What is a fortified roof endorsement?

A fortified roof endorsement is an amendment to your homeowners insurance policy. Getting one can help you cover the cost of upgrading your roof to the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ standard after a covered loss.

A roof with three dormers against a bright blue sky

Your roof is the most important part of your home’s exterior. Not only does it keep you safe, dry, and warm, but your roof also provides structural support that keeps you home together. That makes a sturdy roof key in most places, but absolutely essentially in areas where hurricanes are common.

It’s also a good reason to add a fortified roof endorsement to your homeowners policy when it’s available.* A fortified roof endorsement can help you cover the increased cost of repairing your roof to meet IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ standards if it needs to be replaced after a covered loss.

We currently offer fortified roof endorsements to eligible members with:

Additional premium is required to add this endorsement to your policy.

How does a fortified roof endorsement work?

Getting this endorsement typically starts with a roof mitigation inspection to make sure your home’s construction meets the criteria to be upgraded to FORTIFIED™ roof standards. You’ll need to hire a licensed FORTIFIED™ evaluator to come to your home to check how well your roof and other elements of your home can hold up against extreme winds and rain. 

The evaluator will give you a report that outlines the improvements that you need to make to your home to increase its resistance to hurricane wind damage and meet IBHS FORTIFIED Roof ™ standards.

If your home qualifies and you purchase the endorsement based on the inspection, then your insurance company pays for upgrading your roof to IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ standards after a covered loss.

What are the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ standards?

The FORTIFIED™ standard is a scientifically proven, systems-based approach to strengthening homes against wind damage. Roofs that meet this standard have:

  • Enhanced roof deck attachments. Keeping your roof deck attached to your home blocks storm pressure and rain from entering. Switching from common smooth nails to 8D ring-shank nails and decreasing the space between nails can strengthen your roof’s resistance to wind.

  • Sealed roof decks. Wind ripping off your roof covering can expose the wood beneath and allow water to enter your home. Sealing the seams of your roof deck can reduce water intrusion by up to 95%.

  • Locked down roof edges. Roof damage often begins at the edges. The FORTIFIED Roof™ standards require specific materials and installation methods that create a stronger edge and help minimize damage.

  • Impact-resistant shingles rated by IBHS. FORTIFIED Roof™ standards require shingles tested by IBHS to show they can withstand large hail.

  • Wind and rain-resistant attic vents. Attic vents that are wind and rain resistant can eliminate a storm’s path into your home.

How much does a FORTIFIED™ home inspection cost?

The cost of a FORTIFIED™ home inspection evaluation can vary based on several factors, such as:

  • The size of your home.

  • The scope of the work required.

You may want to get several bids before choosing the inspector that best fits your needs.

What homes are eligible for a fortified roof endorsement?

To qualify for the FORTIFIED™ program, the home must be a single-family, detached structure built on a permanent foundation. Townhomes, duplexes, and other multi-unit buildings will not qualify.

Other factors that impact eligibility for the fortified roof endorsement include:

  • Location and environment. Homes near coastlines might have different requirements because of the higher risk of hurricanes. Environmental factors, such as the likelihood of high winds, hail, or tornadoes in the area, also influence eligibility.

  • Existing structure and design. The age, design, and current condition of the home are important. Older homes might need more upgrades to meet the standards. The design factors include roof shape, construction materials, and the overall structural integrity of the house.

  • Documentation and verification. An evaluator or inspector must verify that the work meets FORTIFIED™ standards.

  • Local building codes and regulations. Compliance with local building codes and regulations is also a requirement. In some cases, FORTIFIED™ standards may exceed local codes.

How can I get a fortified roof endorsement?

You need to first arrange and pay for a roof inspection from a FORTIFIED™ evaluator. Once the evaluator has completed the inspection, then you typically need to send the report to your insurance company.

Visit the FORTIFIED™ website to learn more about the program and its methods, and check out our article on other ways to harden your home against damage.


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