Hurricane Andrew was a wake up call for the State of Florida, with billions of dollars of property damage, thousands of people without homes or power, and businesses throughout the region at a standstill for months, many never to be seen again. The true cost of this hurricane was enormous. Since Hurricane Andrew, we believe mountains have been moved in the hurricane mitigation industry. Extensive research, testing and education has been conducted, to determine how to limit the effect of hurricanes to homeowners and the general public in the state of Florida. It has taken years to get to where Florida is today, and without the commitment of the Florida legislature, not for profit groups and other interested parties, including insurance carriers looking to reduce the risks of hurricanes, these achievements would never have happened.
Today building codes have been updated to not only include but require compliance with the hurricane mitigation standards for both new construction and remodeling. Thousands of homeowners now benefit from these codes, and of course the various wind rated products that have come to surface to meet the stringent requirements for wind resistance. Examples include new wind resistant roof products, windows, doors, structures, protection devices and many more.
Having codes was not enough to encourage existing homeowners to participate in the hurricane mitigation movement. A lot of energy went into the creation of legislation to incentivize homeowners to mitigate their homes from a hurricane perspective. These incentives come in the way of insurance discounts, and the wind mitigation inspections are based on these mandated discounts that are available to every homeowner with insurance in Florida.
When considering having a wind mitigation inspection therefore, understand that the objective is to not only benefit from lower insurance rates based on your current wind resistance, but also get educated on how you can better protect your home and family by possibly upgrading your home to meet higher wind resistant standards.
When homeowners truly understand what mitigation upgrades can be accomplished to receive premium insurance discounts, many times these upgrades are conducted, just as the legislation was set up to do!
This is because the upgrades needed are often simple and/or cost-effective because many homes in high velocity zones, have some protection already in place!
Examples of common mitigation upgrades include providing additional protection for one or more openings, updating roof deck attachment, or installing SWR’s during re-roofing projects. In almost all cases, the cost of mitigation upgrades is less than the discount you may be eligible to receive when the savings are calculated over the validity period of the inspection report: FIVE INSURANCE YEARS!
The cost of upgrading your garage door may be $500, but the savings your home may then qualify for, MAY be as much as $700-1000 per year!* (Figures are estimated and vary based on property location and insurance carrier.)