Florida Law Explained


Though relatively straight forward once you read them, the Florida law regarding Wind Mitigation have been hard to come by…a secret of sorts within the insurance industry. Even the majority of insurance agents we’ve spoken with have been unfamiliar with these laws. Its speculated that the reason is simply that the insurance companies enjoy the excess premiums they receive by rating all homes as ‘high-risk’ until the policyholder provides certification otherwise. Here’s the chronology in short form…

Florida Law, statute (§627.0629 F.S. 2001) requires insurance companies to offer Florida homeowners "discounts, credits, or other rate differentials" for construction features that reduce damage and loss in windstorms.

Though the insurers were required to give discounts, the policyholder was required to provide certification of their home's wind mitigating features...therein lies the 'catch'. The insurance companies weren't required to tell anyone about any of this, they were just required to give the discounts in the event that a policyholder provided them with certified evidence that windstorm mitigating features were present in their dwelling. Over time, this oversight came to light, and in 2005 (yes, FOUR YEARS later), the legislature made it the responsibility of the insurer to tell policyholders about the discount opportunities. Read on, what follows is an excerpt from the Windstorm Mitigation Study Commission's presentation to legislature...

"Few homeowners are aware of the requirements, and therefore most have not received the discounts”. As a result, in 2005, the Florida Legislature passed CS/SB 1486 (later codified as Ch. 2005-11. Section 22 of that law created a new statute (§627.1111, F.S. 2005) requiring insurers to notify each policyholder, at the time of issuing the policy and at each renewal, of the premium discounts provided for in §627.0629 F.S.. Starting September 5, 2007, insurers must start sending form OIR-B1-1655 "notice of Premium Discounts for Hurricane Loss Mitigation" to all new and renewal policyholders."

So, now the carriers are obligated to tell you about it. HOW they are to tell you is via form OIR-B1-1655, have you seen yours? You'll have to read your policy papers carefully to find it...but if you've purchased your policy since September 5th of 2007, it’s in there. Don’t take our word for it, find it; it will tell you what you stand to gain in the event your home is one of the 90% in Florida that has one or more of these features.

To read the "Brief History of Wind Mitigation" compiled by the FAIA (Florida Association of Insurance Agents) please click here.

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