Munich Re, US, and IBHS launch new “app” designed to help homeowners build safer, stronger structures in the face of increasing severe weather events

IBHS Media Contact
Tiffany O’Shea
Public Affairs Director, IBHS
Phone: (512) 636-7811
Email: toshea@ibhs.org
Twitter: @disastersafety

Munich Reinsurance Media Contact
Sharon Cooper
Tel.: +1 (609) 243-8821
Email: tscooper@munichrea
www.munichreamerica.com
http://twitter.com/munichre_US

(Princeton, New Jersey, June 28, 2016) Munich Re, US, and the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) have launched a new “app” designed to help homeowners build safer, stronger structures in the face of increasing severe weather events.

FORTIFIED Home™ On the Go is an interactive tablet app available for free download from the iTunes Store. It walks homeowners, contractors and architects through the home strengthening process, providing information based on their specific input. The information includes videos, animations, and technical specifications for building and retrofitting single family homes. (View screen shots from the app.)

Information in the app is based on IBHS’ FORTIFIED Home™ program, which is recognized as the national standard in resilient construction.

“The public is seeing first-hand what staggering losses can be wreaked by severe weather,” says Carl Hedde, Head of Risk Accumulation, Munich Re, US, who is leading the app’s launch and is also a past chairman of IBHS. As examples, he points to the more than $60 billion in insured losses due to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and almost $30 billion in insured losses in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. (Natural Catastrophe Events in US infographic)

“The FORTIFIED Home™ On the Go app is an educational tool designed to help individuals and communities build more resilient structures,” Hedde adds. “This is something everyone can learn from and use to help make their homes more resistant to the effects of the dramatic weather events we are experiencing.”

This new app is a joint project between Munich Re, US, and IBHS, who share a commitment to conduct scientific research and promote ways to strengthen homes, businesses and communities against natural disasters.

“The FORTIFIED Home program provides a uniform, voluntary, superior set of construction and retrofitting standards to help improve a home’s resilience by adding system-specific upgrades to minimum code requirements,” said Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO.

“People often ask why the FORTIFIED Home programs are necessary when many jurisdictions have building codes in place. The answer is codes appropriately provide minimum life safety protection designed to ensure people can get out of a building safely. However, codes are not intended to ensure homes are habitable after a catastrophic weather event or to protect the contents inside,” Rochman noted.

To get more information about the FORTIFIED Home™ On the Go app, go to www.munichreamerica.com/fortified or visit the iTunes store to download the iPad tablet app.

Princeton, NJ June 28, 2016
Munich Reinsurance America, Inc.
555 College Road East
Princeton, NJ 08543-5241
United States

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Munich Re stands for exceptional solution-based expertise, consistent risk management, financial stability and client proximity. This is how Munich Re creates value for clients, shareholders and staff. In the financial year 2015, the Group – which combines primary insurance and reinsurance under one roof – achieved a profit of €3.1bn on premium income of over €50bn. It operates in all lines of insurance, with more than 43,000 employees throughout the world. With premium income of around €28bn from reinsurance alone, it is one of the world’s leading reinsurers. Especially when clients require solutions for complex risks, Munich Re is a much sought-after risk carrier. Munich Re’s primary insurance operations are concentrated in the ERGO Group. ERGO is one of the leading insurance groups in Germany and Europe. ERGO is represented in over 30 countries worldwide and offers a comprehensive range of insurances, provision products and services. In 2015, ERGO posted premium income of €17.9bn. In international healthcare business, Munich Re pools its insurance and reinsurance operations, as well as related services, under the Munich Health brand. Munich Re’s global investments (excluding insurance-related investments) amounting to €215bn are managed by MEAG, which also makes its competence available to private and institutional investors outside the Group.

About the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) IBHS’ mission is to conduct objective, scientific research to identify and promote effective actions that strengthen homes, businesses, and communities against natural disasters and other causes of loss.