Windstorm protection for your home can save you hundreds and protect you and your family from harm. The state requires insurance companies to offer discounts for protecting your home against damage caused by hurricane winds. Insurance companies determine if you are eligible for these discounts by the outcome of your home inspection. Recently, it has become apparent that the information provided to insurance providers by inspection companies is not always accurate.
Why does this matter to you?
- If you believe your home is safer than it actually is due to a poorly performed inspection, and you make the decision to stay at home during a storm, the outcome could be deadly.
- You may not be receiving all the credits and discounts you deserve. If an inspector missed some construction features in your home that could equate to discounts off your homeowners insurance premium, you could be losing hundreds of dollars!
The information below will help you to understand homeowner's insurance discounts and how to make sure you receive an accurate inspection from a qualified inspection company.
What is Windstorm Loss Mitigation (WLM)?
WLM is the act of minimizing the amount of loss that is caused by wind damage to your home. There are specific mitigation features or construction techniques that are considered adequate Windstorm Loss Mitigation by the state of Florida. These features include:
- Roof shape
- Opening Protection
- Roof covering
- Roof deck attachment
- Roof to wall connection
- Wall construction type
- Secondary water resistance
In almost all cases, the cost of mitigation upgrades is less than the discount you may be eligible to receive when the savings is calculated over a period of five years.
Proper mitigation can also increase the resale value of your home providing you with greater economic return.
Click here to download and print our Hurricane Mitigation 101 brochure providing detailed information on what these features look like and how they are properly built into homes to protect against wind damage.
What is the process of receiving WLM discounts on my Security First policy?
You must provide the current version of the 1802 form to your agent. If you do not have an 1802 form and you would like Windstorm Loss Mitigation credits applied to your policy, the following steps must be taken:
- Notify your insurance agent that you would like an inspection to determine if your home qualifies for WLM discounts or if you've recently made a significant upgrade to your home.
- You or your insurance agent requests an inspection by calling one of our preferred vendors using the contact information below. You will need to verify your Security First Insurance Policy by providing your policy number.
- Skyetec - (877) 531-2407
- Ameripro - (866) 499-4915
- By selecting a company from our preferred network of inspection companies, you'll receive a discounted rate of $95 for your inspection. A representative will call you to explain the inspection process and request your email address. We will also accept an inspection from any qualified inspection company or inspector/contractor.
- An inspector will contact you to arrange a time for the inspection.
- The inspector will provide you with an Acknowledgement of Inspection form that you must sign and fill out at the time of inspection.
- The inspector is required by the State of Florida to fill out and submit the standard "Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection" form (1802 form). You can think of this form as a checklist of your home's features that may provide you with different discounts at different rates depending on the feature. To review the 1802 form, click here
- We will review the 1802 form, photos taken at the time of inspection, and any additional information provided to determine what Windstorm Loss Mitigation discounts are applicable to your policy.
- Once we've determined if you will be receiving discounts, we will notify you and your insurance agent by an official policy endorsement document. The inspection report will be emailed to you upon request.
Why should I use an inspection company from Security First's preferred network?
This is by far the most important step a homeowner can make to ensure that they receive the discounts they deserve. It's very important that you choose the right inspection company to properly inspect your home. Here are just a few reasons why you should choose a company from our preferred network:
- We've done the research for you. The inspection companies in our network have provided the following:
- Proof of Insurances
- Licensing documentation
- You'll receive a reduced rate of $95 for your inspection.
- You'll receive all the credits and discounts you deserve and an accurate inspection.
You must submit a Security First Insurance Company policy number when ordering your inspection in order to take advantage of the discounted price and professional, qualified service. You may obtain this information from your insurance agent.
I've heard that insurance companies are eliminating Windstorm Loss Mitigation discounts. Is this true?
No, insurance companies are required by law to offer Windstorm Loss Mitigation discounts to homeowners that qualify. At Security First, we want to make sure that every homeowner that has properly retrofitted their home to withstand hurricane damage receives the discounts they deserve.
The implementation of the statutes requiring insurance companies to provide WLM discounts has caused some real issues, including discounts that may not have been provided to homeowners for which they are entitled. This could be due to an inaccurate inspection or the lack of knowledge the construction industry has on WLM.
There have also been issues with insurance companies being required to accept the 1802 form when signed by any licensed contractor or inspector.
- Not everyone understands the construction attributes involved or how they are applied to credits. Therefore, the construction may not be compliant with what the state indicates is eligible for the WLM discount or it may be compliant and it's undetected.
- Because of the large amount of premium savings that can result, there is a significant incentive for fraud of various types.
- Some of the information on the 1802 form is not correct. If the information is not accurate then homeowners may or may not be receiving discounts and the inspection information is wrong.
The Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology held a hearing on August 12, 2009 to hear from various industry leaders on the problems with the currently mandated WLM program. The hearing was a great start to understanding and improving the current system.
To learn more about Windstorm Loss Mitigation, the history and where the industry stands today,click here and view the Mitigation Whitepaper from the Florida Association of Insurance Agents (FAIA) Web site.
How is Security First providing accurate discounts to their customers, today?
Security First Insurance Company has a re-inspection process in place to make sure we have accurate WLM information for every customer. This involves a new approach to the 1802 form process and providing quality, certified inspections for new and existing customers. Our system enables us to track, audit, and measure the performance of every single inspection.
The Office of Insurance Regulation recently updated the 1802 Form to version 01/12. If you are a new customer and you would like WLM credits applied to your policy, we require that a completed 1802 form version 01/12 be submitted and authorized by you and the inspector.
For our existing customers who are receiving WLM credits and a valid 1802 form version is not on file, we are actively re-inspecting homes, at no charge, to obtain the most recent version of the form.
If you're not insured with Security First Insurance Company, then your next step should be to call your current provider and ask them what program they have in place to prevent fraudulent inspections and inadequate coverage.
Can my insurance agent assist me?
Absolutely. Insurance agents can help answer any questions you may have regarding Windstorm Loss Mitigation. They can also assist you with having your home inspected and working with your insurance provider.
Don't have an insurance agent? Click here to find an agent in your area.