What is a Wind Mitigation (Windstorm Inspection)?
The purpose of a windstorm inspection is to determine the appropriateness of a given structure's construction in the event of strong winds, such as those present in a hurricane.
Windstorm inspections look for construction features that have been shown to reduce losses in hurricanes, such as a hip roof (sloped on all sides like a pyramid); roof to wall connections that are installed with hurricane clips/straps such as toe nail, clips, single wraps or double wraps.
In short, we assess the roof shape and covering, roof deck attachments, roof to wall connection types, opening protections (windows, doors, etc.), and the presence of a secondary water resistance barrier.
A homeowner with windstorm insurance can often submit the results of a windstorm inspection to their insurer to obtain discounts on their windstorm insurance. In Florida, for example, premium discounts for certain favorable wind mitigation features are mandated by State law and can total 45% of the original policy's premium. You will need to consult your insurance professional for these figures.
Why does Wind Mitigation matter?
Mitigating your home could translate to savings; this inspection specifically targets the structural and nonstructural aspects that prevent or lessen damage caused by high winds that occur with storms.
A few small upgrades to your home can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars every year on property insurance premiums, protect your real estate investment and make your home a safer place to live.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation OIR-1802 (Rev. 02/10) windstorm inspection form is valid for up to 5 years,
providing no material changes have been made to the structure or is superseded by a revised windstorm inspection form.
A 4-Point Inspection focuses only on four main areas of interest in a home:
HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning)
Electrical wiring and panels
Plumbing connections and fixtures
The inspection and report describes the condition and age of these elements.
Why do I need a 4-Point inspection?
Insurance companies have become increasingly reluctant to issue Homeowner Insurance Policies on older homes (usually 25 years old or more) without a 4-Point report.
Their common concern is that there may be conditions in an older home that could become a liability to them. For instance; a home with a roof nearing the end of its reliable service life may fail while under the policy and the homeowner may seek reimbursement from their insurance company for damages to the home or its contents. Similar concerns extend to the condition of the HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems in an older home. If these elements are in poor condition, in need of being updated or replaced or were improperly installed, they may fail and cause fire or water damage to a home.