Home buyers are faced with many costs when purchasing a home. 

What is wind mitigation report? A wind mitigation report is an insurance form that details certain elements of a given home that will affect the resistance of the structure to wind storm damage. This includes the height and shape of the roof; how the roof is attached to the walls; the type of wall construction and a number of other important criterion's (see the attached form for more information).

Why is this important? State law requires the insurance industry to issue credits on premiums if certain criterion are met that help reduce the risk of wind storm damage. Each credit reduces the policy by a predetermined percentage. If all criterion are met the premium could be reduced by more than 80%!! This could save  a substantial sum of money; usually hundreds of dollars a year in premium reduction.

It is important to note that not all the criterion need be met to get credits. Each credit merits a deduction regardless of the status of the other criterion. For example; a home built in 1990 that is a single story structure with a hip roof and has straps attaching the truss to the exterior wall would qualify for those credits even though it may not have opening protection (shutters).

What homes should have wind mitigation?  Most homes qualify with one or more credits; any of which would cover the cost of the mitigation report. Homes built prior to 1990 are less likely to get substantial credit unless it was re-roofed after 2002 or has had other improvements made such as the installation of impact rated windows or shutters.

Any home permitted or re-roofed after 3/01/2002 should definitely have a wind mitigation report completed as several criterion's would be met by basic construction standards set by the building code changes that occurred at that time. Additional changes occurred in 2006 and again in 2010. Homes built after 2010 should qualify for maximum credits.

The opening protection credit is the largest potential credit and often the most misunderstood; many people belief that if their home has Shutters they comply for wind mitigation credits; this is not always the case. Shutters must be impact rated (many are not); must be fastened properly; and must cover every opening of the home. The insurance industry views a home that has all openings properly protected except one as having no protection and no credits will be given for opening protection.

Skylights if present, are often overlooked for protection. Glazing in skylights must be impact rated to qualify a home for this credit; the sidelight by the entry door is considered an opening and is often left unprotected. The garage door is also considered an opening and must be wind rated and/or have an impact rating for the home to qualify for opening protection credit. Many home owners spend thousands of dollars to install shutters on windows and doors only to ignore these items and then discover they cannot qualify for the opening protection credit. They may qualify for other credits but they would not receive credit for this item.