Home buying is less than overwhelming – but we are here to help, at least when it has to do with South Carolina home insurance. If you are searching for a home and looking to keep your insurance premium affordable we have a suggestion: before purchasing a home, determine if the home has any construction enhancements which make your home eligible for wind mitigation credits.
If you are coming from an area that does not have coastal exposure, you probably have not heard of wind mitigation, so here is a quick run down:
What is wind mitigation? Basically, wind mitigation means the steps that are taken to make the home more resistant to hurricane and high-wind damage. A strong home has the necessary items to protect for this kind of damage. Fewer damages result in lower or fewer insurance claims and will ultimately reduce the insurance premium.
How do I know if a home has wind mitigation? You can ask your real estate agent if the home has any wind mitigation features or if there has been a wind mitigation inspection completed by the previous homeowner. If you are really interested in the home, you could contact a licensed contractor and ask them to perform a wind mitigation inspection for a fee.
What should you look for in terms of wind mitigation?
- Exterior wall opening protection: hurricane-rated window shutters and impact resistant windows
- Exterior doors: hurricane-rated garage door rather than a standard garage door
- Strength of your roof deck attachment: type of nails and/or longer nails that will help prevent shingle and roof plywood from being blown off in a hurricane
- Roof Cover: Having thicker and stronger hurricane-resistant roof shingles, attached with properly sized and properly applied roofing nails to reduce the chance of your roof shingles blowing off in a hurricane. A newer roof is also helpful!
- Braced gable-ends in the roof framing: Usually done inside the attic to decrease chances that your roof will collapse under hurricane wind
- Reinforcement of roof-to-wall connection: metal tie-down straps that attach roof rafters to wall studs to decrease chances that all or a portion of your roof will lift off of your house during a hurricane
Not only do these steps help you gain a lower insurance premium, but they also help in other areas. South Carolina Department of Insurance states that the Homeowners who select to replace their windows with impact resistance systems and hurricane shutters have reported savings up to 29% in their energy costs.