What is a Fortified Home and How Does it Help Me?
“FORTIFIED is a better way to build, re-roof, or retrofit your home to protect against severe weather. It is a voluntary construction and re-roofing program designed to strengthen homes and commercial buildings against specific types of severe weather such as high winds, hail, hurricanes and even tornadoes. The program provides:
- Free access to construction standards, which are based on more than 20 years of scientific research and real-world testing by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).
- A network of contractors trained to provide the right upgrades to protect your home from the type of severe weather events it faces each year.
- Third-party verification that the upgraded construction materials and installation methods used on your home meet the standards required for a FORTIFIED designation certificate.”
There are two FORTIFIED programs, both with specific requirements beyond what’s required by most building codes, that provide protection from storms as strong as a Category 3 hurricane or an EF-2 tornado.
- FORTIFIED Home for homeowners
- FORTIFIED Commercial for commercial property owners
FORTIFIED Home offers three ways to strengthen and protect your new or existing home.
- FORTIFIED ROOF- This is for roofing or re-roofing. Focuses on strengthening the roof to help keep it attached to your home during high winds and keep water out if roof covering (such as shingles or tiles) get blown off in a storm.
- FORTIFIED SILVER- This is best for existing homes. Builds on the requirements of FORTIFIED Roof to also help protect vulnerable areas such as windows and doors as well as attached structures such as carports.
- FORTIFIED GOLD- This is best for new homes. Builds on requirements of FORTIFIED Roof and FORTIFIED Silver to provide the best protection available against severe weather.
It doesn’t take a hurricane or tornado to cause major damage to your home. In fact, storm winds as low as 50 mph can damage your roof and allow water to enter your home. To protect against this type of damage, make sure that the home you are purchasing has a FORTIFIED designation certificate. The upgraded construction materials and installation methods used on the home will better protect your home and everything inside.
What are the benefits of a Fortified Home?
- FORTIFIED homes are stronger against severe weather and suffer less damage.
- The FORTIFIED method involves an inspection and verification process ensuring your home is built or re-roofed correctly.
- A FORTIFIED designation may qualify you for annual wind mitigation credit that could lower your insurance premium. Check with your insurance agent for specific policy requirements and potential wind mitigation credits in your area.
Alabama Resident FORTIFIED-Specific Incentives
- Discounts – Most insurers in Alabama offer significant discounts for homes meeting the FORTIFIED standards. Savings can range from 20% to 55% of the wind portion of your homeowners premium (depending on the level of FORTIFIED and whether your home is on the coast or more inland).
- Endorsements – For homes without a FORTIFIED designation, most Alabama insurers offer a FORTIFIED endorsement to homeowners policies. When the roof of a home with the endorsement is damaged and being replaced by the insurance company, it will pay additional funds to help offset the cost of upgrading to a FORTIFIED Roof.
- Grant program – When funded, Strengthen Alabama Homes provides grants up to $10,000 to owners of existing homes when they re-roof to the FORTIFIED Roof standard. There are no income restrictions for this grant program, and it is open to anyone with a primary residence in Alabama.
- Tax Deduction – Alabama residents may deduct from gross income the lesser of 50 percent of the cost or $3,000 to retrofit or upgrade their home to resist wind or flood damage, and the FORTIFIED standards can qualify. Consult a tax advisor for more information.