Insurance Costs Saved on Building A Disaster-Resistant Home

August 21, 2003

Building a new home better able to withstand Florida’s most destructive natural perils will now earn a discount from one of Florida’s insurers.

First Floridian Auto and Home Insurance on Wednesday began offering a homeowners insurance discount of up to 10 percent on new homes in the state built to “Fortified …for safer living” standards. Homes must also meet all other First Floridian policyholder eligibility requirements.

“Fortified” is a national new home construction designation program sponsored by the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), a nonprofit disaster safety organization based in Tampa. The inspection-based program reportedly features affordable construction options designed to help safeguard homes against the natural disasters they face anywhere in the country.

In Florida, “Fortified” features address high winds, floods, and wildfires with noncombustible roof materials that also reportedly better withstand high winds; windows, skylights and patio doors that are shuttered or use impact resistant glass; securely anchored exterior structures such as carports; reinforced, impact-resistant entry and garage doors; and building site and landscaping techniques that reduce wildfire and flooding vulnerability.

Throughout the construction process, an independent inspector verifies that disaster safety materials and techniques meeting the “Fortified” requirements are in place.

First Floridian sponsored the construction of Pasco County’s first “Fortified” home, which was built in New Port Richey in 2001 and used as a model for a year before being sold.

“We have been a supporter of the Fortified Home concept since the beginning,” said First Floridian president and CEO Nancy Baily. “By providing a discount for homes built to Fortified specifications, we’re reinforcing our commitment to improving safety standards for Florida’s residents.”

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