A Wind Mitigation Report Can Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Premium

 

homeowners insurance Did you know some common construction features of Florida homes could save you money on your homeowners insurance? During a hurricane, most serious damage comes from wind and water intrusion. Wind mitigation features help your home withstand high wind damage from hurricanes or other wind events. The Florida Department of Insurance estimates that up to 70% of your insurance premium can be attributed to wind damage risk. By law, Florida insurers must offer customers discounts and credits for construction features and home improvements that reduce potential damage from wind. Having a wind mitigation inspection and filing the report with your insurance company could save you hundreds of dollars on your policy each year. A wind mitigation inspection report runs around $75, but in many cases it more than pays for itself in discounts to your homeowners insurance.

Most Florida homes built after 2002 were constructed with many wind resistive features, so you may already be receiving some discounts. However, if you own an older home and have replaced your roof, you should talk to your homeowners insurance agent to see if a wind mitigation report will save you money on your insurance.

During a wind mitigation inspection, the inspector will examine several areas of your home, looking for features that improve your home’s wind resistance. Features that may qualify you for discounts include:

  • The shape of your roof (hip vs. gable)
  • How your roof deck is sealed and attached
  • Roof to wall connectors
  • Gable-end bracing
  • Windows covered with shatterproof glass or storm shutters
  • Hurricane-rated doors  (including the garage door)
  • Special bracing for the garage door

At Lakewood Financial, our agents are familiar with wind mitigation reports and discounts. Please call us at 941-747-4600 if you have any questions about whether or not you should schedule a wind mitigation inspection.

Back-to-School Safe-Driving Tips

Florida roads are about to get a little trickier to navigate as many of our children go back to school Aug. 10.  More vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians will be taking to the road during the before- and after-school hours, and Lakewood Financial wants you and your children to stay safe. We offer these back-to-school safe-driving reminders:

School zone zen

“More children are hit by cars near schools than any other location,” according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Extra traffic at drop-off and pick-up times, inexperienced teenage drivers, and children walking and biking, sometimes unpredictably, all add up a situation that requires extra vigilance. (And remember, fines for speeding through a school zone are doubled. If you’re caught going 30 miles over the speed limit in a school zone, for example, your fine will be $555.50.) As frustrating as reduced speeds in school zones can be, they’re there for a reason.

Watch for that bus

How would you like to play chauffeur for 50-plus rowdy grade-schoolers?  Show courtesy for school bus drivers, and yield to buses wanting to merge. If you’re driving behind a bus, allow yourself extra room to brake safely since buses stop often and sometimes unexpectedly. And remember that it’s illegal to pass a school bus from behind—or from either direction on an undivided road—when it’s stopped to load or unload children.

Pedestrian perils

According to the Safe Routes to Schools Organization, 33% of youth pedestrian crashes are due to kids darting out into the road. Be sure to watch for all pedestrians, but take extra care when children are near. Yield to pedestrians crossing at a crosswalk or intersection, and stop for a crossing guard holding a stop sign. Don’t block the crosswalk if you’re stopped at an intersection or waiting to make a turn. This can cause pedestrians to go around you, possibly forcing them into moving traffic. Also, don’t pass a car that’s stopped for a pedestrian.

Ditch the distractions

We know you don’t text while driving, but did you know it only takes about three seconds of taking your eyes off the road to double your chances of crashing? Minimize or completely steer clear of anything that takes your eyes off the road or distracts your mind from your driving. That means things like talking on a cell phone, fiddling with the radio or your iPod, eating, and drinking. And always remember to buckle your seat belt—unbelted drivers are more likely to be distracted drivers than belted ones.

As kids go back to school, remember these few common sense rules to keep both children and drivers safe, and your driving record clean.

Safe drivers not only save lives, they save money. If you have a clean driving record, be sure to check with your Lakewood Financial agent to make sure you’re receiving all available discounts for safe driving.