Washington, D.C., August 7, 2020 – The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) today announced its support of the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2020. This bipartisan legislation, introduced by Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Tom Reed (R-NY), Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), would establish a tax credit to incentivize home and business owners to build or rebuild to higher construction standards after a natural disaster. The tax credit, valued up to $3,000 for homes and $25,000 for businesses, is intended to encourage property owners to rebuild more resiliently.
“Severe weather disrupts lives, displaces families and drives financial loss so individual homeowners and businesses must lean forward and own their resilience,” said IBHS President and CEO Roy Wright. “Decades of research at IBHS have identified practical, real-world solutions to help property owners prevent avoidable losses. Our research has demonstrated small changes in construction yield scientifically stronger, disaster-resilient homes at an affordable cost. This bill nudges Americans to invest their own resources with a federal tax incentive.”
IBHS translated research into FORTIFIED, the national standard for resilient construction, as a set of beyond-code construction upgrades to improve a building’s performance during severe weather. If passed, homeowners and business owners could earn the tax credits allowed by the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2020 by building to one of the three FORTIFIED Home™ or FORTIFIED Commercial™ standards. The tiered structure of the FORTIFIED program allows families and small business owners to select the level of protection that meets their individual budget and needs. The most financially accessible way to protect a home or business is with FORTIFIED Roof™, which strengthens the roof as the first line of defense against severe weather. Homeowners and business owners should talk to their insurance agent about additional financial benefits of FORTIFIED.
Stronger homes and commercial buildings, like those built to FORTIFIED, have proven to reduce damages caused by storms, and the National Institute of Building Science found that federal mitigation grants provide $6 of benefit for every $1 spent. This exemplifies why in 2012, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated similar legislation would save taxpayers millions of dollars.
“IBHS has been on the ground after storms, and we have seen the devastation and displacement natural disasters cause families,” explains Wright. “At no cost to taxpayers, this bill can encourage home and business owners to take action to reduce this avoidable damage and limit the impact natural disasters have on our lives.”
For more information on FORTIFIED, visit FORTIFIED.org.