JACKSON, Miss., April 20, 2020 – The Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association (MWUA) will now provide – at no cost to homeowners – a FORTIFIED Roof TM endorsement on eligible new and renewing policies. The new endorsement will apply when a covered claim results in 50 percent or more of a roof being replaced. In those instances, MWUA will reimburse up to an additional $1,500 for material and labor and up to $500 in inspection or evaluation fees if the home receives a FORTIFIED Roof designation from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).
“Providing the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof endorsement at no premium cost to homeowners is another example of Mississippi’s commitment to stronger homes,” states IBHS President and CEO Roy Wright. “No home is ever 100 percent hurricane-proof, but the incremental improvements required by the FORTIFIED standards make homes significantly more resilient to severe weather, allowing families to return home faster after a storm.”
The FORTIFIED building standards, developed by IBHS after two decades of scientific research, are a set of voluntary construction upgrades that builders and roofers make to improve a building’s resistance to the effects of severe weather. FORTIFIED Roof increases the number and the strength of the nails used to attach the roof deck, significantly increasing the amount of wind uplift the roof can withstand. The standards also require that edges around the perimeter of the roof also have enhanced attachment, strengthening one of the most vulnerable areas of a roof system. Finally, FORTIFIED Roof requires the gaps between the roof decking to be sealed, which prevents water from getting into a home, even if shingles are blown off. This can reduce potential water intrusion by more than 95 percent compared to a standard roof, dramatically lowering the possibility a homeowner will be forced from their home for an extended period of time, even if the roof covering is damaged.
“By nailing it down, taping it up, and locking it in, FORTIFIED Roof will help safeguard the things that make a house a home,” says FORTIFIED Managing Director Fred Malik. “For Mississippi homeowners who have a roof claim with MWUA and use this new endorsement, the peace of mind that a FORTIFIED Roof brings will come with little or no additional money out of pocket.”
At policy inception or renewal, this new automatic coverage will be added to MWUA Dwelling & Mobile Home policies (issued on the Replacement Cost coverage form) effective March 1, 2020, forward. No deductible applies to this “SPECIAL ROOF COVERAGE,” and the maximum limits provided do not reduce the amount covered under the policy building limit. Policyholders who receive the FORTIFIED Roof designation will be eligible for reimbursement of roof upgrade (material, labor and designation) costs and MWUA premium discounts.
“The MWUA, working with the Mississippi Department of Insurance, promotes wind mitigation efforts and is hopeful that builders, contractors, developers, and other insurers will also recognize and promote the value of IBHS Fortified designations and coverage endorsements,” said MWUA Manager Joe Shumaker.
MWUA provides significant premium discounts for homes with an IBHS FORTIFIED designation – 20 percent for FORTIFIED Roof, 25 percent for FORTIFIED HomeTM – Silver, and 30 percent for FORTIFIED HomeTM – Gold. Additionally, another 5 percent credit is available to homeowners with a FORTIFIED designation if they also address tree hazards on the property.
About FORTIFIED Home
Please visit www.fortifiedhome.org to learn more about the IBHS FORTIFIED Home program, including the designation process, how to identify a certified FORTIFIED Evaluator and other valuable resources. Detailed information about FORTIFIED Roof can be found at fortifiedhome.org/homeowners-roof.
About the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)
The IBHSmission is to conduct objective, scientific research to identify and promote effective actions that strengthen homes, businesses and communities against natural disasters and other causes of loss. Learn more about IBHS at DisasterSafety.org.
About The Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association (MWUA)
MWUA was established by House Bill 274 of the 1987 session of the Mississippi Legislature to provide a method whereby an adequate market for Windstorm and Hail Insurance may be provided in the Coastal Area of Mississippi. MWUA provides coverage for Windstorm and Hail perils only. Learn more at https://www.msplans.com.