.
Certified home inspectors are typically used for most wind mitigation inspections. If you are purchasing a home, a professional home inspector can do both the wind mitigation, four point, and/or buyer’s inspections at the same time. Many even offer a discount for performing multiple inspections at once.
What to Expect From Your Wind Mitigation Inspection
A wind mitigation inspection is a visual examination of the condition of your roof and the techniques used during its construction.
Unlike a typical home inspection, a wind mit inspection focuses on your roof. For this reason, someone will need to be present to allow the inspector to access the attic and view the underside of your roof.
The inspector is also required to take photos of your roof. This strengthens the validity of their report and helps combat fraud (which is rampant in the Florida building industry).
A typical wind mitigation can be performed in under an hour and the inspection cost is similarly low: roughly $100. But price should be far from your primary concern.
Most importantly, make sure you use an honest, trustworthy, and accurate home inspector or other professional. If you need a referral, Harry Levine Insurance can provide you with the names of several local inspectors that we know and trust.
Benefits of Wind Mitigation
By far, the most popular reason for getting a wind mitigation inspection is to save money on your insurance premiums!
Legally, your carrier must provide you with insurance discounts for a “passing grade.” The more wind-resistant features your roof has, the deeper your discount.
- Newer roofs;
- Longer nails placed closer together;
- Upgraded materials;
- Hipped roofs;
- Secondary water resistance; and
- Higher-rated doors, windows, shutters, etc.
…will all get you extra “credits” that your insurance company will turn into discounts.
How Big Of a Discount Will I Get?
As with most things insurance-related, there’s no way to know for sure.
Not only is there no standard among insurance companies for the size of the discount they offer, there is no scientific consensus that certain roof features are “safer” or more wind-resistant than others.
The Florida Legislature is not made up of engineers or building inspectors, but politicians. Although they used certain scientific (and quasi-scientific) data when writing the bill, your insurance carrier has their own data on what makes a home more exposed to risk. This is why Insurer A might give you a 5% discount because your roof is attached with clips instead of nails and Insurer B might only offer you 1%.
This doesn’t mean that wind mitigation inspections are useless. Far from it!
We often find that the inspections pay for themselves, earning at least $80-$100 of credit each year for a guaranteed five years (if not longer). Many times, the credits reach well into the hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
It is extremely rare for no credits to be earned. Without a wind mit inspection, your insurer assumes that your home has the least wind-resistant features available. Notifying them that you have at least a few will require them to offer a discount.
You cannot be charged more unless you had a prior wind mitigation inspection that had incorrect findings in your favor.
Wind mitigation inspections are the easiest way to save money on your insurance premiums.
For less than an hour of your time—and around $100—your inspection can offer significant insurance savings over the next five years (or more)!
At Harry Levine Insurance, we urge all Florida homeowners to schedule a wind mitigation inspection at regular intervals. While we can’t guarantee savings with 100% certainty, it’s tremendously likely that you’ll wind up with a positive result.
While wind mitigation inspections are a very simple way to save some money on your insurance premiums, there are additional ways we can help. As independent insurance agents, we are not tied to a specific carrier, so we can provide you with multiple options at varying coverage levels and price points customized to your needs.
We updated this post in 2020 to provide the most up to date info about wind mitigation inspections.
This piece is intended as an incomplete introduction and reference to the process of Wind Mitigation Inspection for Florida homeowners. It does not imply or guarantee any premium savings, insurance coverage or protection against loss. Wind Mitigation Inspectors are hired at all homeowners’ own risk. Harry Levine Insurance is in no way responsible for positive or negative outcomes of any actions taken in reliance on this article. No action should be taken in reliance on this article.