In our experience, five key pieces of state legislation are needed to incentivize resilience and create the environment for more durable construction to become the norm. The following examples are successfully passed bills and Acts that showcase the options available to state legislators interested in increasing their states' disaster resilience.

  1. FORTIFIED Insurance Discounts - Insurance companies are required to provide a premium discount, insurance rate reduction, deductible adjustments, or adjust credit rate differentials for homeowners who have a valid FORTIFIED designation. The insurers are required to submit rates and rating plans to the Department of Insurance. The discount can only apply to policies that provide wind coverage.
    1. Example - AL 2015 SB254
  2. Roofing Grant Program - Grants awarded to homeowners to replace their roofs to the FORTIFIED standard.
    1. Example - LA Act 554
  3. FORTIFIED Roof™ Endorsement - An endorsement is required to be offered at renewal or when starting a new policy. The endorsement pays to upgrade a home to the FORTIFIED standard when roof damage requires replacing the roof.
    1. Example - AL 2019 HB283
  4. Retrofit Tax Deduction - Deducting from state income a portion of the costs associated with upgrading a home to better withstand wind and rain.
    1. Example - AL 2011 SB395

  5. Catastrophe Savings Accounts - Applies to deposits into a regular savings or money market account labeled "Catastrophe Savings." These funds may be used to cover repair costs and losses to the taxpayer's principal residence and can be deducted from state income.
    1. Example - AL 2012 SB227

In addition to the following pieces of legislation, we recommend passing a state building code to make the state more resilient and better able to compete for federal funding, such as the FEMA BRIC program. Additionally, licensure requirements for contractors, roofers, and trades can significantly impact the state's resilience.

These pieces of legislation and policy put money back in the homeowner's pocket. With the income deductions, the costs to upgrade their home are less of a financial burden, making the decision much more straightforward.

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