Sunday, January 13, 2008

Impact Windows and Insurance Discounts

Installing impact-resistant windows and doors in your house allows you to apply for special insurance premium discounts in the State of Florida. A state legislation that took effect March 1, 2002, included a requirement for insurance companies to provide property insurance discounts for homes that have construction features that reduce the losses during windstorms. The new insurance rate discounts took effect in 2003. According to Bob Ricker, president of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, “credits for impact-resistant windows have always been part of Citizens mitigation program.” However, Mr. Ricker specifies that in order to obtain the discounts, all of the house openings must be protected. Mr. Ricker further stated that “policyholders with questions about mitigation should contact their insurance agents to make sure they are receiving proper credit for any steps taken to strengthen their home.” According to an article published on Citizen’s website, premium discounts of up to 45% can be available to those policyholders who show proof of risk mitigation alternatives. You can access additional information at Citizens’ website.In accordance with Florida statute 627.0629 regarding residential property insurance, all insurance companies that provide homeowner's insurance to residents in Florida must offer some type of discount for dwellings that have an effective windstorm protective system installed. The first paragraph of the statute reads as follows: “Effective June 1, 2002, a rate filing for residential property insurance must include actuarially reasonable discounts, credits, or other rate differentials, or appropriate reductions in deductibles, for properties on which fixtures or construction techniques demonstrated to reduce the amount of loss in a windstorm have been installed or implemented. The fixtures or construction techniques shall include, but not be limited to, fixtures or construction techniques which enhance roof strength, roof covering performance, roof-to-wall strength, wall-to-floor-to-foundation strength, opening protection, and window, door, and skylight strength. Credits, discounts, or other rate differentials for fixtures and construction techniques which meet the minimum requirements of the Florida Building Code must be included in the rate filing. All insurance companies must make a rate filing which includes the credits, discounts, or other rate differentials by February 28, 2003. By July 1, 2007, the office shall reevaluate the discounts, credits, other rate differentials, and appropriate reductions in deductibles for fixtures and construction techniques that meet the minimum requirements of the Florida Building Code, based upon actual experience or any other loss relativity studies available to the office. The office shall determine the discounts, credits, other rate differentials, and appropriate reductions in deductibles that reflect the full actuarial value of such revaluation, which may be used by insurers in rate filings.”

To qualify for these discounts, most insurance companies require a certification of the key construction features. These certifications must be approved by a professional engineer, registered architect or building official. The best cost-efficient way to obtain this certification is by calling a local home inspection company that offers the service. For more information, you can visit windloadcalculations.com which is one of the many companies that can provide the service.

Visit Astor Impact Windows for information about purchasing impact windows and doors. You can also email us at sales@astorusa.com or call us at 1-800-573-1780.

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