There are a number of reasons for getting a home inspection, and there are also different types of inspections.
The most common inspection deals with the buying or selling of a home. We’ve written about that often. There’s also the concept of getting an inspection before moving into a new home, and we’ve written about that as well.
Another type of inspection focuses purely on wind mitigation. It’s been several years since we’ve written about wind-mitigation inspections, so here is a refresher.
Interestingly, here in Florida where wind can be a major factor in home damage, wind-mitigation inspections are not required by insurance companies or mortgage lenders. Despite that, the majority of your homeowner’s insurance premium may be in place to cover damage caused by wind.
Here’s another interesting fact. If your last wind-mitigation inspection took place more than five years ago, it is no longer valid.
But if they’re not required, why even bother with a wind-mitigation inspection?
While wind mitigation is not a standard part of the traditional four-point home inspection (electrical, HVAC, plumbing and roofing), it’s worth considering for two reasons.
The first reason is obvious. It’s the best way to know whether your home will withstand high winds, and that can give you and your family some peace of mind.
The second reason may be just as obvious. It could save you money. Depending on the insurance company, in Florida, an average discount of 30 percent is not unusual. That could result in savings of $1,000 a year or more on your insurance premium.
Florida was the first state in the nation to mandate that insurance companies offer some reduction of insurance costs if a wind mitigation inspection is sought and certified upon review by a qualified inspector (usually a board-certified contractor, architect or engineer). That occurred in 2006.
Casey Hahn, (http://caseyhahn-ffbic.com) an agent with Farm Bureau Insurance, explains how it works.
“Some homes built before 2002 may have been constructed to the current code but many were not.” he said. “That includes the hurricane clips in the roof. Homes built after 2002 automatically qualify.”
If you upgrade to the current code, you can have the inspection done to receive the certification and get some of the discounts that are available, Hahn said.
During a wind-mitigation inspection, the focus is on eight specific areas: roof covering, roof-deck attachment, roof-to-wall attachment, roof geometry, gable end bracing, wall construction type, secondary water barrier and opening protection.
How much does a wind-mitigation inspection cost? With Informed Inspection, Inc. the inspection and creation of your wind mitigation report is $140. If it’s part of a full-home inspection, the price is an additional $85 on the cost of the inspection. The cost can easily be recouped in savings on your insurance premiums.