That is a great question. Make sure to watch the video below to see a customers experience with hurricane impact rated windows. In the right setting and environment they are priceless! If you live further inland away from the water or in an area not prone to harsh weather conditions, than it is probably not worth it. However, many homeowners close the the oceanfront that have had the experience of boarding up their windows and weathering a bad tropical storm or hurricane will swear by them.
Hurricane impact rated windows do cost significantly more than a normal window, but never having to worry about boarding up is sometimes all it takes to make it worth the investment. Where the real investment comes into play is when the damage starts to happen. They will stop debris from being able to penetrate a house and therefore prevent the updraft that occurs when windows are blown out and the roof starts to lift off. The video below shows just how much these windows can prevent.