Plan Prepare Protect: Mitigation
Mitigation Icon: House with tools

What is Mitigation?

Storms, heavy wind and rain can cause severe and costly damage. Category 5 Hurricane Michael’s wind intensity was 160 mph and damages totaled $25 billion. To better protect your home or business – your largest assets – take steps to decrease the risk of damage during a storm. This is called mitigation.  

Mitigation is also referred to as hardening. Essentially, you would be making your home harder or stronger to resist severe weather damage. Mitigation or hardening steps can include improvements to the exterior and interior of the structure. 

 

Hurricane Michael destruction

Benefits of Mitigation


Mitigation has multiple benefits including safety and financial. Protect your home and protect your finances.
    Benefit of Mitigation - Decrease Damage
    Decrease Damage

    Hardening a structure makes it stronger to withstand damage caused by severe weather. 

      Benefit of Mitigation - Safety
      Safety

      Having a stronger structure decreases the opportunity for openings to occur and for the intrusion of trees, debris, water, etc. in your home or place of business. It protects you while inside and minimizes flying objects that may injure others.

        Benefit of Mitigation - Financial
        Financial
        Having a stronger structure can decrease the chance that you would need to file an insurance claim or pay out-of-pocket for repairs. Adding mitigation improvements can also make you eligible for discounts on the windstorm portion of your insurance premium. Insurance companies are required by law to offer mitigation discounts or credits.

          Mitigation Options
          Cleaning out gutters

          Clean Gutters

          Clear debris out of gutters to ensure water can flow away from your home. Pooling water can cause flooding and damage.

          Storm in the distance seen through impact resistant windows

          Impact Resistant Windows

          Consider installing windows that are specifically designed to resist the impact of heavy rain and wind. 

          Reinforce Garage Door

          Reinforce Garage Doors

          Strengthen your garage door by replacing it with a stronger version or installing enhancements such as metal braces or posts. 

          Roof Replacement/Repair


          To an insurance company, the roof is the most important part of your home. Why? Because it can lead to other significant damage and additional insurance claims if it is breached. If your roof is aged, in need of replacement or major repair, consider the type of covering you choose. Metal and other types of coverings can help make your roof more resistant to wind. The shape of your roof can also improve its survivability. Experts indicate a HIP Roof, which is shaped like a pyramid, is the most wind resistant roof.

          Metal Hip Roof with Hip Roof vs Non-Hip Roof diagram

          Roof to Wall Connectors

           Roof to Wall Connection

          Strengthen your roof to wall connection by adding clips or straps. This improvement can decrease the risk of roof damage or removal during a storm. Properly installed clips and straps can enable your roof to withstand winds up to 100 m.p.h. Clips and straps are typically cost efficient and can be added by a licensed contractor.

           

          Hurricane shutters of various sizes installed on windows of a home

          Shutters

          Shutters are a protection feature you can add to the windows and doors of your home to help reduce the damage caused by hurricane strength winds. 

          Knocked over basketball hoop with storm debris around it

          Tie Down Loose Items

          Flying objects can cause severe damage and injury. Tie down or bring in loose objects around your home such as patio tables, chairs, umbrellas, grills, etc.

          Professional arborist in safety equipment cutting tree branch

          Trim Trees

          Cut down or trim trees and branches around your home or business. Doing so will reduce the chance that the trees will fall on the structure and cause damage.

           

          Gas meter and shut off valve

          Water and Gas Shutoff 

          In advance of a storm, locate and ensure that the valves to shut off your water and gas are working properly. In an emergency, a storm may cause issues with pipes. Additionally, you don’t want gas flowing through the home, which may be a fire hazard.  

           

           



          Contractor hard hat with plans and measuring tape

           Contact a licensed contractor to learn about your mitigation options and pricing.

          To verify a contractor's license, visit www.MyFloridaLicense.com.



          How to Apply for Wind Mitigation Credits 


          To apply for wind mitigation credits or discounts, you will need a wind mitigation insurance inspection conducted by a qualified inspector. Qualified inspectors include licensed general, building, or residential contractors, licensed professional engineers, licensed professional architects, or a certified building code inspector.

          The inspector will document and take photos of the relevant wind mitigation features on your structure using the Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form. Once the inspection is complete, provide the form to your insurance company for review to determine which mitigation discounts or credits you are eligible for. 

          To learn more about mitigation credits or discounts, review the Department's Premium Discounts for Hurricane Loss Mitigation guide.

          NACHI Wind Mitigation Inspection Diagram

          Mitigation Resources


          Department of Business & Professional Regulation Logo
          Department of Business and Professional Regulation

          Phone: (850) 487-1395 |  www.MyFloridaLicense.com

          The Department of Business and Professional Regulation licenses and regulates businesses and professionals in Florida, including contractors and inspectors. You may verify a  license or file a complaint against licensed professionals.

           

          Department of Financial Services - Jimmy Patronis Logo
          Department of Financial Services | Division of Consumer Services

          Phone: 1-(877)-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236) | www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Consumers

          To learn more about mitigation efforts, review the Division’s Premium Discounts for Hurricane Loss Mitigation guide. The Division’s toll-free Insurance Consumer Helpline has dedicated Insurance Specialists who advocate for consumers and assist with insurance-related questions and issues, including filing a formal complaint against your insurance company.

          Go: Florida Division of Emergency Management
          Division of Emergency Management | Hurricane Loss Mitigation Program

          Phone: (850) 815-4000 | www.FloridaDisaster.org

          The Division of Emergency Management’s Hurricane Loss Mitigation Program offers funding to promote property resiliency through enhancements made to residential, commercial, and mobile home properties, the promotion of public education and public information, and through hurricane research activities. Eligible governmental entities, non-profit organizations, and qualified for-profit organizations may apply; individual homeowners are ineligible to apply.

          FLASH: Federal Alliance For Safe Homes
          Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)

          Phone: 1-(877) 221-SAFE (7233) | Protect Your Home in a FLASH

          FLASH is a non-profit consumer advocacy agency dedicated to strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. 

          FLASH offers several videos and instructions on DIY hurricane mitigation processes:

           

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          Contact the Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate

          Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate
          200 East Gaines Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399
          Phone: (850) 413-5923
          Email: YourFLVoice@MyFloridaCFO.com

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