Wind Mitigation Inspection – 7 Ways to SAVE $$$ on YOUR Homeowner’s Insurance!
If You are Already SAVING – Don’t Lose YOUR Insurance Discounts,
Be Prepared for that Pesky Re-Inspector!
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7) The last and final possible mitigation discount pertains to the Opening Protection on your home. Opening Protection includes all openings in your exterior walls including windows, entry doors, garage doors, skylights, glass block (although many builders classify glass block as masonry units, for insurance purposes it is still an opening), and even sometimes gable vents.
The most common types of opening protection include:
a) Hurricane Shutters that meet the 9 lb missile test.
b) Hurricane Shutters that meet the 4.5 lb missile test.
c) Impact windows that meet the 9 lb missile test.
d) Entry doors that are impact rated.
e) Garage doors that are impact rated.
f) Wood Shutters that meet the 2007 Florida Building Code.
g) Older style shutters that do not have engineering or current building code approval.
This is one of the most difficult and controversial mitigation discounts available. For all practical purposes it is an all or nothing discount. You can have $20,000 of the finest hurricane shutters installed to all of your openings but one, and that one can keep you from qualifying for this discount.
Another common occurrence we run into is older shutters that are not labeled directly on the shutter as current requirements mandate and those that we have no engineering or product testing on to prove they meet the engineered requirements. It’s difficult to tell a homeowner that the set of hurricane shutters they have, although in great condition and appear to be very sufficient, do not get the credits due to more recent changes in the Florida Building Code.
Many people have plywood that they use to cover their openings in the event of an approaching storm. This can qualify for the discounts but is more difficult than you may initially think. The wood system must meet the 2007 Florida Building Code which has stringent requirements pertaining to the spacing of each fastener around the opening (most screws and ply lock clips are not allowed, these must be approved fasteners, most common being panel mates, permanently installed directly into the framing around each opening). Most homeowners after realizing the stringency of the 2007 Florida Building Code requirements pertaining to wood shutter hardware opt to go ahead and install shutters since the hardware requirements around each opening are very similar.
How to know if you have qualifying Opening Protection and how to prove it: DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, and DOCUMENT! It is imperative to have receipts, product approvals, permits, engineering specifications, etc on EVERY OPENING OF YOUR HOME. Whether you have impact windows (and no, 140 mph windows are not the same as Impact windows), shutters, garage doors, or replaced walk through doors, be sure to have all of the documentation for each and every opening and or opening protection device. The documentation should clearly state the Florida Building Code manufacturers approval number and the documentation should list which tests and requirements each opening product has that meets the compliance.
I hope this article has been helpful in more thoroughly understanding the Wind Mitigation Inspection and the 7 different discounts available. Be sure to keep your Wind Mitigation Inspection file up to date and handy in case you get that dreaded letter in the mail stating an inspector is coming by to inspect your wind mitigation discounts on behalf of your insurance carrier!
Good luck and know that Pensacola Insurance Inspections is only a phone call (850) 417-7934 or email Office@PensacolaInsuranceInspections.com away to help you with any home inspection questions or needs you may have!
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