In March of 2002, The Florida Building Code passed a bill to supersede local building codes statewide. This bill requires any home in the state to be built to an increased standard when it comes to things like the windows and doorway strength, roof attachment type, and roof material and covering style. Any home built after this would be required by law to meet these new requirements. But what about the homes built before this bill was passed?

Most insurance companies require homes to meet the Florida Building Code requirements from the bill in 2002. Homes built prior to the bill will need proof that the home meets these requirements since they were constructed prior to the law. This proof can be provided by way of a Wind Mitigation Inspection. A Wind Mitigation Inspection is an inspection in which an inspector comes to the house to evaluate the home’s wind resistance. They inspect areas of the home that are typically heavily impacted by wind such as the roof and any exterior openings. The inspector will take notes and put their findings into a document that an insurance agent can use to prove that the home is eligible for coverage. This inspection can also provide the homeowner with credits that will lessen the insurance premium if the home is found to have even more levels of windstorm protection such as functional shutters or hail-resistant roofing.

A 4-Point-Inspection is another Florida specific requirement for certain homes. A 4-Point Inspection is typically performed by the same inspector who completes the wind mitigation, but it is more focused on the overall well-being of the home as opposed to simply checking the wind protection. The four points that are targeted are the roof, electrical system, plumbing system, and HVAC systems. These are the four major home systems that are integrated into every house, so examining these can give us a good idea about the overall state of the home. In Florida, nearly all homeowners insurance companies will require homes older than 40 years old to have a 4-Point-Inspection prior to accepting the home. Some insurance companies will tighten this criterion to include any home older than 30 years old. The data from this inspection will help the insurance company to be sure that the home is in proper condition to exist in the hurricane-heavy environment.

If you own a home in Florida, the best way to understand which inspections you are required to have, the best thing to do is to check with your insurance agent. They will be able to assess the age of your home and figure out what you need in order to get insurance. If you find that you are required to have an inspection performed, ask them for potential recommendations for inspectors. You’ll want to be sure that you are working with a quality inspector, so make good use of any referrals, and be sure to check online for testimonials and reviews.

If you own a home in Florida, it is a good idea to have a 4-Point Inspection and a Wind Mitigation Inspection performed on your home to confirm that there are no repairs that need to be made, but they can also come in handy in terms of the credits that the offer to get discounts on your homeowners insurance. If you own or are in the purchase of purchasing an older home, you may be absolutely required to have these inspections performed. Each of these inspections will play a part in qualifying houses for homeowners insurance in The Sunshine State.

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