What Does Wind Mitigation Mean?
Wind mitigation is the process of reducing the likelihood of your home suffering damage during windstorms. Homeowners and builders add features to help homes withstand high winds.
What Homeowners Need to Know about Wind Mitigation
Wind damage is one of the most common and most expensive problems a homeowner can face. High winds can bring down power lines, tear shingles off your roof, and send debris through your windows. And you don’t have to live in Tornado Alley or along the Gulf Coast to see trouble. Severe thunderstorms can see wind gusts of almost 60 mph, which are classified as damaging winds.
Even though your home insurance most likely covers windstorms, you may still want to minimize the damage one may cause your house. This process is called wind mitigation, which may help you:
- Make fewer claims on your home insurance. Insurance companies look at your claims history before they decide if they will cover you and how much they will charge. Wind mitigation can help you fortify your house. This may reduce the number of claims you need to file and make you more attractive to insurers.
- Earn discounts on your home insurance. Many insurance providers reduce your premium just for completing a wind mitigation inspection and submitting the report. In fact, a number of coastal states, including Florida and Louisiana, require insurance companies to offer discounts for a certified wind mitigation inspection.
While any homeowner can benefit from a wind mitigation inspection, those in hurricane- or tornado-prone areas may see the greatest impact on their premium. That’s because the potential for extensive damage in Tornado Alley and Hurricane Alley has a big impact on insurance prices. Often, insurers charge homeowners in these areas a hurricane deductible on top of the standard deductible. It covers wind damage after hurricanes and windstorms, but the deductible is a percentage of your home’s value.
How to Get a Wind Mitigation Inspection
Getting a wind mitigation inspection starts with hiring a certified inspector. That individual may be a:
- General contractor.
- Building contractor.
- Building inspector.
- Home inspector.
Inspections typically cost about $100 (depending on where you live) and take 30 minutes to an hour.
During the inspection, the inspectors will look for wind-resistant features, such as hurricane shutters, impact-resistantwindows and doors, water barriers in the roof, the shape of your roof and how it's attached to your roof deck and walls, and more.
Your inspector may also ask for any prior wind mitigation inspection documents.
A wind mitigation inspection can add up to substantial savings. For example, Florida homeowners may save hundreds or thousands on their premium. Insurers in your state may not provide as steep a discount, but the extra protection alone may make wind mitigation worth the effort.