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Florida Homeowners Receiving Insurance Discounts on the iPhone at 3G Speed


TAMPA, FLA. — Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) Tampa, Fla office has developed and deployed an iPhone application to perform inspections for Florida homeowners. 

"Many Florida homeowners don't know there's a state statute that requires standard home insurance carriers to offer discounts on certain portions of their home insurance policy," said Rick Vaughn, ARA's Florida inspection manager.

Florida statute 627.0629 requires home insurance carriers to refund portions of a policyholder's "hurricane/wind" premium if the home is found to have wind resistant features.  Wind resistant features will likely reduce the severity of a claim during a high-wind event, such as a hurricane, and that is why the discounts have been developed.

According to Vaughn, wind resistant features that are eligible for refunds include window and door shutters, a newer roof, steel fasteners that hold the roof down and "hip" shaped roof versus "gable" shape.  The discounts do not apply to the entire policy premium — discounts are calculated only on the wind-storm portion, which is typically half of the total premium.  Florida homes built prior to 2002 are better candidates for the inspection because homes since 2002 will already be receiving "newer home" discounts; refer to your home insurance declaration page for details. 

A visual inspection by a qualified inspector is required and an OIR 1802 insurance form must be processed in order to apply for any refund.  The visual inspection takes about 30 minutes and an ARA inspector will complete the entire inspection on their new iPhone software application which processes the inspection data and photos at 3G speed over the AT&T network.

ARA offers homeowners statewide inspection coverage via a network of experienced field inspectors.  Inspection fees are based on the square-footage of the home and start at $150 with a cap of $400.  Average annual refunds to homeowners range from $300 to $1200. The percentage of savings depends on the current "hurricane/wind" premium.  In most cases, the inspection and form have a lifespan of five years.  According to Vaughn, the largest annual refund received as the result of an ARA inspection was $7,800 on a home in Palm Beach County.  

By doing some quick math using the $150 fee and the lowest average annual refund of $300, it is clear that most homeowners may earn at least a $1,500 refund over the life of the inspection. (Five years (longevity of the form) X $300 per year savings equals $1500.) 

For more information, or to have an ARA inspector perform a wind mitigation inspection on the new iPhone, contact the Tampa office by calling 1-888-936-4272 to speak to a customer service representative or email to mitinfo@ara.com.

About ARA:
Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) is an international research and engineering company recognized for providing technically excellent solutions to complex and challenging problems in the physical sciences. Our mission is to provide in-depth and diversified research, engineering, and technical support services. We have a broad range of technical expertise in defense technologies, civil engineering, computer software and simulation, systems analysis, environmental technologies, and blast testing and measurement.  We also provide sophisticated technical products for environmental site characterization, pavement evaluation, and specialized robotic vehicles.