Do Soffit, Gable, or Other Vents Need to be Shuttered To Obtain a Windstorm Insurance Discount?
Lately, many products have been introduced to help protect vent openings in the event of a windstorm. Many of these products tout their helpfulness In terms of avoiding water intrusion and protecting the attic and roof against high winds. There are several places interested readers can obtain more information on the protections and products that are available for vent protection.
Even FEMA has some guidance on this subject:
These approaches may be effective, and certainly cautious approach is warranted when examining your home for potential weaknesses in the event of a windstorm.
It is a common misconception, however, that vents need to be shuttered or covered in order to obtain a windstorm insurance discount for opening protection. The uniform mitigation verification inspection form issued by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Form OIR-B1-1802) specifically mentions the verification of the opening protection level for all:
- Glazed Windows & Entry Doors
- Glazed Garage Doors
- Glass Block Openings
- Non-Glazed (i.e. Solid) Entry Doors
- Non-Glazed (i.e. Solid) Garage Doors
As you can see, the Office of Insurance Regulation form makes no mention of gable vents, soffit vents, ridge vents, or any other vents designed for purposes of attic ventilation. As a result, any improvements or protections to such vents, while they may well be helpful in preventing water intrusion and/or in protecting the home from hurricane damage, are outside the scope of what is needed to be inspected to obtain the Opening Protection discount on your windstorm insurance.