Buying the perfect house for you and your family isn’t easy. Once you find a place that meets your needs, you have to wade through reports, inspections, financial paperwork, and home insurance policies.
It’s a confusing process—even more so if you aren’t familiar with the terminology. One buzzword you might come across on your journey to homeownership is “wind mitigation.” Wind mitigation is one way to protect your home from strong winds, and this guide will explain why it’s important to homeowners.
Wind mitigation reports can help you save money on home insurance. Another way to lower your home insurance premium is with Insurify: compare insurance quotes side by side to pick the best one to protect your home.
What Is a Wind Mitigation Inspection?
A wind mitigation inspection, or windstorm inspection, is a visual examination to determine how much wind a home can withstand during a windstorm. A licensed general contractor, architect, engineer, building inspector, or home inspector will look at your home’s various construction features to determine its ability to handle strong winds.
Homes in parts of the U.S. where hurricanes are common can benefit from an inspection since high winds often accompany storms. The inspection can identify structural weaknesses and suggest features to add to your home to reduce losses in hurricanes.
Although some insurance companies require wind mitigation inspections, your policy might not if it doesn’t cover damage from excessively strong winds. Ask your insurance agent, and read your policy carefully to determine if you need separate windstorm insurance to protect against hurricanes and tornadoes.
Can Wind Mitigation Save You Money on Home Insurance?
Wind mitigation inspections aren’t a requirement for most homeowners insurance. However, the resulting report could lower the premiums you pay for coverage.
It comes down to where you live. Beachfront property owners typically pay higher rates and have the fewest options to protect against wind damage. Regardless of your home’s location, wind mitigation credits—credits you get for taking steps to protect your home from wind damage—can reduce the cost of your home insurance.
For instance, Florida requires insurers to offer discounts to Florida homeowners who protect their homes with wind mitigation features, such as:
Securing a roof deck attachment to the rafters using hurricane clips
Covering windows and using hurricane shutters to protect against flying debris
Installing a hurricane-resistant garage door
Using hurricane-resistant garage door bracing kits
If you’re house shopping, keep in mind that a home’s roof geometry can result in insurance discounts, too. A hip roof, one with a pyramid shape, is the most wind-resistant and might qualify you for a wind mitigation discount.
What Does a Wind Mitigation Report Include?
Wind mitigation reports can vary by state and provider. All forms include similar information to gauge structural integrity in the event of strong winds. Florida’s Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form is an excellent example. In Florida, the form includes information about when the home was built to determine if the home meets Florida Building Code requirements that were put in place in 2001.
Most forms also examine the type of roof covering, the roof deck attachment, the roof shape, and the presence of secondary water resistance to act as a water barrier in case the roof is blown off during a windstorm.
4-Point Inspection vs. Wind Mitigation
Like wind mitigation inspections, 4-point home inspections are an evaluation of your home. Insurance companies often require a 4-point inspection to examine the roof, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC condition before issuing an insurance policy.
Insurers can ask for wind mitigation reports, too. While a 4-point inspection assesses the well-being of a home’s major systems, a wind mitigation inspection determines the structural integrity as it relates to withstanding wind damage.
Inspection requirements can vary from state to state, and not all homes require a 4-point inspection or a wind mitigation inspection. Homes over 10 years old are more likely to require a 4-point inspection. Wind mitigation reports are standard in Gulf Coast states where hurricanes are more common.
Why Wind Mitigation Matters to Homeowners
When buying a home, there are often hoops to jump through. A wind mitigation inspection can be worth the extra work even if it isn’t required to purchase your home.
Depending on where you live and which insurance company you use, a wind mitigation report can qualify you for discounts on your home insurance premiums. It can also suggest measures you can take to safeguard your home from wind damage.
With or without an inspection, use Insurify to shop for the best homeowners policy to see how much you could save on your premiums.