What is the Fortified Home Program?
Over the last decade storms like Ike, Irene, Katrina and Sandy have amplified the need to make homes and businesses more resilient. In 2010, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety’s FORTIFIED Home™ Program made best practice engineering and building standards – developed using more than 20 years of storm damage investigations – available to
anyone seeking to strengthen existing single-family, detached homes. FORTIFIED can be affordable at every price point and uses a unique systems-based method for creating stronger, safer homes. The program employs an incremental approach toward making existing homes more resistant to damage from hurricanes, tropical storms, hailstorms, high winds and wind-driven rain associated with thunderstorms.
With three levels of FORTIFIED Home™ designation available – Bronze, Silver and Gold – builders can work with
homeowners to choose a desired level of protection that best suits their budgets and resilience goals.
Bronze can be the easiest option to choose, as it only applies to your roof!
Silver and Gold levels apply toward windows, framing, and foundations.
Visit http://disastersafety.org/fortified/homeowners/ for more information.
MS Wind Mitigation Program Incentive Information
- The insurance industry funded Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) Fortified for Safer Living program is a multi-hazard program with design, construction, and landscaping (elevation) standards to increase a home’s resilience and deliver superior performance during all natural hazards that threaten the area where the home is located.
- The homeowner and the project design professional contacts IBHS with project specifics. Depending on the location of construction, the proper self-assessment checklists are completed to verify the project’s readiness to meet fortified requirements.
- Architectural and structural plans/specifications are submitted to IBHS for review. The homeowner chooses a certified IBHS Fortified building evaluator to monitor the progress of the project, through design, and construction to ensure compliance with Fortified standards. A Fortified designation is issued by IBHS after construction is complete and all compliance information is submitted to IBHS and approved. See the IBHS website for current information on this program.
- MWUA premium credits:
- Policies written within one year of achieving Fortified Home Designation – 25% credit
- Written within two years of achieving Fortified Home Designation – 20% credit
- Written within three years of achieving Fortified Home Designation – 15% credit
- Written over three years after achieving Fortified Home Designation – 10% credit
- Fortified New Homes also qualify for Individual Risk BCEGS 1 credit 25% in addition to the Fortified Home Credits. They are also eligible for the 5% MWUA site hazard credit if requirements are met on MWUA inspection. Combined, a first year certified fortified home could receive credit of 25%, plus 25% BCEG 1, plus 5% MWUA site hazard credit for a total of 55% first year of certification.
(Information obtained from https://www.msplans.com/mwua/wind-mitigation-programs)
How to Begin
Our standard roof installation and materials for shingle and metal roofs already meet 90% of the requirements for the Bronze level if your home’s roof was installed to code requirements after Hurricane Katrina. The following steps are what it takes to be FORTIFIED designated:
- APPLY Complete a free online application at http://disastersafety.org/disastersafety/fortified-home-evaluation-application. It takes less than 5 minutes.
- SCHEDULE A FORTIFIED EVALUATION Once an application is received and processed, the applicant will be directed to a list of IBHS Certified FORTIFIED Evaluators working in the area. The applicant then schedules a fee-based evaluation of the home. The applicant has the option to interview any evaluator listed, discuss their fees and negotiate accordingly. IBHS certifies only those evaluators who have completed a comprehensive training program, passed an exam, and who meet IBHS’ rigorous professional requirements.
- HAVE FORTIFIED EVALUATION PERFORMED At the scheduled time, the chosen evaluator will visit the home and conduct a FORTIFIED Evaluation. The evaluator’s role is to collect information about the home and complete a comprehensive checklist provided by IBHS. At the conclusion of the evaluation, the information is transmitted to IBHS for analysis and processing.
- RECEIVE AND REVIEW CUSTOMIZED REPORT After the evaluation, the applicant will receive access to a comprehensive, customized Current Condition Report via a personal, secure online portal. This report includes analysis of the home’s condition, an explanation of deficiencies, if any, and an overview of the improvements needed to achieve each of the three FORTIFIED designations. If there are no retrofits required, a designation certificate will be issued at this time.
- TAKE ACTION If retrofits are needed, the Current Condition Report will be a roadmap for making the home more disaster resistant. The applicant’s FORTIFIED Action Plan begins with deciding what level of protection they want to achieve, identifying the needed retrofits and having the work performed. Upon completion, the FORTIFIED upgrades must be verified for compliance by a certified FORTIFIED evaluator. The evaluator will submit compliance documents to FORTIFIED Home for review and processing.
- CALL US This is where we fall in place, call us and allow us to review your FORTIFIED home reports and any other needed material to begin an estimate for your home. After your home has been evaluated and we have sent you an estimate, we can begin work.
- GET DESIGNATED Once the FORTIFIED evaluator verifies the improvements have been made, a FORTIFIED Designation is awarded. The FORTIFIED Designation Certificate is proof of compliance and can be submitted to the homeowner’s property insurance provider to receive applicable discounts or credits where available. Check with your insurance carrier for more details about FORTIFIED incentives. Once awarded, a FORTIFIED Home Designation lasts for five years. At the end of that term, a re-designation audit is required and will focus on the condition of the roof covering. If major structural changes have been completed or if systems covered by FORTIFIED requirements have been damaged or upgraded since the original designation was awarded, a more extensive audit may be required.