Alabama Leads With Hurricane-Resistant Building Codes
Alabama’s two Gulf Coast counties — Mobile and Baldwin — are the nation’s leading adopters of a nationally recognized building standard meant to keep storms from tearing rooftops off of houses. A program established by the state’s legislature in 2011 and managed by the Alabama Department of Insurance allows homeowners across Alabama to apply for grants of up to $10,000 to help defray the costs of retrofitting a home to meet the higher standard.
The design standard, called “Fortified,” was developed by the Insurance Institute for Building & Home Safety (IBHS) in 2012 and has been adopted by homeowners form the Carolinas to Texas. Strengthen Alabama Homes’ director, Brian Powell, says the program issues roughly 1,000 grants annually, and revenue is growing as insurers continue to supplement the fund with about $10 million per year. Those same insurers are also writing more policies in the region, he says.