WHAT IS A Wind Mitigation
Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form OIR-B1-1802 is the State form used for wind mitigation reports:
Wind mitigation is the implementation of certain building techniques in order to limit damage caused by intense wind.
A Few Facts About Windstorms and Wind Insurance
- In 2006, Citizens Insurance, one of the largest property insurers in Florida, requested a 45% rate increase for wind insurance. Other insurers took similar actions. In Florida, the portion of a homeowner's premium covering wind damage can be up to 70% of the total, depending on location.
- Wind mitigation benefits homeowners, by lowering the premium on the Wind portion of the policy.
- Most Florida insurance companies will NOT even give rate quotes without a Wind Mitigation Verification Report.
- The report is not a pass or fail, it is a documentation of the wind strength of the home. Most insurance companies will give discounts for the 7 factors in the report (see list below). Discounts will vary from company to company and from item to item.
Incentives for Wind Mitigation
- In Florida, homeowners can benefit from reduced insurance premiums. Following Hurricane Andrew, Florida passed a law requiring insurance companies to offer their customersdiscounts and credits for existing building features and home improvements that reduce damage and loss from wind. In order to qualify for this discount, homes must undergo a certified home wind inspection (OIR-B1-1802). However, many home owners (buyers) do not know of this law.
What is on the OIR-B1-1802 Form
1) BUILDING CODE: Was the structure built in compliance with the Florida Building Code (FBC 2001 or later) OR for homes located in the HVHZ (Miami-Dade or Broward counties), South Florida Building Code (SFBC-94)?
2) ROOF COVERING: There are many kinds of roof covering materials, and some resist wind damage better than others. The most common roof covering materials in Florida are composition shingles and tiles. A key factor in roof covering performance is the method of attachment of the roof covering material to the roof deck. Roofs permitted after March of 2002 will normally qualify for discounts.
3) ROOF DECK ATTACHMENT: According to insurance claim data, a house becomes a major loss once the roof deck fails, even partially. The most common roof deck types are plywood and OSB. The most important feature of the roof deck by far is the attachment to the framing (how it is nailed)compared to the deck's thickness. Roof decks that have been installed with large nails 8d and close spacing will receive a better rating.
4) ROOF –TO- WALL CONNECTIONS: This connection is a critical safeguard that keeps the roof trusses attached to the building and acts to transfer the uplift loads into the vertical walls. This connection is crucial to the performance of the building due to the large negative pressures acting on the roof. Proper installation is essential to connector performance. Clips and single wraps are preferred.
5) ROOF GEOMERTY: "Roof shape" refers to the geometry of the roof, rather than the type of roof covering. Additionally, field testing has shown that hip roofs (preferred type) receive up to 40% less pressure from wind than gable roofs.
6) SECONDARY WATER RESISTANCE (SWR): This is a layer of protection that shields the home in the event that the roof covering fails. It will reduce leakage if the shingles are blown off. A secondary water barrier is relatively rare in homes. The most common type is self-adhering modified bitumen underlayment over the roof decking or on all decking joints.
7) OPENING PROTECTION: All glazed openingsmust be protected with 9lb large missile impact rated shutter systems for most insurance companies to give discounts. Plywood shutters must be constructed in a very specific manner to qualify (not just applied over the opening). Once an opening fails during a windstorm, the pressure within the house can rise high enough to cause the roof to fail in areas of low pressure.
- GARAGE DOORS: These commonly fail during windstorms due to inadequate door-track strength and mounting systems;
- garage doors can be wind rated only (current local code) or wind and IMPACT rated above current local code
- unprotected glazing in the garage door is common in homes built before 2002
In summary, wind mitigation verification reports will almost always save you money on the wind part of your insurance policy!