Drogers, I just read your question and the great follow-ups from the other three Realtors. The only think I would add is, about three years ago the State of Florida initiated a program called My Safe Florida Home http://(www.MySafeFloridaHome.com
). In it's inception, it was a two pronged approach: 1. The State would match dollar for dollar up to a maximum of $5000 to improve the wind protection for your home. You could do this through new windows, new garage door, hurricane shutters, ect. Since then, that portion of the program lost funding and hasn't been available in a couple of years. That said, I did recently read an article indicating a similar program is available again.
The second portion of this program included funding for a wind mitigation inspection on your home or one you were purchasing. Since then the funding for that program has gone by the way-side, but the benefits are still available. As someone else mentioned in this post, insurance companies will traditionally look at the age of the home, location, ect. For a $50-$100 fee you can have a qualified contractor/inspector visit the home and fill out a 6-7 question form. This form asks such questions as: external building material, type of window protection, how many nails and what size are in the roof, hurricane straps in the trusses, ect. You then provide that form to your insurance company or to those you're obtaining quotes from and I have never seen yet, where the homeowner has not received a discount ofte times, 15-30%. My personal home went immediately from $2100 to $1400/year.
I've written this very quickly. If you have additional questions please email/call me:
Lew Nonnenmocher, RE/MAX on the Coast Cell: 850-291-1477 Email: Lew@MyPensacolaHomes.com