FORTIFIED Policy Frequently Asked Questions


FORTIFIED is a proven beyond-code construction method developed by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) that drastically reduces structural damage during hurricanes, high rain events, high wind events, tornadoes, and hail.

What FORTIFIED programs are available?
FORTIFIED is categorized into the FORTIFIED Home™, FORTIFIED Multifamily™, and FORTIFIED Commercial™ programs. Each program has three levels of resiliency options: FORTIFIED Roof, FORTIFIED Silver, and FORTIFIED Gold. Each program is specific to the type of property that requires disaster-resilient features. Furthermore, the technical specifications address the property's weather risks based on location.

How does a property become certified as meeting FORTIFIED standards?

All properties seeking a voluntarily FORTIFIED designation must work with a FORTIFIED Evaluator. There are different processes for residential or commercial and multifamily properties, but the goal is the same, to provide critical, mandatory compliance verification. Third-party verification by an evaluator ensures the upgraded construction materials and installation methods meet the standards required for a FORTIFIED designation.

What are the benefits of FORTIFIED?

  • Incentives - Insurance and tax incentives are available by many carriers. States such as Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Oklahoma, and North Carolina have legislated insurance or tax incentives.

  • Home Value Increase - A study was sponsored by the Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research (ACIIR), Culverhouse College of Commerce, and The University of Alabama. This study focused on FORTIFIED’s impact on home resale value. It was found that having a FORTIFIED designation increases the value of a home by nearly 7%. Find the study here.

  • Multifamily development ROI - Having a FORTIFIED designation also increases the rate of return for building FORTIFIED Multifamily™ structures. Another study sponsored by the Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research found that the lowest rate of return is 8%, while the highest is 72%. Find the study here.

  • Debris reduction - Fairhope, Alabama, has adopted the Code Supplement. Because the city's building codes included FORTIFIED technical recommendations, Construction and Demolition Debris (C&D) after Hurricane Sally was only 3% of the total debris generated by Hurricane Sally, or $243,008 out of 8.1 M.

How do we enforce FORTIFIED requirements locally?

The Construction Code Supplement was designed to provide communities with a straightforward, proven approach to increase their community’s resilience to storms, reduce future damage, and help citizens and jurisdictions leverage incentives and funding for using beyond-code construction methods.

The Supplement is written in an ordinance format to be easily added to and adopted with local building codes. Adopting the Code Supplement closes the gap between existing "I Codes®" and the IBHS FORTIFIED Home™ Technical Standards.

There are two versions of the Code Supplement – one for coastal communities at risk from hurricanes and one for inland communities focused on high wind, hails, and tornadoes.

Learn more about the Code supplement and download other versions here.

If we adopt the Code Supplement, do all properties have to get a FORTIFIED Designation?

No. The Code Supplement adds the technical recommendations of FORTIFIED to local code and does not require a voluntary FORTIFIED designation by any property owner. If property owners want to take advantage of specific incentives such as insurance credits or tax deductions, a FORTIFIED designation is typically required.

What examples of success are there?

  • Of the over 17,000 FORTIFIED homes and 19 FORTIFIED Commercial™ structures in coastal Alabama, 99% saw no damage to FORTIFIED building elements during Hurricane Sally.

  • A FORTIFIED multifamily development in Lockport, LA, survived the eye of Hurricane Ida with only minor damage while neighboring apartments were destroyed.

  • A home in Prattville, AL, was re-roofed to the FORTIFIED standard by Habitat for Humanity and the state grant program, Strengthen Alabama Homes. It survived an EF-3 tornado.