Stronger homes mean big insurance savings - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Stronger homes mean big insurance savings

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

By Doug Walker – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The state run windpool can be very expensive, but there are ways homeowners can reduce their premiums. One is retrofitting your home to make it stronger. When your home passes inspection, the savings are immediate.

Homeowner Brad Bradford let us tag along as his Ocean Springs home was inspected Friday. It began in the attic, which has been reinforced with additional tie-downs and 4x6s.

It then moved to the garage, where the doors have also been reinforced with extra steel beams. Storm resistant windows have been installed and given extra protection with cut to fit plywood.  

Even though there's a substantial up front cost to mitigate your home and make it stronger and more storm resistant, you can make that money back very quickly in lowered insurance costs. 

"I believe I'll see a payback in the first year, the savings I see on my windstorm," Bradford said.

After seeing his insurance costs soar, Bradford was looking for every break he could get.  

"The biggest advantage that I see is that living on the water, I was put into the windpool. So every little discount that I can possibly receive works for me." 

Home Inspector Rob Melton said mitigation also works by making sure your home is still around after a hurricane. 

"We feel like it makes a significant difference as far as the ability of the house to resist uplift from wind and the lateral forces of wind," Melton said.

When the inspection was over, Bradford got the good news. He qualifies for a 25 percent reduction in his insurance premium. He said retrofitting his home cost about $1,800,  but his insurance premium will go down by about $2,000 next year.

If you'd like information about the state's home mitigation program, contact your insurance agent for more information.

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