As essential as homeowners’ insurance may be, it can also seem quite expensive for something you’ll hopefully never use. In Florida, as well as other catastrophe-prone areas, the cost can seem exorbitant. Various factors influence your homeowners’ insurance cost, and while you may not be willing or able to change the area of the country where you live, there are factors about your home that may help reduce your insurance premium.
In Florida, the primary concern is hurricanes. Living in a home built to the most recent hurricane resistant standards can significantly lower your homeowners’ insurance premium. While the year a home is built is public record, hiring a professional to certify the specific aspects of your home that reduce windstorm exposure may increase your premium savings. If your home was built prior to the latest building codes being implemented, your premium savings for any windstorm damage mitigating features will be that much greater.
Roof shape can greatly influence your home insurance premium. If you have a hip-shaped roof, a roof that slopes toward the ground on all sides, it is less likely to catch wind and blow off in a storm and you may be eligible for a premium credit. There are additional credits for how securely a roof is installed, so even if your home was built many years ago, if your roof was replaced within the past ten years or so you are likely eligible for additional credits. Some things an inspector might look for are the spacing of the nails holding on the shingles, the manner in which the roof is attached to the main structure of the home, and if there is a secondary water resistant layer under the shingles.
Another consideration, particularly in coastal areas of Florida, is opening protection. This entails all the windows, doors (including garage), and any and all other openings being able to withstand impact from flying debris. This may be through such methods as impact resistant windows, reinforced metal doors, and hurricane shutters. It is important to note that all openings of the home, including skylights, must be protected in order to receive any credit on a homeowners’ insurance policy for opening protection. In some areas of particular concern for hurricane damage, having full opening protection may make the difference between whether or not an insurance company is willing to offer homeowners’ insurance for your home.
While some windstorm mitigation credits may be available without an inspection, many are only available if a professional inspector certifies your home possesses characteristics that increase its chances of surviving a windstorm. Our insurance team at Dimmitt Insurance has extensive experience writing property insurance in Florida. Please contact us to discuss the benefits of obtaining a windstorm mitigation inspection for your home and recommendations for licensed inspectors in your area.
For additional questions or comments, please contact me at Dimmitt Insurance:
Elizabeth Staley, Private Client Account Manager
25191 US Hwy 19 N
Clearwater, FL 33763