If you’re familiar with our FORTIFIED program, you might know that your designation certificate is only valid for 5 years. What does this mean? It means after 5 years your certificate expires, and your homeowner’s insurance premium might skyrocket without notice. More importantly, this means your home may no longer be hurricane ready. So what do you do?
The FORTIFIED certificate signifies that your home is resilient against severe weather. It’s important that you have a FORTIFIED evaluator conduct a re-designation inspection on your home and re-designate your certificate. The evaluator will check things like the condition of your roof and make sure if any additions have been made that they still qualify your home for FORTIFIED designation. Once your certificate is renewed, you simply send that renewed certificate to your insurance provider to continue your discount, and you can sleep peacefully knowing that you’re protecting your home and what’s inside (while hopefully saving you money!)
Whether you’re a homeowner, insurance agent, realtor, or somewhere in between, it’s important for you to understand what FORTIFIED is to know how it can protect you. The FORTIFIED program was created by the Insurance Institute of Business and Home Safety to produce resilience for homes and buildings against severe weather.
For those of you who might not be familiar with the FORTIFIED program, below is a brief of the levels of FORTIFIED designation.
FORTIFIED Roof is a sealed roof deck that strengthens the roof and protects from leaks. This is the first level of FORTIFIED and most common.
FORTIFIED Silver strengthens the weak links of homes including doors, windows, and attachments. This is the second level of FORTIFIED.
FORTIFIED Gold is the highest level of designation and strengthens the structures of the home by creating a continuous load path connecting the roof to the walls, walls to the floors, and floors to the foundation. Due to the nature of the Gold fortification, this designation can only be completed in new homes from the foundation up.
Helpful FORTIFIED information Before the renewal
See below for some helpful info. you will want to now before the expiration of the FORTIFIED certificate-
- IBHS sends a courtesy letter 90 days before your FORTIFIED evaluation is set to expire.
Thanks to technology it has become slightly easier to set a reminder 5 years out, but 5 years is a long time to remember to renew a certificate. Included in the letter will be your personal FEH number as well as the name of the evaluator you used in the original evaluation.
- You don’t have to use the same evaluator.
The original evaluator should reach out to you about renewing your certificate. However, if you were dissatisfied in any way with the evaluator or if you need the re-designation sooner than they’re able to complete the evaluation for insurance reasons, you can contact any evaluator to come do the inspection. This is also beneficial information to know so that you can get the best price on the evaluation. If you don’t know who to call, contact Knockout!
- Renewals are the perfect time to shop around for your insurance provider.
If your FORTIFIED home is in the state of Alabama, then insurance providers are REQUIRED to give a discount. However, some agencies are able to get around this and others try to discount as little as possible. Did you know you can save up to 55% off with a Gold designation? You should be receiving a discount no less than 12% off your current home insurance regardless of which designation you currently have. As your FORTIFIED designation goes up, so should the discount!
The Re-Designation Inspection
The Evaluator will conduct a re-designation inspection to the exterior of the home to verify that the home is indeed still qualified for a FORTIFIED renewal. They will inspect the condition of the home and take photos which will be submitted to IBHS for approval. Be prepared to notify your evaluator if any changes have been made to your home since the last evaluation (usually 5 years ago, but sometimes more if you’re behind on the renewal.)
It is not our intentions to hold your home hostage to changes, additions, or repairs; however, in order to meet the FORTIFIED home requirements, it’s important that we are aware of anything that might prevent you from receiving that renewal certificate. If you plan to make a change, addition, or repair, it’s always better to be on the safe side and contact your evaluator before moving forward in that process to prevent being denied a renewal certificate.
If you are denied the renewal, don’t fret. You will receive a detailed report with the corrective actions required before receiving the certificate. Sometimes your home needs a little TLC to make sure it’s on top of its A-game to protect what’s inside.
Make sure you continue to protect what’s priceless and ensure your home is still FORTIFIED.