IBHS applauds findings of significant savings when steps are taken to reduce weather risks to community and property

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Susan G. Millerick
(813) 675-1066

TAMPA, January 11, 2018 – Investing in a stronger roof and building standards that help houses stand up to fierce winds can save $5 for every $1 invested, according to a new report released today in Washington, D.C., by the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS).

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is proud to have developed the FORTIFIED Home™ program, the national standard for resilient building, which was studied as part of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2017 Interim Report unveiled today. The report highlights, among other data, the significant savings that result from taking steps to mitigate weather risks to limit or prevent property damage and loss from severe weather events.

“Bravo to NIBS for effectively putting a punctuation point on the value of property loss mitigation including strong building codes and standards,” said Julie Rochman, president and CEO, IBHS. “No argument remains that homeowners, communities, businesses, and governments will earn impressive returns/results on every dollar invested in building stronger and smarter.”

As reported earlier this week, 2017 weather caused more property damage — $306 billion – than any prior year. In the U.S., hurricanes alone impacted 25 million, or 8% of Americans, and post-storm research has shown that homes and commercial buildings built to stronger codes, as in Florida, survived where weaker structures did not.

The Mitigation Saves report details the benefits of two mitigation strategies: first, 23 years of mitigation grants from federal agencies including FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), the Economic Development Administration (EDA), and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) resulting in a national benefit of $6 for every $1 invested.

The second set of mitigation strategies looked at designing buildings to exceed 2015 model building codes, resulting in an overall benefit of $4 saved for every $1 invested. Broken down by specific risk, the benefits reported are:

  • Wind, per FORTIFIED Home standards, 5:1
  • Hurricane surge, 7:1
  • Riverine flood, 4:1
  • Earthquake, 4:1
  • Wildland-Urban Interface codes, 4:1

“The savings from building smarter and stronger are real and substantial. We know how to build so that Mother Nature doesn’t keep displacing people, destroying jobs, and devastating communities,” Rochman said. “Now, we must look with clear eyes at where and how we are building and re-building. Let’s have honest conversations about well-known risks, such as hurricanes and wildfires, make better choices, and break the cycle of destruction-rebuilding-and repeated destruction.”

Learn more about FORTIFIED Home.


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.