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Why Am I Losing My Florida Wind Mitigation Credits?

This is a common problem with many insured’s that reach out to us on a daily basis, we hear all the time we had a re-inspection completed and our premium went up significantly. We wanted to advise our fellow Floridians that there are things you can do to avoid these issues and increases.

Homeowner’s insurance companies in Florida typically apply wind mitigation discounts to homeowners who have taken certain steps, either in building or improving their homes, to prevent significant wind damage brought on by hurricanes and other storms. Depending on your location within Florida, wind coverage can make up 70% of your total premium.

According to Florida law, all insurance companies are required to offer their customers wind mitigation credits for construction or improvements to help reduce wind damage. By taking steps to reduce wind damage, you may qualify for these wind mitigation credits, which can significantly reduce your insurance premiums, and keep your home in tip-top shape. There are several credits that apply on a standard OIR-1802 wind mitigation inspection.

Why Is My Company Denying My Credits?

Insurance companies exist to make money. If there is a loophole, they have a team of lawyers looking to exploit it. Wind mitigation credit criteria changes significantly from year-to-year, the last change was implemented in 2012 and these often-unpublicized changes could cause you to lose your credits, increasing your insurance premiums significantly. Some notable areas of your home that this can happen include:

• Shingles, roof coverings, and tiles that do not meet the Florida Building Code.
• Roof decking that has been installed using too few nails, spaced too sparsely.
• Hurricane clips and straps, used to secure your roof to the walls that are not up to current code.
• Using impact resistant glazing or other methods to protect glass windows and doors that is not up to current code. (Unprotected garage or front door)
• Failure to provide a secondary water resistance barrier. This barrier exists to prevent roof leakage if shingles fail.

Many Florida homeowners have reported problems with their insurance companies that include improper installation of shutters, shutters that are not up to county codes; impact doors, windows, and garage doors that may have been up to code only a few years ago, but now fail the test. Others report that the types of nails, screws, and straps they purchased to put their homes in compliance were simply mislabeled, and they lost their credits. It’s important for homeowners to know their local codes, and remain compliant. Failure to do so could cost thousands.

It is important to stay on top of changing codes each year, as your insurance bill could jump by over 200% in just a few months. To this end, there are experts who can inspect your home for a small fee, to determine if your home is up to code, and if you qualify for wind mitigation credits from your insurer.

We will be more than happy to review your current homeowners policy to make sure you are receiving all your wind mitigation credits, our staff has previous Citizens Property insurance underwriting experience and can determine if credits removed are valid or if you can make the necessary changes to get them back. Don’t let the carriers take your credits without a fight!