How can I reduce my Florida wind storm insurance costs?
In Florida, we get hurricanes. And our insurance costs are high for things like wind storm coverage. In short one can always do better when one shops the coverage among agents and carriers. I live in an area where the only carrier is stills Citizens, and they offer ‘mitigation’ discounts.
What is a mitigation discount? Well, it works like this. Insurance is risk assessment. First, what is the risk of a hurricane hitting our area? Florida’s a big state and although Tallahassee is not immune to hurricanes we certainly see more in the southeast than they do. But we can’t move the house.
OK, so what’s the risk of damage to an insured property? It depends on how well built the property is, right. If a property was built after the 2001 Florida Building Code went into effect then it assumed to have what is considered an above average construction. For insurance purposes a home is assumed to have been built in accordance with the 2001 FBC if it received a certificate of occupancy after January 1 2002. This is arbitrary and incorrect but it’s what they use. The “2001 FBC” did not become law until October 2002. Anyway, the difference in construction makes some sense for Florida as a state. If a hurricane hits 2 properties right next to each other and one of them is newer then one would expect more damage to the older home. Now this is a simplification but statistically speaking it’s true. If one can buy a house built in accordance with the 2001 or later Florida Building Code then all that needs to be verified is the current condition of the roof. If the roof has been replaced after the 2001 FBC then you’re all set. Full discounts apply and you can do no better.
OK, But what if my home was built before the 2001 Florida Building Code went into effect? Read this blog posting. Citizen’s mitigation discounts for homes built before the 2001 Florida Building Code (2001 FBC).