Intense winds can happen at any time, regardless of a storm’s classification by NOAA, and particularly in our area of Florida where severe thunderstorms occur on a weekly basis. Winds of up to 40 mph are entirely too common, and could cause unexpected damage to a home.
Often (but not always) wind or weather insurance is purchased along with your homeowners’ insurance. Coverage includes damage caused by wind or wind gusts, hail, rain, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Weather can cause extensive damage to your property, but don’t wait for a storm to head our way before you call to check your wind or weather insurance coverage.
A 2006 Florida Statute requires insurance companies to offer Florida homeowners “discounts, credits, or other rate differentials…” for construction techniques that reduce damage and loss in windstorms. Florida was the first state to adopt this requirement and since, multiple other coastal states have followed suit.
The thought process was that incentivizing wind mitigation inspections as a means of properly safeguarding properties in certain low-lying areas would help insurance companies increase their odds of insuring fewer damage-susceptible properties. But just because insurance carriers are required to offer these discounts, policyholders are NOT required to conduct a Wind Mitigation Inspection before purchasing a policy.
At Chapman Insurance, we always recommend our clients conduct a Wind Mitigation Inspection by a board-certified professional. They will use a Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form from the State of Florida. Contact us for recommendations of Wind Mitigation Inspection specialists in Manatee County, Florida.
Most existing houses have one or more wind resistive construction features and may qualify for some insurance discounts. In addition, houses built after 2002 in Florida have many wind-resistive construction features and will likely qualify for credits.
The State of Florida looks at these key categories:
- Construction Type: What construction materials were used on your home for framing, reinforcement, and outer fascia, and at what percentages? Was your home built in compliance with the Florida Building Code?
- Roof Covering: When the roof was installed? Does it meet current building codes?
- Roof Deck Attachment: What type of roof decking is used? How is attached to the underlying structure, like if it’s nailed or stapled down? If nails are used, nail length and spacing between each will also be noted.
- Roof to Wall Attachment: Are roof trusses attached with nails or hurricane clips? Are the wraps single or double? The more secure your roof, the better impact on your wallet!
- Roof Geometry: is your roof hip or not? Not how cool it is, just how it’s shaped – a hip roof resembles that of a pyramid, and is a definite qualifier for a discount.
- Secondary Water Resistance: Does your roof have this barrier? Photo documentation will probably be required.
- Opening Protection: Do you have shutters or other installed-protection devices from wind-born debris for doors and windows? Are they all 100% hurricane rated?
Use this Wind Insurance Savings Calculator from the Florida Division of Emergency Management to estimate your savings now.
If you have any other questions about wind mitigation or weather insurance, don’t hesitate to reach out! Give us a call or email us using this form.