When it comes to insuring and protecting your home, there’s a lot to consider. There’s insurance shopping to find the best homeowners insurance company for you, finding discounts to fit your budget, and protecting all your assets, not to mention all the paperwork and details that come along with this, you have a lot on your plate.
On top of this, your home insurance company may want you to complete an inspection. A full home inspection covers all the details of your home to ensure everything is up to code and safe. A 4-point inspection only covers electrical, roofing, plumbing, and heating, and air conditioning. Along with these inspections, your insurance provider may ask you to get a wind mitigation inspection.
This article breaks down what a wind mitigation inspection covers, how much it costs and more.
What does a wind mitigation inspection cover?
A wind mitigation inspection analyzes the ability of your home to resist wind-related damage. This includes damage from hurricanes, storms, and high winds. There are various aspects of the home that are examined during this type of inspection:
The shape of the roof and the condition of the gable end
How protected any openings are such as windows, sliding glass doors, wooden doors, and garage doors
The roof’s water resistance
How well the roof and walls are connected and stabilized
The overall structure of your home
The stability of any supporting columns or attachments
A wind mitigation inspection examines the overall structure of your home to help your insurance company understand your risk and how vulnerable your property is to wind damage or hurricane damage.
It is important to note here that a wind mitigation inspection does not examine every part of your home.
In order to check the overall safety of your home, consider also getting a complete home inspection or a 4-point inspection. These look at other factors such as electrical, plumbing, structure, heating and air, and more to make sure your dwelling is safe.
Do I need a wind mitigation inspection?
Insurance companies like to use home inspections to help them weigh the risks of insuring you and help them get an idea of what rates and forms of coverage you may need. Especially if you live in a state like Florida, where hurricanes and storms are frequent, wind mitigation inspections are encouraged by your insurance company before they’ll agree to insure you.
But there are bright sides to getting wind mitigation inspection.
While it may be required (or highly encouraged), it can also save you money. Recent research shows that those who did not perform a wind mitigation inspection spent more on insurance premiums than those who did. Even though the initial inspection costs money, a wind mitigation inspection could lower your premium in the long run.
Lastly, it can help keep you safe. Especially if you live in a high-risk area for hurricanes and wind damage, getting a wind mitigation inspection not only keeps you safe by increasing your protection but it tells you if your home is safe. If you fail the wind mitigation inspection, you’ll know what to fix to increase the safety of your home.
While not required for coverage, they are required to receive some discounts. And, since wind damage is up to 70% of your entire premium, this can save you lots of money in the long run.
How much does it cost?
Depending on your location and what inspection company you hire, this type of inspection can cost anywhere from $75 to $150. While nobody wants to cough up a hundred bucks, this cost could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run and help you protect your home and your biggest assets.
What to expect from a wind mitigation inspection
Wind mitigation inspections try to find any structures in your home that may be unsafe during a windstorm or hurricane. They look at characteristics such as stability, how old your home is, what codes were followed when your home was built, how old the roof is, and how well these structures have been maintained.
An inspector will arrive at your house and examine these structures. He may also take photos as proof of the condition of your home.
Mitigate your home before the inspection
Before your wind mitigation inspection date is here, go ahead and prepare your home. This involves adding certain structures to your home and safety features that will be required by your insurance or that will increase your safety.
Below are some of the structures you can add and features you can check before your inspection.
During a hurricane or storm, your home is also at risk for water damage. Water damage can be detrimental to your home. You may be left with floors or structures that need to be repaired or replaced entirely, or you may need to address mold or mildew issues caused by water. Either way, it’s important to protect your home from water damage with barrier protection.
You can create a water barrier for your roof by checking for any holes, cracks, leaky spots, or shingles that are lifting up. Replace any damaged shingles or boards and seal them with heavy-duty tape or waterproof filling.
Roof and wall anchoring
Whether you moved into your home or built your home, you likely didn’t think about how well the walls were anchored to the floor. However, making sure this anchorage is secure can be a vital way to keep your home safe.
If one floor is not anchored properly, it may be overcome by winds or hurricanes and can completely demolish your home and injure those inside it. Anchoring your home can be an expensive project, and it can take a lot of time if you’re doing it yourself. However, the investment is worthwhile as it not only protects you and your family but it protects your biggest asset.
The gable ends of your roof are the sides that support the structure. During a windstorm or hurricane, your roof depends on the strength of the gable ends not to cave in. They absorb pressure during storms and can move over time, so it’s essential to the structure and safety of your home to inspect gable ends and reinforce them if necessary.
To reinforce your window openings, opt for shatterproof glass that can withstand damage and pressure from intense winds. You can also invest in shutters outside your windows to protect against high winds and keep you safe.
Another great way to prepare for your wind mitigation inspection and get ahead on requirements is to inspect your doorways. There are wind-resistant doors that are heavier than standard doors and can be braced for added protection. In addition, for garage doors or sliding glass doors, it’s essential to brace these as well or replace them entirely if you can’t afford to reinforce them.
What if I fail the inspection?
IF you fail your wind mitigation inspection, don’t sweat it. This allows you to understand what needs to be fixed on your property and what factors in your home can withstand severe winds. If you fail, you will likely need to fix the aspects of your home that need reinforcing and schedule a follow-up inspection to receive your insurance discounts.
Florida and wind mitigation inspections
Wind mitigation inspections are highly encouraged in Florida. Florida’s weather is unpredictable, especially when it comes to hurricanes, storms, and wind damage. Many insurance companies focus on coverage from wind damage and use wind mitigation inspections to help them analyze how much coverage you need.
By getting a wind mitigation inspection in Florida, you can also qualify for discounts and severely lower the amount you pay on your insurance premiums.
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A wind mitigation inspection is a tool to help you qualify for lower rates or discounts on your homeowners insurance. Your homeowners insurance provider may encourage a wind mitigation inspection in addition to a four-point or full-home inspection to get an idea of how much insurance you need and the risk level of insuring your property.
By understanding what a wind mitigation inspection is and how you can begin mitigating your home beforehand, you can be prepared to pass the inspection and start saving money on insurance!