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Florida Home Inspection

Florida has a reputation for having high homeowners insurance, however, there’s an easy way you can get up to a 50% discount on your home insurance - with an inspection focused on reducing wind damage and loss.

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Expert John Staab, a state licensed Florida mitigation inspector, answers questions on what homeowners in Florida can do to reduce their insurance premiums.

Insider Tips and Advice on How to Reduce Your Florida Homeowners Insurance

Question: What is the official name of the inspection that can help reduce Florida homeowners insurance?

Answer: The form accepted by all insurance companies is the Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection form.

Question: What is the purpose of these inspections?:

Answer:  To identify construction features that reduce wind damage and loss.

Question:  How much can an inspection lower your homeowners insurance?

Answer: We have seen up to 50% reduction in some policy’s although there a lot of variables involved, each homeowner will have a different result, 20% to 40% is typical.

Question:  What is the average cost of an inspection?

Answer: The inspection costs around $100 but some companies charge as high as $150.

Question:  How long is an inspection good for?

Answer:  The verification form is valid up to five (5) years provided no material changes have been made to the structure.

Question:  What qualifications and licensing does an inspector need to have?

Answer:  In order to take advantage of the discounts, most homeowners will need a licensed professional (general, residential or building contractor, building inspector, registered architect, engineer or certified building code official) to inspect the home and legally verify improvements.

Question: Do inspectors’ licenses qualify them for the entire state or specific counties?

Answer:  These professionals are qualified for the entire state of Florida.

Question: What is the Florida government agency that regulates the inspectors (where can you verify credentials)?

Answer:  The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Question:  Is there a Florida state law supporting this inspection?  In other words, are insurance companies required to lower your insurance with certain findings?

Answer: Yes.  In 2005, the Florida Legislature enacted a law requiring all residential property insurance companies to file with the Office of Insurance Regulation a range of premium discounts they propose to offer.

Insurance companies issuing new homeowners’ insurance policies on or after October 1, 2005, or the first renewal of a homeowner’s insurance policy, must let policyholders know they can get discounts if they strengthen their homes against hurricane damage. 

All residential property insurance companies must file a new loss mitigation discount no later than March 1, 2007   After that date, insurance companies must provide all new and renewing customers the exact discounts that apply specifically to their homes.

Question:  What does the inspector look for in a wind mitigation inspection?

Answer:  8 points on the inspection, 6 of which deal with the roof, also, construction type and opening protection

Question:  How does a wind mitigation inspection benefit a homeowner?

Answer:  It allows the insurance company to apply discounts to the windstorm portion of their homeowners insurance policy.

Question:  What does the inspector look for in a 4 point inspection?

Answer:  The 4 point inspection covers the HVAC (air conditioning), electrical, plumbing and roof components of the home.

Question:  How does a 4 point inspection benefit a homeowner?

Answer: Many companies require a 4 point inspection on older homes for renewal on their existing insurance policies.

Question:  What is the biggest problem found that can lower your insurance rate the most?

Answer:  The biggest problem is usually when a homeowner has hurricane protection on all the windows but does not have a front door or garage door that meets the required code. 

Question:  Can this problem be easily corrected or improved?

Answer:  Yes, impact resistant doors can be installed.

Question:  What are the most affordable changes or upgrades homeowners can make to lower their insurance?

Answer: Opening protection such as hurricane shutters and impact resistant doors are one of the easiest steps and biggest cost savings.

Gable end bracing secures roofs to the building structure. One way to accomplish this is adding more lumber and bolts in the attic to secure the roof better.

Question:  What is the top rated roof type and building requirements to receive the lowest homeowners insurance rates?

Answer:  Any roof that meets the 2001 building code receives the maximum discounts.  A hip roof shape is the most resistant to wind and therefore qualifies for greater discounts. 

Question:  Is there anything a homeowner can check on themselves to help reduce homeowners insurance?  Will the insurance companies go on the homeowner’s word or does an inspection report need to be submitted for insurance companies to give a discount?

Answer:  The homeowner can check to see if their opening protection, including all doors, is up to the 2001 Florida Building code.    The insurance companies require the inspection to verify the wind mitigation devices.

Expert Advice

If your current Florida homeowners insurance does not reflect that your home meets the wind protection requirements an inspection can save you $100’s of dollars per year (20% to 50% on your policy.)

To find out how you can reduce your Florida homeowners insurance policy, contact Architectural Accents at 772-291-7788.

Contact Information:
Architectural Accents, Inc.
We provide fast, reliable 4 point and wind mitigation inspections, at competitive prices!

Contact Person: John Staab
License Number:  CGC 062848
Phone:  772-291-7788; Fax:  772-291-7812

Florida Counties Architectural Accents serves: Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River.

Professional Credentials:
John Staab owner of Architectural Accents has been a Florida State licensed General Contractor for 10 years; he has been trained with the My Safe Florida Home Program as a wind mitigation inspector.  He is also a Lieutenant for the Del Ray Beach Fire Department.  Architectural Accents has been providing these inspections to homeowners for the past two years.

As part of our team we have Richard Fasanelli, a state certified building inspector qualified to do the electrical portion of the 4 point inspections.  Richard has been in the home inspection business for over 20 years.  Architectural Accents has worked for State Farm, Allstate and Nationwide as well as all the independent agents.

John is knowledgeable about hurricane protection and the cost of improvements and can advise the homeowner on the best methods of getting the maximum discounts.

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