What’s a windstorm mitigation inspection?

A windstorm mitigation inspection shows how wind resistant your home is. It can save you big money on your home insurance.

An illustration of a home and the features involved in a wind mitigation inspection

A wind mitigation inspection (also called a windstorm mitigation inspection) is when a certified inspector checks your home's wind-resistant features. These features can be anything from door and window coverings to the way your roof is attached to your home to how your roof is sealed to prevent water from entering. 

Though a wind mitigation inspection is not required to get homeowners insurance, it can result in substantial savings.

Wind mitigation inspections: What it is & why you need one. 
A professional evaluation of your home's ability to withstand high winds. They typically cost $75 - $150, but that cost is offset by saving on insurance premium.

Why does a wind mitigation inspection save you money on home insurance?

A wind mitigation inspection can significantly reduce the cost of your insurance policy. That’s because this inspection can determine whether your home has features that drastically decrease your chances of severe property loss from wind. As always, the safer and stronger your home is, the lower your premiums may be.

All the features the inspector looks for may seem like minor details, but they make a world of difference when a windstorm or hurricane strikes. The appropriate wind mitigation features can be the difference between your home weathering the storm and a total rebuild.

That’s why we highly recommend investing in wind mitigation and getting a windstorm mitigation inspection before you apply for a quote.

How much money can you save with a wind mitigation inspection?

That depends on where you live and your home's features. Along the coast, savings can range from a few hundred dollars to well over $1,000. Wind mitigation is so important in coastal areas that the laws in these states often require insurers to offer discounts to homeowners who install them. (See what's involved in wind mitigation inspections in Florida .)

Of course. Florida isn’t the only state to encourage wind mitigation. Louisiana, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama also have wind mitigation programs that offer various incentives. These typically come in the form of tax breaks from the state, premium discounts or credits, or other incentives.

Wind mitigation inspection costs

Wind mitigation inspections usually cost between $75 and $150, depending on where you are and what company you use. The variety of options means you should likely get at least a few estimates before you higher an inspector.

Requirements of a wind mitigation inspection

A wind mitigation inspection usually considers seven indicators of your home’s ability to withstand strong winds. Let’s take a look at some of the indicators mentioned on Florida's wind mitigation inspection form to get a sense of what sort of things an inspector is looking for.

Indicator 1 - Building code

Does your home comply with current state and local building codes? In some cases, you may have to document when your home was built or last updated by providing a building permit.

Indicator 2 - Roof covering

What type of roof covering does your home have – that is, what is the material that is on top of your roof? The Florida wind mitigation form lists the following types:

A.     Asphalt/fiberglass shingle

B.     Concrete/clay tile

C.     Metal

D.     Built-up

E.     Membrane

F.     Other

If your roof has been replaced recently, you may need to provide the permit you had for the construction. This helps the inspector accurately assess your roof. The inspector will also determine whether your roof coverings are approved by state or local building codes at the time of installation.

Indicator 3 -  Roof-deck attachment

How well is your roof deck secured to the truss/rafter, and how strong is the attachment? In Florida, the inspector considers the following: 

A.     Plywood/Oriented strand board (OSB) roof sheathing attached to the roof truss/rafter (spaced a maximum of 24" o.c.) by staples or 6d nails spaced at 6" along the edge and 12" in the field. OR, Batten decking supporting wood shakes or wood shingles. OR, Any system of screws, nails, adhesives, other deck fastening system or truss/rafter spacing that has an equivalent mean uplift less than required for Options B or C below.

B.     Plywood/OSB roof sheathing with a minimum thickness of 7/16" attached to the roof truss/rafter (spaced a maximum of 24" o.c.) by 8d common nails spaced a maximum of 12" in the field. OR, Any system of screws, nails, adhesives, other deck fastening system or truss/rafter spacing that is shown to have an equivalent or greater resistance 8d nails spaced a maximum of 12" in the field or has a mean uplift resistance of at least 103 psf. 

C.     Plywood/OSB roof sheathing with a minimum thickness of 7/16" attached to the roof truss/rafter (spaced a maximum of 24" o.c.) by 8d common nails spaced a maximum of 6" in the field. OR, Dimensional lumber/tongue and groove decking with a minimum of 2 nails per board (or 1 nail per board if each board is equal to or less than 6" in width). OR, Any system of screws, nails, adhesives, other deck fastening system or truss/rafter spacing that is shown to have an equivalent.

You can see a Florida inspector even looks at the length of the nails that attach the roof sheathing to the roof truss/rafter – the longer the nails (8d are the longest) and the closer they are together (6 inches is preferred), the better. In most cases, option A is the weakest and C is the strongest.

Indicator 4 - Roof-to-wall attachment

This indicates how well your roof is attached to the walls of your home. Florida’s inspection questionnaire offers six types of connections with some specifics for each (plus a spot for “no attic access”):

  • Toe nails.

  •  Clips.

  • Single wraps.

  • Double wraps.

  • Anchor bolt.

  • Other.

Double wraps are considered the strongest type of connection; toenails are considered the weakest.

Indicator 5 - Roof geometry

The shape of your roof has a big impact on how well your home withstands strong winds. A Florida inspection form offers three roof shapes: hip roof, flat roof, and other. Hip roofs slope down on all sides and help resist clashes with hurricane winds. For that reason, they tend to get a bigger premium discount.

The inspector may have to measure the slope of certain roof features as well as the total roof system perimeter and roof area.

Indicator 6 - Secondary water resistance (SWR)

This part of the inspection determines if your home has a protective layer under the primary layer of the roof (like the shingles). Think of it as that light rain jacket you wear even though you have an umbrella. An inspection form may note whether your roof has SWR and the type.

Indicator 7 - Opening protection

The final part of the wind mitigation inspection considers “glazed openings” (i.e., openings with windows or glass) and “non-glazed openings” (e.g., entry doors and garage doors) and how impact-resistant they are. For instance, they will check for shatterproof windows, bracing on the garage door, hurricane-rated doors, and storm shutters. 

Without these measures, flying debris can compromise your home's pressure barrier. Consider putting up hurricane shutters before the inspector arrives to make sure you get this credit.

If you decide to make structural changes to your home to qualify for more wind mitigation credits, make sure you work with a licensed engineer and contractor.

How to get the most in wind mitigation discounts

As you can see above, some wind mitigation components can be added while others (the shape of your roof, for example) are harder to change. That said, these components are generally considered the “safest” for most homes and may lead to bigger premium discounts:

  • Roofing materials and installation that meet state building codes.

  • A roof-deck attachment with plywood OSB sheathing with a minimum thickness of 7/16” inch attached to the truss by 8d nails spaced 6 inches apart.

  • A roof-wall attachment that uses double wraps (metal connectors that are attached to the wall frame and wrap over the top of the truss).

  • A hip roof.

  • Secondary water resistance under the roof sheathing.

  • Impact-resistant coverings verified for cyclic pressure and large missiles (9 pounds for windows/doors and 4.5 pounds for skylights) overall glass openings.

After the wind inspection is complete, the inspector often offers suggestions that could improve the resilience of your property. You can make changes to your property or simply submit your wind mitigation report to your Kin representative.

You’ll likely receive the most savings if you take the inspector’s suggestions. The suggestions may also add to the value of your home – that’s never a bad thing! However, we’re happy to crunch the numbers and see how much you can save based on your inspection report alone.

How long is a wind mitigation inspection valid?

Wind mitigation inspections in Florida are valid for up to five years, provided no further updates are made to the home. That’s also true for homes that have earned the Institute for Business & Home Safety’s FORTIFIEDTM designation

How to prove you’ve had a wind mitigation inspection

You can input your report's results when you apply for a quote online or you can provide a copy of your wind mitigation report to your representative. If you think you’ve had one done, you can look over your current policy and see if you received any sort of windstorm mitigation credits. If so, you can ask for a copy of the inspection from your current carrier.



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