Mississippi residents along the state’s coastline who are building new homes or chose to strengthen their current homes against hurricane damage can now qualify for premium credits from their property insurer.
Under a new law that took effect last month, for the first time property insurers are required to give wind mitigation credits to qualified new and existing homeowners in Harrison, Hancock, Jackson, Stone, and Pearl River counties.
The new credits are part of the post-Katrina moves taken by the state to help reduce any hurricane losses.
For new homeowners, the premium credits will apply to the wind portion of a homeowner’s policy or to their entire premium if the insurer doesn’t designate a specific premium for the wind portion of their policy.
For new homeowners to qualify for the premium credits, a licensed building instructor must certify that the home meets the 2006 or newer International Residential Code, the Fortified for Safer Living or similar program adopted by the Institute for Business and Home Safety. Homes that meet the requirements of mitigation programs recommended by the Mississippi Windstorm Coordination Council and approved by the state will also qualify for the credits.
For existing homeowners, the premium credit is limited to the premium attributable to the improved insurable portion of the property. The credit will apply to the wind portion of their homeowner’s policy, or the entire premium if a separate wind portion is not designated.
To qualify for the credits, the reinforced homes must meet the specifications set out in the Fortified for Safer Homes program as adopted by the Institute for Business and Home Safety or mitigation programs recommended by Mississippi Windstorm Coordination Council and approved by the state.