Understanding wind mitigation and its benefits
Learn about wind mitigation, possible benefits and discounts on home insurance
Hurricane season usually lasts from June to November, and every year many people are affected. As we’ve learned, hurricanes can cause a lot of property damage. For example, in 2022 Hurricane Ian caused $115.2 billion in financial loss, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information.
As a homeowner, helping protect your house against wind damage may also provide you with possible insurance discounts. Here is some important information related to wind mitigation and possible benefits of it.
What is wind mitigation?
Wind mitigation means installing or having features in your property that help protect it in the case of high winds caused by a hurricane or a storm. Some of those features include:
- Roof to wall connections, roof covering, roof deck attachment and roof shape
- Secondary water resistance
- Protection of openings (including windows, garages and doors)
Why is wind mitigation important?
The purpose of these features is to not only protect your building, but also help prevent or reduce the amount of water getting into your home in the case of very high winds and heavy rain.
In addition, many of the wind mitigation features may make your home safer should high winds and flying debris occur. By having a sturdier roof that may withstand high winds, as well as having window shutters and hurricane resistant doors, your family should be less exposed to the elements if you decide to stay home and not evacuate before a storm. Always follow the safety recommendations from your local and state officials related to evacuation mandates.
In some states, homeowners’ insurance premiums may reflect the price related to the exposure to certain perils, like wind. By having or implementing wind mitigation to your home, you may be entitled to discounts on your premium.
Wind mitigation inspection
This type of inspection is usually done by a wind mitigation inspector or another qualified professional. The purpose of the inspection is to document the features your home has that would increase the likelihood it could withstand extreme wind.
After inspecting your house, the inspector will provide a wind mitigation report. The report may also provide you with home improvement ideas to help make your home more wind resistant. Your insurance company will determine what type of discounts may be available on your home insurance policy, based on the wind mitigation features your home has.
States that offer wind mitigation discounts
Below is a list of states that offer wind mitigation discounts. Consider talking to a State Farm® insurance agent to learn more about available discounts in your state.
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
FLORIDA ONLY: Hurricane and wind mitigation information
What factors are considered in establishing my premium?
- Your location: The closer a home is to the coast, the more vulnerable it is to damage caused by hurricane winds. This makes the hurricane-wind premium higher than for similar homes in other areas of the state.
- Your policy: Your insurance policy is divided into two premiums: one for damage caused by hurricane force winds (hurricane-wind) and one for all other damage (all perils), such as fire.
- Your hurricane deductible: Under the law, you are allowed to choose a $500, 2%, 5% or 10% deductible, depending on your coverage limits. The larger your deductible, the lower your hurricane-wind premium. However, if you select a higher deductible your out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a hurricane claim will be higher.
- Improvements to your home: The state requires insurance companies to offer discounts for protecting your home against damage caused by hurricane winds. Securing your roof so it doesn’t blow off and protecting your windows from flying debris are the two most cost-effective measures you can take to safeguard your home and reduce your hurricane-wind premium. These discounts apply only to the hurricane-wind portion of your premium.
The costs of the improvement projects vary. Florida homeowners should contact a licensed contractor for an estimate. You can find a Certified Contractor in your area by visiting the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation online at www.myfloridalicense.com.
How can I take advantage of the discounts?
Homeowners will need a qualified inspector such as a general, building, or residential contractor licensed under Section 489.111, Florida Statutes, or a professional engineer licensed under Section 471.015, Florida Statutes, who has passed the appropriate equivalency test of the Building Code training program as required by Section 553.841, Florida Statutes, or a professional architect licensed under Section 481.213, Florida Statutes, or a building code inspector certified under Section 468.607, to inspect the home to identify potential mitigation measures and verify improvements. For a listing of individuals and/or inspection companies meeting these qualifications contact your insurance agent.
The discount available to you may be impacted by year built, building code, roof covering, how your roof is attached, roof-to-wall connection, roof shape, secondary water resistance (SWR), and shutter type.