The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 8 No. 44 - July 23, 2008


Mitigation can save money on insurance

Once upon a time there were three little houses on a beautiful wind swept island in the Gulf of Mexico. One was made of straw and was built a long time ago, another was made of sticks and was built before Hurricane Andrew and another was made of brick and was built last year. Guess which one has the lowest insurance rates.

Premium rates to insure our Island homes have become so high in recent years that many homeowners are opting to self-insure, basically not purchasing home replacement insurance. There are, however, other ways to reduce the cost of insuring your home without going cold turkey.

The My Safe Florida Home program,, has been in effect for more than a year with the intent to provide free home inspections for single-family residential properties. After the inspection, a report is provided which can be sent to the homeowner’s insurance company resulting in a possible premium reduction.

The uniform mitigation verification inspection form helps insurance carriers determine the premium discount for wind insurance. The inspections are valid for five years, then a new inspection would be required in order to maintain the discount.

Discounts are determined based on the number of wind resistant construction features your home has. The more you have, the higher total discount. Also the location of your home will determine the discount, with high risk locations benefiting the most.

The value of the property can also determine discounts again with higher priced homes enjoying the most dollar value of discounts. The premium discounts range between 10 and 60 percent with many homeowners saving as much as 50 percent on the hurricane coverage portion of their policy.

The insurance carriers can justify the discounts because stronger, more wind-resistant houses have lower windstorm losses, and lower windstorm losses means reduced costs to insurance companies. The insurance discounts also provide some financial incentives for homeowners to strengthen their existing homes and for new construction to be built to the strongest options in the Florida Building Code.

Homeowners who do not want to wait for the My Safe Florida Home Program to provide the free inspection, can hire a certified inspector. The cost is in the range of $150 for an average single family home under 5,000 square feet, most private inspectors guarantee that you will save at least that much on your premium. Some of the construction features that qualify for discounts are:

Roof coverings such as shingles that meet the Florida Building Code requirements; roof decks that have been installed with large nails and close spacing, hurricane clips/strips that hold the roof structure to the walls; protection of openings such as windows and glass doors with impact resistant glazing or other protection systems including a variety of shutters; secondary water resistance that prevents the roof from leaking if the roof covering is blown off in a windstorm.

In addition, newly constructed homes built to the Florida Building Code since March 1, 2002, may be eligible for a discount.

Take advice from the three little pigs, before the big bad wolf huffs and puffs and blows your house down. Get a wind mitigation inspection. You and your loved ones will feel a lot safer, your home and possessions will be better protected and your checkbook will be just a little fatter.

Real Estate Transactions
Closed sales between April 21 and May 17, 2008

Anna Maria

717 North Shore Drive       Single Family       $3,725,000
214 Fir Ave.       Duplex        1,300,000
522 Loquat Drive       Single Family       1,050,000
513 Bayview Place       Single Family        800,000
744 North Shore Drive        Single Family        700,000
103 Los Cedros Drive        Single Family        698,000
209 Coconut Ave.       Single Family        550,000
217 Willow Ave.       Single Family        465,000
153 Crescent Drive        Single Family        375,000
522 Pine Ave. #3C       Condo        250,000

Bradenton Beach

108 13th St. S.        Single Family        $1,160,000
200 Gulf Drive S. #6        Condo        750,000
2516 Ave. A       Condo        680,000
249 17th St. N.        Condo        400,000
103 Seventh St. S.        House & Duplex        380,000
232 17th St. N.       Condo        368,800
106 23rd St. N.       Single Family        355,000
2310 Gulf Drive N. #204       Condo        280,000
1201 Gulf Drive N. #200       Condo        280,000


No recorded sales

Holmes Beach

107 75th St.       Duplex       $3,500,000
625 Ivanhoe Lane       Single Family        2,050,000
521 Key Royale Drive        Single Family        1,500,000
688 Key Royale Drive        Single Family        750,000
523 75th St.       Single Family        730,000
617 Gladstone Lane        Single Family        660,000
404 & 406 80th St.        Duplex        595,000
510 75th St.       Single Family        550,000
304 64th St.       Duplex        500,000
311 64th St.        Condo        470,000
503 67th St.       Single Family        455,000
207 76th St. #A        Duplex        390,000
3311 Gulf Drive #1        Condo        357,900
2703 Gulf Drive        Single Family        300,000

Source: Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office

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