To help guide you through storm & hurricane season, use this buyer's guide as a go-to source when making informed decisions about storm & hurricane protection for your family, home & assets.

Insurance Requirements for Purchasing Hurricane Protection

Some insurance companies including Citizens Property Insurance require opening protection in order to receive or renew your policy (particularly in the case of policies with wind coverage). Many homeowners are also purchasing hurricane protection to take advantage of premium reductions of up to 30%.

In order to obtain the best protection for your home, remember that the product you purchase is a system, which means there are numerous considerations involved in choosing the right one.

Not all hurricane protection is alike and not all companies are the same. Choose wisely to ensure your home is fully protected.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do hurricane shutters actually protect my home?

A. Shutters or Impact Windows & Doors are an important part of a storm-resistant home. They provide protection for glass doors and windows against windborne debris, which is often present in coastal storms. Keeping the building envelope intact during a major windstorm is vital to the structural integrity of a home. If the envelope is breached, sudden pressurization of the interior can cause major structural damage (e.g., roof loss) and will lead to significant interior and contents damage from wind-driven rain.

Q. What are the best kinds of hurricane protection?

A. The best kinds are those that are affordable and easy to operate (according to your budget), and offer the greatest protection. Whichever type you decide on it is important to remember that shutters are only as good as the quality of their installation. Ensure that qualified workmen install the shutters or their anchors and that quality materials that meet the building code for your area are used.

Q. What happens if I don’t have protection?

A. Once the building envelope (like your home) has been breached by hurricane winds, tremendous pressure is brought to bear on interior walls and upward pressure on the building’s roof. This can lead to roof failure which exposes the entire contents of the building to the storm.

Q. Is Window film a valid option for hurricane protection?

A. No, unfortunately not. Window Film is not a substitute for shutters, it does not meet the Citizens Insurance requirement or Florida building code and it will not protect against wind borne debris. Please refer to www.intpha.com for more information on the hazards of window film.

Q. How do I choose an installation company I can trust?

A. Make sure they are licensed, get references, and then check the references. Check out a company with the Better Business Bureau and your local licensing authority.

Q. Do I need a permit?

A. Yes and it’s the law. Working without a permit may result in fines. By checking to see if the company you select pulls permits, then you are protecting yourself and the integrity of your installation.

Choosing a Company

Hurricane Protection is a necessity along our coastal region. Unfortunately, individuals and companies realize this and attempt to capitalize on customers with claims of the “lowest price” and “quickest service.” The right company will have the right products, knowledge, abilities and resources to deliver what is best for you complete hurricane protection and security needs.

1. License and Insurance

Ask to see hard copies of the specialty contractor license for municipalities where the work is to be done. Ask to see a current insurance certificate showing liability and workman’s compensation insurance.

2. Reliability

Ask if there is an office that you can come to in order to discuss options. This will help you evaluate their ability to provide customer service.

Check with the BBB to make sure the company has no outstanding complaints. This will tell you how a company resolves its problems. Is the company a factory authorized distributor or a manufacturer of the product you intend to purchase? Many companies buy their products through middle-man and have no relationship with the actual manufacturer, and they cannot supply you with a valid warranty that will cover all issues.

3. Installation

Make sure the company can provide references for their work, and are able to get you in contact with other customers to share complete experiences. Ask if the installers are employees of the company or if they use Sub-Contractors. If they use sub-contractors, be aware, the Sub-Contractors must also be licensed and be able to produce their own insurance, liability and workman’s compensation insurances.

Does the company use stainless steel and/or corrosion resistant fasteners? These fasteners ensure there will be no rust staining due to weather elements.

4. Warranties

Make sure that you read and understand the warranties on all products.

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