Mitigation discounts for homes built before the 2001 Florida Building Code (2001 FBC).
OK, there’s some math involved here but I’m going to try and simplify it. Most of all I’m going to apply some figures the determine if making improvements to a property “make sense” in terms of reducing my insurance costs. There are multiple mitigation discounts given, which are:
Roof Covering – Was my roof replaced after the 2001 FBC or is it equivalent to one which would today be constructed?
Roof to Deck attachment – This is basically how many nails, screws or glues do I have holding the roof sheathing (typically plywood) to the roof structure (typically a truss)?
Roof to wall connection – This is, as you might think, the connection of the roof structure (typically a truss) to the side wall of the house. Is it there and if so is it properly nailed?
Secondary waterproofing resistance – This a secondary roof. Keep in mind that the shingle or other roof covering is there to protect the waterproof aspect of your roof which is the felt paper. This is another (secondary) waterproof layer in addition to the felt paper.
Roof shape – Is it a hip shape or everything else?
As you might imagine I have looked into this extensively and I will not get into here how the current underwriting manual and mitigation forms do NOT follow the engineering study on which they are supposedly based. Insurance is risk assessment and these assessments are based upon studies examining the failure and a statistical analysis of same. Politics has a way of changing the truth though.
So, a few years ago citizens sent someone out to ‘reinspect’ my home. They were there to specifically deny mitigation credits I had in place. After which, I asked myself if it makes financial sense to say change my roof or install ALL new hurricane shutters. But how to do this? First I tracked down the Citizen’s underwriting manual. A closely guarded secret as it turns out. This delineates the math which the computer program the agents use is based upon. A key factor in this is the Citizens-Loss-Mitigation-Table. I’m going to simplify this but basically here’s how you use it to make decisions for let’s say should I install new hurricane panels. Start with what you pay right now and your current mitigation discounts to calculate your “base rate”. If I have a Non FBC roof with type A roof to deck attachment, Roof clips and no secondary water proofing resistance, an other roof shape and no opening protection then the mitigation factor is 0.82. If I go to a Class A (High Velocity Hurricane Zone or “Miami Dade” shutters) opening protection then the mitigation factor is 0.56. Now lets say my annual bill from Citizens is 3k after a 0.82 adjustment. Then my base rate is 3k/0.82 = 3658 and my new adjusted bill is (remember this an about calculation) 0.56*3658 = 2,048. Thus, by installing new HVHZ protection one could save as much as $952 EVERY YEAR. Now look at the cost of installing these shutters and figure out how many years before the investment is repaid and keep in mind that a full hurricane shutter system will keep you safe in a hurricane and increase the value of your home.