What Buyers Need to Know About Wind Mitigation

When you are financing the purchase of a property, the lender will have requirements for insurance coverage. The type of coverage and the expense will be dependent, in part, on the inspection reports submitted to the insurance company. One type of report that may be required is the wind mitigation report, Form OIR-B1-1802.

The wind mitigation report covers 7 areas: building code compliance, roof covering, composition of weakest part, attachment to walls, shape of roof, secondary water resistance, and missile resistance. Each area can contribute credits, or discounts, to your homeowner’s insurance.

• The age of the building is a strong indicator of code compliance. Anything built after 2001 hurricane codes were implemented will receive some credits. Homes built after 2008 will receive most, and structures built after 2012 will receive the biggest discounts and may not require a wind mitigation report at all.

• The type and condition of the roof covering, as well as how it is attached are other concerns. Insurance companies will require 3-5 years of remaining life on a roof, and the underlayment, type of nails, and how far apart they are placed are also considered. In general, longer nails closer together are more secure.

• How the roof is attached to the walls is another factor. The most common attachments, ranging from least to most secure, are toe nail, clip, single wrap and double wrap.

• If the roof is hip style, it is also eligible for discount, as the hip style roof is considered to be more secure than a gable or flat roof.

• Secondary water resistance refers to the waterproof membrane underneath the roof covering to protect against leaks. Roof replacements should have this protection to be consistent with current building codes.

• Lastly, missile resistance, or opening protection refers to the impact protection of all openings of the structure, including windows, doors, and skylights. In order to receive the credit, all such openings must be protected. The garage door, if approved, will have a sticker. Hurricane shutters must also have an approval code and must be installed according to manufacturer’s instructions.

It is helpful to have a good insurance agent who is familiar with the various insurance companies and their respective requirements for coverage. They can help anticipate problems and advise you on the most cost-effective options for your needs.