Insurance

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Wind Mitigation Reports

insurance The cost of the wind portion of your total premium may be well over 50%.  The Florida Legislature mandated carriers must give policyholders discounts for certain wind mitigating features (FS 627.0629).  Homes which have upgraded roof to wall connections, HIP roofs, newer roofs which meet code and opening protective devices such as approved shutters, are eligible for substantial discounts.

Based upon feedback from our customers, the typical homeowner we serve is saving between $300 to $400 per year with our inspection.  High value or coastal homes have reported savings much higher.  The typical client who has wind mitigation features appears to save between 30% to 50% on the wind portion of the premium.

There are many home inspectors performing wind mitigation inspections.  Many home inspectors are minimally qualified.  Many of them offer low fee inspections and try to do several inspections a day.  Many subcontract these inspections to part-time inspectors.  Their typical fee is about $75.00.

Unsuspecting homeowners shop for the lowest price they can find.  What they don’t know is they may be costing themselves hundreds of dollars in yearly savings.  These cheap, poorly qualified inspectors only document what they readily see such as a 6d or an 8d nail.  To them, you have it or you don’t.  Most do not research building permits at all or do a cursory search through the Property Appraiser website.  We find building permits frequently which were not reported by a cheap inspector and this cost our client money.

We find many homeowners have been denied proper credit from these inspections when the inspector was not qualified to assess a deck fastening system which meets 182psf uplift resistance or were unable to identify “Other” roof to wall connections which meet the credit requirement.  You must be a Certified General Contractor, engineer or architect to make this determination.

The cheap inspector who saved you $20.00 to $50.00 may have actually cost you $2,000.00+ over the next five years.

We understand the typical homeowner will not understand the difference but we do not understand why your insurance agent recommends minimally qualified inspectors to you.  Unfortunately, many agents do not understand wind mitigation credits and many of them actually do not want to save you money – they only want to get you insured.  Remember, your agent works on commission and the more you spend, the more they make.

If you are a homeowner and you need a Form 1802 Wind Mitigation Verification:

  • Hire a Certified General Contractor who has the authority to determine your credits.
  • Do not automatically hire the inspector recommended by your Agent.  If they are not a Certified General Contractor – keep shopping.  Question why your Agent wants you to use a minimally qualified inspector.
  • A Certified General Contractor will always charge more than a home inspector and typically they charge $25 to $50 more, based upon the type/age of home.
  • Don’t think that just because your home is 70+ years old, you do not have wind credits.  Many of our older homes were built with 10d nails and 1” thick decking – this is a credit as it meets 182psf uplift.  Of course the cheap home inspector won’t know this and even if they do, they are not licensed to certify it.

 

roof-creditThis home qualified for roof deck attachment credit!

Our 1802 Wind Mitigation inspections start at $100.00.
Contact us if you want a Certified Inspection.

 

 

Wind-MitigationWe provide 1802 Wind Mitigation inspections for multi-family homes, apartment communities and commercial buildings up to 4 stories.

We also provide Wind Mitigation inspections for Type II and Type III commercial buildings – over 4 stories.  Please click on the commercial icon for more information on commercial services.

 

4 Point Insurance Inspections

4-point-inspection

4 Point Insurance Inspections are often required for any structure over 30 years in age.  condition of underwriting.  The underwriter is concerned with:

  1. The condition and age of the roof covering
  2. The type and condition of the electrical panel and wiring
  3. Leaks from the HVAC, plumbing or roof
  4. The type of plumbing piping

Some carriers, such as State Farm, are basically demanding a home inspection which includes additional information on the water heater, type of washing machine connections/hose material, wall construction type, foundation type, fuel tanks, appliance inspection, location of water shut off valve, detached structures and hazards such as pools or trampolines.

Some components may affect your ability to obtain insurance or affordable insurance:

  • Certain electrical panels such as Federal Pacific or Bulldog
  • Polybutylene plumbing piping
  • HVAC units over 14 years old
  • Asphalt shingle roofs over 18 years old
  • Flat or low slope roof coverings over ten years old
  • Cloth sheath electrical wiring
  • Aluminum branch electrical wiring

If upgrades have been made to the home, it is important that your inspector can identify and document this work.  You should present any documents you have, in the absence of a building permit, to assist the inspector in getting the upgrades approved.

Our 4 Point Inspections start at $150.00 for single family homes. Contact us now!

Commercial Fire Door

Commercial-Fire-DoorCommercial Fire Door inspections are required annually for any fire rated door.  We are NFPA Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) qualified.

We offer fire door inspection, certification and monitoring for all commercial owners including hotels, motels, office buildings, restaurants and industrial facilities.

NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors was adopted by the ICC building code in 2007.  Florida building code adopted this requirement in the 2010 code, yet made it retroactive to 2008.

A fire door is any door with a fire resistance rating and they may be made of wood or metal.

Each door must have a current label attesting to its conformance with NFPA 80.

Almost every single commercial building has a fire rated door and many have multiple rated doors.  Fire rated doors are inspected for compliance by the local Fire Marshall.  Enforcement of this requirement is escalating.  Many building owners are not aware of the code implementation and inspection requirement.

Contact us for a free quote on your building.  We will inspect, certify, track your compliance and conduct annual re-certification inspections to keep your building in compliance.

Florida HR7020

Florida-HR7020Florida HR7020 requires that all decks, balconies and stairwells be inspected every three years for any units accessible to the public.  This does not include structures which are privately owned.

Homeowners who use their elevated decks for business purposes may be at risk should an injury occur due to collapse.  The homeowner’s policy may not cover a loss for commercial use.  If you entertain business clients at your home, you should consider having the deck/balcony inspected.

Owners should hire a Certified General Contractor, professional engineer or architect to conduct these inspections.  The inspector should carry E&O insurance for your protection.

Loose handrails on balconies/decks/stairs account for hundreds of injuries and even deaths each year.  Balcony collapse accounts for roughly 40 deaths per year in the US.  Improper construction, metal corrosion, wood rot, deteriorated or deficient fasteners, overloading and deferred maintenance cause elevated decks/balconies to collapse or fail resulting in hundreds of injuries each year.  Building owners are always held liable for these ultimate lawsuits.  In the case of improper construction or deferred maintenance, insurance carriers may not cover the loss or defend the owner from the resultant lawsuit.  These types of lawsuits are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Because of the catastrophic nature of these failures, the Florida Legislature mandated that every deck/balcony and the handrails on exit stairwells, must be inspected every three years and the results reported to the State.

Building owners should not take this requirement lightly.  Aside from protecting your patrons, employees and guests, this is the best defense you have in the event of a claim.  These claims are always highly public and sensational. 

Balcony Safety Tips

balcony-safety

  • Do not leave children or pets unsupervised
  • Know, or at least, have an understanding of the weight limit for the balcony -overloading with too many occupants is a major cause of deck collapse
  • Do not lean on or sit on railings
  • Perform a visual inspection of the deck/railings.  Are railings loose?  Do you see wood rot? Is the paint/finish blistering? Does the deck feel firm beneath your feet?
  • 8 average people exert about the same force on a deck as a small car – do you think the deck would support a small car if it were parked there?  If the 8 people are jumping around or dancing they exert about the same force of a diesel truck.  Do you think the deck would support the weight of a truck?
  • Assume your hotel balcony will hold the weight of two adult occupants per fixed bed
  • Look at the underside of the balcony above you – how does it look?  Do you see wood rot or corrosion?  Does it look secure?  Do you notice rust stains on walls?

Without knowing the construction details, there is no way to provide a live load or occupancy load for a deck/balcony.  Assuming the deck or balcony was built to a building code and has received proper maintenance, is not overloaded with heavy pots or a hot tub, most deck builders suggest 30 square feet per person should be allowed for a properly constructed wood deck.  If you are attending a party, and there are 20 people present, the deck would have to be 360sf to hold everyone.  Most large decks are 10 feet wide, so the deck would be 10×36.  If it were 14 feet wide, it would have to be 26 feet long.

Use common sense – if you count 20 people occupying a 10×12 deck, the deck may not be safe.


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