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What is a Wind Mitigation Inspection?

Don't underestimate the importance of this yearly checkup for your home.

Wind mitigation inspections do more than give Florida homeowners peace of mind.

Find out how a quick wind mitigation inspection can help lower your homeowners 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 mitigation inspection as well, 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 and rain which is why wind mitigation inspections focus on your roof.

 

The wind mitigation report will examine seven areas:

  1. Construction Year: the year your home was built, which tells the home inspector how strict the building codes were

  2. Roof Covering: the type of roof covering (shingle, tile, etc.) and age of the roof

  3. Roof Deck: the material your roof deck (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

  4. Roof To Wall Attachment: the method used to attach the roof to your walls

  5. Roof Geometry: the shape and slope of your roof

  6. Secondary Water Resistance: the type of material between the shingles and roof decking

  7. Opening Protection: whether you have additional protections on openings such as a sunroof, garage door, windows, etc.

 

Obviously, the newer, stronger, and better constructed your roof is, the more protection it can provide against wind damage and the better your wind mitigation report will be. Your mitigation inspection is good for five years, but if repairs are done to your rook after anytime, a new inspection is required.

 

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 mitigation inspection focuses solely on your roof. For this reason, someone will need to be present to allow the inspector to access the attic to 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).

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.

 

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 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.

 

Benefits of Wind Mitigation

 

In addition to protecting your home, the most popular reason for getting a wind mitigation inspection is to save money on your homeowners insurance. 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. Generally speaking, the following features will all get you extra “wind mitigation credits” that insurance companies will turn into discounts.

  • Newer roofs

  • Longer nails placed closer together

  • Upgraded materials

  • Hipped roofs

  • Secondary water resistance

  • Higher-rated doors, windows, shutters, etc.

 

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, but there is also 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 mitigation 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.

Can Wind Mitigation Inspection Help?

The short answer is yes, but no fear. We have you cover here at Blue Olive Tree Home Inspections.

 

 

What states offer discounts and incentives for wind mitigation?

The following states offer home insurance discounts, grants, or tax credits to homeowners who’ve fit their home with wind-resistant features.

 

Alabama

Fortified Roof and Fortified Home discounts of 20% to 55% off the wind portion of your home insurance policy

Strengthen Alabama Homes Grant: Offers homeowners up to $10,000 to upgrade your home to the Fortified standard

Retrofit tax deduction: Deduct up to $3,000 or 50% of the cost of mitigating your home to reduce wind or flood damage — whichever is less — off your state taxes 

Catastrophe savings account: Any money deposited into an account labeled as catastrophe savings can be deducted from your gross income each year

 

Connecticut

Discount for installing permanent storm shutters or impact-resistant glass

 

Florida

Fortified Roof, Fortified Home, and other discounts for installing fixtures or using construction techniques to reduce windstorm damage

Hurricane Loss Mitigation Grant: Offers grants for retrofits, inspections, and construction to fortify your home against flooding and hurricane-force winds

Florida Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program: Offers financing for up to 100% of the costs to fortify your home against wind damage — payments are added to your property tax bill each year for an agreed-upon term

 

Georgia

Fortified Roof and Fortified Home discounts of 5% to 10% off the wind portion of your home insurance policy

 

Louisiana

Fortified Roof and Fortified Home discounts of 20% to 52% off the wind portion of your home insurance policy

Retrofit tax deduction: Deduct up to $5,000 or 50% of the cost of mitigating your homes to reduce wind or flood damage — whichever is less — off your state taxes

Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance rebate: Get a refundable income tax credit if you paid the LA Citizens assessments in addition to your home insurance premium

 

Maryland

Fortified Roof, Fortified Home, and other discounts for installing improvements to reduce hurricane or other storm damage

 

Mississippi

Fortified Roof and Fortified Home discounts of 12% to 55% off the wind portion of your home insurance policy

Free Fortified Roof endorsement: Eligible homeowners with Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association (MWUA) policies can upgrade to a Fortified Roof for free when 50% of their roof is damaged in a covered claim 

Catastrophe savings account: Any money deposited into an account labeled as catastrophe savings can be deducted from your gross income each year

 

New Jersey

Discount for installing permanent storm shutters or impact-resistant glass

 

New York

Discount for installing hurricane storm shutters or hurricane-resistant laminated glass windows and doors

North Carolina

Fortified Roof and Fortified Home discounts of 6% to 19% off the wind portion of your home insurance policy in you live in the Wilmington area

Free Fortified Roof endorsement: Eligible homeowners with North Carolina Insurance Underwriting Association (NCIUA) policies can upgrade to a Fortified Roof for free when a covered claim requires a roof replacement

Strengthen Your Roof Grant: Offers up to $5,000 to upgrade your home's roof to Fortified Roof construction if over 50% of your roof is damaged

 

Oklahoma

Fortified Home High Wind and Hail discount of 3% to 42% off the wind portion of your home insurance policy

Rhode Island

Hurricane deductible waived for homeowners who install permanent storm shutters, hurricane glass, Fortified Silver improvements, or other approved mitigation measures

 

South Carolina

Fortified Roof and Fortified Home discounts of 10% to 35% off the wind portion of your home insurance policy

Other mitigation discounts of up to 25% for storm-resistant home improvements 

South Carolina Safe Home Grant: Offers up to $5,000 to help fortify your home against wind and storm damage

Fortification tax credit: Deduct up to $1,000 or 25% of the cost of making your home more hurricane-resistant off your state taxes, or up to $1,500 if your bought your home with the intent of fortifying it

Insurance premium tax credit: Get a tax credit of up to $1,250 on your state income taxes if you pay more than 5% of your income toward insurance coverage on your primary residence

Catastrophe savings account: Any money deposited into an account labeled as catastrophe savings can be deducted from your gross income each year

 

Texas

Fortified Roof, Fortified Home, and other discounts for opening protection, wind-resistant construction, and secondary water barriers to reduce windstorm damage

Homeowner Assistance Program: Helps homeowners impacted by Hurricane Harvey repair, rebuild, improve, or elevate their home, along with temporary housing until the work is complete

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