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Taking certain mitigation steps to protect your home from hurricane-force winds will not only keep your family safe, but can result in discounts from your insurance company. Use this guide to learn more about premium discounts for hurricane loss mitigation.

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Are you aware that hurricanes can cause major damage to your home?

Hurricanes have caused tens of billions of dollars in insured damages and predictions of more catastrophic hurricanes making landfall in Florida have triggered increases in insurance premiums in an effort to cover potential future losses.

Are you aware that there are steps you can take to help protect your home and make your home more resistant to wind?

The state of Florida requires insurance companies to offer discounts for protecting your home and mitigating damage that may be caused by hurricane-force winds. There are specific mitigation steps that you can take to help protect your home and family during a hurricane. Securing your roof so it doesn’t blow off and protecting your windows from flying debris are the two most cost-effective measures you can take to safeguard your home and reduce your windstorm (hurricane) premium. You may also replace your garage door with a hurricane resistant garage door or reinforce your garage door with hurricane-resistant garage door bracing kits. By installing mitigation features, you may be eligible to receive a reduction in your windstorm premium, reduce your out of pocket expenses, such as your hurricane deductible, and minimize the damage to your home from a catastrophic event. These discounts apply only to the windstorm coverage of your policy.

Insurance companies are required to provide you with a copy of the Wind Mitigation Notice of Premium Discount Form with each new policy and at each renewal thereafter. This form advises you of the policy deductible options and provides an example of how much your premium can be reduced if you have wind mitigation features on your home. To view a copy of the Wind Mitigation Notice of Premium Discount Form, click here.

How can you take advantage of the discounts?

Homeowners will need a qualified inspector to properly document your home’s wind mitigation features. The inspector will itemize the specific features incorporated in your home’s construction on the Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form. In addition, the inspector must document the mitigation features listed on the form with accompanying photographs. The Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form was approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation in order to specify the features in the construction of your home which may result in a discount, and to provide a uniform method of documentation for all insurance companies to use.

Qualified inspectors include licensed general, building, or residential contractors, licensed professional engineers, a licensed professional architect, or a certified building code inspector. The inspectors will complete a Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form, based on the features of your home. This form should then be provided to your insurance company for review, and the implementation of the applicable discounts to the windstorm coverage of your premium. You may contact your insurance agent or insurance company to obtain a listing of individuals and/or inspection companies that meet these qualifications. To view a copy of the Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form, click here.

What features may result in a discount? For homes built prior to the 2001 Building Codes, the discounts are based on the following:

Roof Covering – Roof coverings such as asphalt/fiberglass shingles, concrete/clay tiles, metal panels, other types of roof covering, which meet the current Florida Building Code standards or a reinforced concrete roof deck will qualify for wind mitigation discounts.

Roof Deck Attachment – The use of specific sized nails, with specific spacing between the nails which comply with the requirements of the current Florida Building Code qualify for wind mitigation discounts.

Roof to Wall Connections – These connections are accomplished using one of three different connection types such as:

  1. “Clips” nailed into the side of the rafter/truss and into the side of the top plate or wall stud;

  2. “Single Wraps/Straps” that are attached to the side and/or bottom of the top plate and are nailed to the rafter/truss; or

  3. “Double Straps” that are attached to the side and/or bottom of the top plate and are nailed to the rafter/truss.

Roof Shape – A HIP roof which is shaped like a pyramid, is the most wind resistant roof shape, and qualifies for a wind mitigation discount.

Secondary Water Resistance (Barrier) – A layer of protection between the shingles and the plywood roof deck that helps to protect the building from water penetration if the roof covering material is blown off qualifies for wind mitigation discounts.

Shutters:

Intermediate Type – Shutters that are strong enough to meet half the Pre-2001 Florida Building Code standards for South Florida.

Hurricane Protection Type – Shutters that are strong enough to meet the Post-2001 Florida Building Code standards for South Florida.

For homes built in compliance with the 2001 building code or later, the discounts are based on the following:

Roof Shape – A HIP roof which is shaped like a pyramid qualifies for a wind mitigation discount.

Shutters: Intermediate Type – shutters that are strong enough to meet half the Pre-2001 Florida Building Code standards for South Florida.

Hurricane Protection Type – shutters that are strong enough to meet the Post-2001 Florida Building Code standards for South Florida.

current Miami-Dade building code standards.

Homes built in compliance with the 2001 Florida Building Code or later edition, including the 1994 South Florida Building Code for homes in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, are automatically eligible for a minimum 68% discount on the windstorm coverage of the premium due to the upgraded requirements which include a roof covering, roof attachment and roof to wall connection. You may be eligible for a greater discount if other mitigation features are installed on your home.

Important Points to Remember

The amount of the discount will vary based on the wind mitigation features incorporated into your home. Your insurance agent and/or insurance company should be able to inform you how much of a discount you may expect if certain wind mitigation features are installed and/or upgraded.

The costs of wind mitigation improvements vary. Homeowners should contact a licensed contractor for an estimate. You can find a Licensed Contractor in your area by visiting the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation online at www.MyFloridaLicense.com.

Regardless of the year of construction, if your home meets the minimum wind mitigation requirements of the 2001 Florida Building Code, not only are you eligible to receive the premium discounts, you may also have the option to reduce your hurricane deductible.

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