The Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association (MWUA) will now provide – at no cost to homeowners – a FORTIFIED Roof endorsement on eligible new and renewing policies. The new endorsement will apply when a covered claim results in 50% 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).
“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,” said IBHS President and CEO Roy Wright.
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.
FORTIFIED Roof also 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% 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.
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.
MWUA offers premium discounts for homes with an IBHS FORTIFIED designation – 20% for FORTIFIED Roof, 25% for FORTIFIED Home- Silver, and 30%for FORTIFIED Home – Gold. Additionally, another 5% credit is available to homeowners with a FORTIFIED designation if they also address tree hazards on the property.
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.
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