Louisiana is taking significant strides to enhance the structural integrity of homes and provide homeowners with affordable property insurance. Through the implementation of the Fortified Homes grant program, homeowners will have the opportunity to retrofit their roofs to meet the Fortified standard, making their properties more resilient in the face of hurricanes. This $30 million program, approved during the recent legislative session, aims to safeguard homes and reduce the likelihood of substantial insurance claims. Inspired by Alabama’s successful model, Louisiana is determined to fortify its homes and address the challenges posed by its coastal location.
5 Advantages of Fortified Roofs
A robust fortified roofing system is specifically designed to endure extreme weather conditions and provide better protection against various hazards. It incorporates the use of superior materials and advanced construction techniques, surpassing the standards of a typical roof.
There are several compelling reasons why opting for a fortified roof may be necessary:
1) Enhanced Durability:
A fortified roof is engineered to withstand high winds, heavy rainfall, hailstorms, and other severe weather conditions. By having a fortified roof in place, you significantly decrease the risk of property damage during such adverse events
2) Impact Resistance:
The construction of a fortified roof focuses on augmenting its ability to withstand impacts from falling debris, such as tree branches or airborne objects during storms. This fortification minimizes the potential for roof damage, mitigating the risk of leaks and structural problems.
3) Increased Fire Resistance:
Certain fortified roof systems are designed to offer superior fire resistance compared to standard roofs. They may incorporate fire-resistant materials or coatings that provide an added layer of protection against fire damage, potentially impeding the spread of flames within your home.
4) Potential Insurance Benefits:
In Harahan, the region prone to severe weather or natural disasters, having a fortified roof can qualify you for insurance discounts or other advantageous provisions. Insurance companies recognize the value of fortified roofs in reducing the likelihood of damage and may offer incentives to homeowners who invest in such resilient roofing systems.
5) Long-Term Cost Savings:
While the initial cost of installing a fortified roof may be higher compared to a standard roof, it has the potential to yield significant long-term savings. The heightened durability and resistance to damage mean you will require fewer repairs and replacements over time, resulting in reduced maintenance and replacement expenses.
Fortifying Homes for a Storm-Proof Future:
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon expressed the crucial importance of the Fortified Homes program as the long-term solution for homeowners in south Louisiana and other coastal states. Given the vulnerability of these regions to hurricanes, implementing robust standards for home construction is imperative. The Fortified standard, developed by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety with industry support, focuses on ensuring that roofs remain intact during severe weather eventsconditions, thereby minimizing potential damage and insurance claims.
Under the Fortified Homes grant program, homeowners can receive grants of up to $10,000 to retrofit their roofs according to the Fortified standard. This investment will strengthen homes and contribute to a safer living environment for residents. The allocated $30 million budget can potentially support at least 3,000 homeowners in their efforts to fortify their properties and protect against future storms.
Certified builders like Above All Construction LLC, following the guidelines of the Fortified standard, will undertake the roof retrofitting process. Their work will be verified by an independent third party to ensure the highest quality and compliance. Upon successful completion, homeowners will receive a certificate that insurance companies will acknowledge, allowing them to avail of discounts on their insurance premiums. As a matter of fact, we have already built about a dozen of those so far.
Drawing Inspiration from Alabama:
Louisiana drew inspiration from Alabama’s successful implementation of a similar initiative that has been ongoing for nearly a decade. Alabama’s Fortified program has already resulted in the construction or retrofitting of over 35,000 homes to meet the Fortified standard. By emulating Alabama’s accomplishments, Louisiana aims to fortify its homes and enhance disaster resilience among its communities.
Legislative Support and Benefits for Homeowners:
In an effort to replicate the success of Alabama’s program, Louisiana lawmakers introduced bills that offer new benefits to homeowners who adopt the Fortified standard. One such bill, based on the proposal by Rep. Gabe Firment of Pollock, mandates insurers to modify existing policies, allowing homeowners to receive a Fortified roof as a replacement if they file a claim. Insurers will be required to offer this endorsement or policy upgrade to new or renewing policies.
Additionally, a bill passed in 2021 enables insurers to offer premium discounts to residential and commercial property owners who construct or retrofit their structures to meet the Fortified standard. To further strengthen this initiative, Rep. Matthew Willard of New Orleans sponsored a bill that transforms these discounts into a mandatory requirement rather than an optional offering.
The Impact on Louisiana’s Building Codes and Insurance Market:
Louisiana’s commitment to fortifying homes has garnered recognition from insurance companies across the country. State Senator Kirk Talbot, who chairs the Senate Insurance Committee, emphasized that the robust building codes implemented in Louisiana signal a proactive approach to addressing the challenges posed by the region’s vulnerability to hurricanes. By actively addressing these issues, Louisiana aims to demonstrate its commitment to finding solutions and enhancing disaster resilience.
Louisiana’s Fortified Homes grant program signifies a significant step toward ensuring the resilience of homes in the face of natural disasters. Through financial support and incentives, homeowners are empowered to retrofit their roofs to meet the Fortified standard, resulting in increased safety and reduced insurance claims. Inspired by Alabama’s success, Louisiana lawmakers have introduced legislation
Investing in a fortified roof today will grant you peace of mind, knowing that your home is well-protected during stormy weather. Don’t wait until the next hurricane hits to take action—fortify your roof now and ensure your safety.
Call us at 504-446-3271 and we will gladly walk you through the process and help you make the right choice regarding your roof.