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Monday, April 1, 2013

Tips on Reducing Your Homeowners Insurance!!

Blogging From The Desk of Alicia Lagarde-Craig

With consistent increases to our insurance premiums, we are always looking for ways to reduce the impact to our wallets.

Many insurance carriers offer credits for wind mitigation.

Recently, a client was able to save $1500.00 on a LA Citizens Fair Plan Policy. Keep in mind the credits may not always be this high depending on what credits are applicable.

It is recommended that you acquire this wind mitigation form for a newly built home or a fully renovated home as they SHOULD be built to code.

Each Insurance Company has their own wind mitigation form and it must be completed by a qualified professional.

If a wind mitigation form cannot be completed, some insurance companies are providing credits for having a “Hip” Roof. Description attached. (See 'Hip VS. Gable Roof, What's The Difference')

The cost is between $95.00-$175.00 to have the wind mitigation form completed. Keep in mind there is no way to guarantee any credits until a wind mitigation form is complete.

Most of the affluent insurance carriers will allow their form to be completed by a licensed residential contractor or licensed engineer.

Hip VS. Gable Roof, What's the Difference

A gable is the triangular portion of a wall between the edges of a sloping roof. The shape of the gable and how it is detailed depends on the structural system being used (which is often related to climate and availability of materials) and aesthetic concerns. Thus the type of roof enclosing the volume dictates the shape of the gable.

A hip roof, or hipped roof, is a type of roof where all sides slope downwards to the walls, usually with a fairly gentle slope. Thus it is a house with no gable or other vertical sides to the roof. A square hip roof is shaped like a pyramid.

The first mandatory statewide building code, the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code, was passed during the 2005 First Extraordinary Legislative Session, immediately following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Act 335 of the 2007 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature provides resources for training and enforcement of the code. The Legislature sought to encourage implementation of the code by providing incentives to home owners who are willing to strengthen their homes against storms and hurricanes.

Mitigation Incentives Include:

*Insurance premium discounts when a homeowner builds or retrofits a structure to comply with the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code, or installs mitigation improvements demonstrated to reduce the amount of loss from a windstorm or hurricane.

*Tax deductions for voluntarily retrofiting an existing residential structure to bring it into compliance with the new building code.

*Exclusions from local sales and use tax when purchasing storm shutter devices for hurricane protection.


Act 323 of the 2007 Regular Session provides insurance premium discounts for insureds after insurers file rates with the Louisiana Department of Insurance between March 31, 2008 and January 1, 2009. This rate filing will include the new premium discounts when:
* an owner builds or retrofits a structure to comply with the requirements of the State Uniform Construction Code, and/or
* an owner installs damage mitigation improvements or retrofits their property utilizing construction techniques demonstrated to reduce the amount of loss from a windstorm or hurricane.

Premium discounts apply to one or two-family owner occupied homes and modular homes. They do not apply to commercial or commercial residential properties with three or more units, or to manufactured or mobile homes. Discounts are granted based on damage litigation improvements and construction techniques listed on the Louisiana Hurricane Loss Mitigation Form. Contact your insurance company or agent for more information.

These damage mitigation improvements and /or construction techniques include, but are not limited to:

* building design
* roof bracing
* secondary water barriers
* opening protection
* roof-to-wall strength
* roof deck attachment
* roof covering and roof covering performance
* wall-to-floor-to-foundation strength
* window, door and skylight strength
* other mitigation improvements and/or construction techniques that the insurer may determine to reduce the risk of loss due to wind.

Inspection and certification must be performed by a building code enforcement officer, registered architect or engineer, or a registered third-party provider authorized by the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council to perform building inspections. For a list of registered third party providers, visit www.dps.louisiana.gov/lsuccc or call (225) 922-0817.

Proof of eligibility for premium discounts must be provided by the insured. The insurer may require completion of the Louisiana Hurricane Loss Mitigation Form or other documentation to demonstrate compliance with the State Uniform Construction Code, such as permits, certificates of occupancy, inspection reports or receipts. If deemed necessary, the insurer may also perform its own
independent inspection.

Act 467 of the 2007 Regular Session allows tax deductions for insureds who voluntarily retrofit an existing residential structure to bring it into compliance with the State Uniform Construction Code. This construction code retrofitting deduction is an amount equal to 50 percent of the cost paid or incurred for the retrofit on or after January 1, 2007, less the value of any other state,
municipal or federally-sponsored financial incentives for the cost paid. The taxpayer must claim the homestead exemption for the home being retrofitted and the home cannot be rental property.

The tax credit can be no more than $5,000 per retrofitted residential structure and is claimed on the tax return for the year in which the work is completed. Proof that the retrofit complies with the State Uniform Construction Code, documentation of the cost of the project, and assurance that the project was voluntary as defined by the law, must be submitted with the state tax return. This became effective in the 2007 tax year.


Kaieza Damien said...

Hi there! great post. Thanks for sharing a very interesting and informative content, it is a big help to me and to others as well, keep it up!
Increased exposure can be the difference between selling your home quickly and letting it sit on the market for too long, resulting in loss revenue and decreased value.

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Jim Zaspel said...

Small bits of content which are explained in details, helps me understand the topic, thank you!

Jim Zaspel at blogspot.com

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