Insurance Tip: Wind Credits or Not
OCTOBER 4th, 2010: Article Submitted by: Marge Meek a local Sanibel-Captiva independent insurance agent.
Congress has approved the flood bill through September of next year; your flood policies are in effect. Now it is on to the continuing problem of wind mitigation credits. The changeover to the most recent, more complex mitigation form continues as insurance companies continue to send out inspectors to re-mitigate your homes. The biggest wind insurance on the island is Citizens and the process goes forward without procedures to reconcile the difference between the mitigation form you originally paid for and the re-inspection that Citizens is paying for.
The state Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) put out the more detailed mitigation form last April and Citizens started requiring it on all new mitigations mid-summer. Your older form is in effect until Citizens re-inspects your home. Some islanders have already had their re-inspection, the problem is the results are not readily or consistently available. Often the customer finds out there were supposed discrepancies when the premium changes at renewal or within the first 90 days of a new policy.
Does that mean all the old mitigation forms were wrong? No, some of the items on them are spelled out more definitively in the new form. Then, too, there is no manual that says what each of these means, so different inspectors view things differently. Your agent relies on the contractors mitigation form for getting you credits. But your agent needs to be right there with you to help you resolve the discrepancies.
You are the first line of defense against changes to your mitigation form. The best place to stop the discrepancies, or at least understand them, is when the re-inspection takes place. Have your mitigation form with you and have the re-inspector tell you where there is a difference. If you cannot agree or you don’t understand his reasoning, you and your agent need to get involved early in the process.
Proof of impact windows, for instance, has been an issue. While there are etchings on each glass panel showing it is impact, some inspectors want the product sheet that came on the window when it was installed. Hopefully, you have that in your house file and can provide it.
Another issue is when you have blown in insulation, so the inspector can’t see the roof to wall attachments. They must have proof or they will take all the credits away. There is also a difference of opinion on whether or not a roof is hip or gable or flat. That takes more explaining, but it is a significant credit and don’t give that one up lightly.
Although you don’t have to pay for your re-inspection, you may need to hire another contractor to clear the differences. Again, get with your agent and together we will all get through it.
Marge Meek can be reached by calling 239-472-1152
CLICK HERE to read all past Sanibel articles!