A wind mitigation inspection can, but is not required to reduce your homeowner’s insurance premiums for homes built prior to 2002. All insurance companies are required to provide some form of compensation, either as a refund check, a rate differential, or a discounted premium for homes built after 2002.
Who can do a wind mitigation inspection?
Only a person who has become a certified wind mitigation inspector can legally do wind mitigation inspections. Though you can do one yourself for your own knowledge, it will not serve any purpose in terms of satisfying your insurance company.
How does someone become certified to do a wind mitigation inspection?
A home inspector who undergoes training to become certified in wind mitigation inspection can conduct the inspection and sign the required forms for the insurance company.
The training consists of at least 3 hours of hurricane mitigation training approved by the Construction Industry Licensing Board. The training must include hurricane mitigation techniques and compliance with the uniform mitigation verification form. Inspectors must complete a proficiency exam to show they understand the material.
You must be a home inspector before you can take the necessary training to become a wind mitigation inspector.
Is a wind mitigation inspection required by my insurance company?
Typically, a wind mitigation inspection is not required by your insurance company. Your mortgage company will generally require that you provide proof of windstorm insurance coverage before you can take ownership of the home. As long as you have coverage, the inspection itself does not matter.
You can choose to have a wind mitigation inspection on your own, in order to see if it will qualify you for discounts with your homeowner’s insurance policy. If your home is properly equipped to withstand wind damage, then you can save anywhere from 10% to 45% on your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Is a wind mitigation inspection included as part of a regular home inspection?
No, wind mitigation inspection is not included as part of a regular home inspection. Not all regular home inspectors have the necessary training and certification to conduct the wind mitigation inspection.
It may be possible to find a home inspector who is certified for wind mitigation. He or she may add a wind mitigation inspection to your traditional home inspection for a small additional fee.
A wind mitigation inspection will look at certain features of your home to determine how well it can stand up to the high winds associated with tornados and hurricanes. It looks at features such as:
- Roof bracing
- Wall anchors
- Shutters: permanently affixed to the home, cloth coverings, automated coverings, etc.
- Impact resistant glass
- Reinforced garage doors
- Concrete block construction
- Secondary water barriers
The more of these features you have in your home, the more likely your home will qualify for insurance discounts. Investing in improvements and upgrades will help you keep your home safe when a storm hits, and will increase the overall value of your home.
You can expect to spend anywhere from $100 to $150 on a wind mitigation inspection. If combined with a full home inspection, it may be even cheaper, with rates as low as $85. The inspection often takes less than an hour to complete.
As the inspector moves through the inspection, he or she will fill out the insurance inspection form according to his or her findings. When the inspection is complete, he or she will sign the form, and provide a certificate for you to take the insurance company.
With the certificate in hand, your insurance company will use the information to determine what, if any, insurance discounts you may qualify for.