Many people wonder, how much does the opening protection really save a person on their homeowner’s insurance? This is a great question and, unfortunately, the answer is a lot. You may hear of discounts up to 33 percent, but these can be misleading – often deliberately so. That wind mitigation discount depends not only on installing the right kinds of windows, doors, and storm shutters, but also on where you live, how old your house is and what impact hurricanes have had on the area previously.
Stick with the Professionals
Very often promised discounts dangled by contractors proved to be a mirage. Working with an experienced insurance agent and a licensed contractor to help select the best equipment to protect your openings can save you a lot more – up to and including your house. More important than how much you will save your homeowners, is safety and security that properly rated wind mitigation measures will bring to your home.
Citizens Insurance has informed policyholders that homes with insured values over $750 thousand would not be renewed without opening protection. New construction projects must adhere to the revisions in the Florida building code from 2012, and so do remodels where 50 percent of the building goes under the knife. The Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form must be filled out and signed by a qualified inspector and the work itself must be done by a licensed and bonded contractor.
Furthermore, even if you live in a condominium as many Floridians do, your condominium board has absolutely no right to deny any resident the ability to protect their property with appropriate shutters or other equipment. While your condo board may have specifications as to color, style, and other criteria all specifications must comply with the building code.
But What About the Discount?
The following factors determine your discount.
- Location: Living close to the coast means that you are more liable to experience the full force of hurricane winds. This will make your premium higher than another homeowner might pay inland.
- Deductible: The larger the deductible, the lower your insurance payment. However, choosing a large deductible means that you will have higher out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a claim.
- Improvements: Securing your roof, protecting your windows, bracing your garage door, installing storm shutters and shatterproof glass are all methods that are required by the state to be taken into consideration when considering the premium.
The maximum discount is 88 percent, but is not calculated by adding all of the individual discounts together. When one discount is applied, another discount is reduced until 88 percent is reached.
There is another perk to having your wind mitigation work done – these features can actually add to the resale value of your home. Installing safety features such as roof strapping, impact resistant roofing materials, storm shutters and other features are appealing to homebuyers because they will not need to have the work done themselves. So forget installing that new spa or the extravagant master bath; instead protect your home and investment when the winds blow.