Living in Florida, we are well aware of the major destruction that a severe windstorm or hurricane can do to our homes or businesses with the ability to take off roofs, breach the outer shell, destroy doors and windows, wreak havoc on the exterior by flying debris, and the interior of the building and its contents by wind and water.
If the damage makes it uninhabitable, hopefully your insurance will provide coverage for alternate housing and living expenses. Some of the coastal states have limited storm insurance coverage, and their governments provide financial help programs to offset the cost of windstorm insurance to homeowners. We also learn all too quickly that our windstorm insurance premiums continue to rise as the insurance companies try to recoup their tremendous losses for the hurricanes that Florida has experienced and the claims that those windstorms caused.
Are you aware that a wind mitigation certification can save you money? The State of Florida has a mandate (Florida statute 626.0629, which went into effect March 1, 2002 as a part of a new statewide building code) requiring insurance companies to reduce rates for those buildings that have specific wind mitigation features which will make them better equipped to withstand the storms. The discount you receive may save you money for years depending on the rules of your own insurance company as to how many years of savings on premiums that the certification covers. A wind mitigation certified expert inspector completes the forms necessary to verify that you have features that make your home better equipped to withstand wind damage.
What features are important? Some of them are concrete block construction, single or double roof straps, a hip roof, gable end bracing, shutters, a secondary barrier for water resistance, additional support for the walls and roof as well as doors to help withstand the wild forces of wind, etc. Perhaps you will discover certain improvements to your older property that can be made cost effectively to increase the values on your wind mitigation certificate.
Homes built after 2002 in most parts of Florida, and those built after 1994 in Miami-Dade or Broward Counties, have many of the necessary features already existing and would qualify for discounts. If you want to look up additional information on what homes qualify, visit http://www.mysafefloridahome.comand http://www.fema.gov
When you are ready to contact a company for an inspection, be aware that your insurance company will only accept certifications performed by qualified wind mitigation inspectors. See proof that your inspector has state licensing, a licensed building contractor, and a certified architect. Do not use a non-licensed sub-contractor trying to get your business by advertising lower prices. For more information and to schedule a reasonably-priced inspection for your home, business, or investment properties, go to http://www.windmitigation.com to locate a qualified professional inspector to perform the services necessary to obtain a wind mitigation inspection certificate and save you money on your insurance.