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Insurers Offer Discounts for Fortified Coast Homes

By Evelina Burnett | Published 08 Aug 2013 10:02pm | comments
A Habitat for Humanity home in Pascagoula is being constructed to the Fortified Gold standard. Photo courtesy Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast

The high cost of insurance continues to plague Mississippi coast homeowners. But as MPB’s Evelina Burnett reports Insurance companies are now offering discounts to coastal properties that meet fortified building standards.

All companies that offer insurance on the Mississippi coast are now required to offer discounts to homes that are designated as fortified by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. IBHS representatives were on the coast this week to explain what it takes to get the certification. Fortified program manager Fred Malik says the first focus is on the roof.

The insurance companies have set their own discounts, which vary. The Mississippi windpool is offering mitigation discounts of 17% for the Fortified bronze certification, 25% for silver and 30% for gold.  Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says the mitigation won't let homeowners ride out a hurricane, but it will give them something to come back to afterwards. 

Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast is building one home and has completed another to the Fortified gold standard. Sustainable Building Specialist Heidi Schattin says the certification essentially required two major changes to their usual building process: a sealed roof and a certified window protection system.

The fortified program application is free but does require a certified evaluation, which generally costs around $350. 

Links:

Mississippi Department of Insurance - Mitigation Discounts

Mississippi Windpool Mitigation Discounts

IBHS Fortified Building Program

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A Habitat for Humanity home in Pascagoula is being constructed to the Fortified Gold standard. Photo courtesy Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast


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