Frequently Asked Questions

The IBHS Claim Program

Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Dorian, and Hurricane Isaias were the latest reminders that strong roofs are a front-line defender against high winds and severe rain. When a roof fails, it can initiate a cascade of damage to both a home's interior and its structure. According to IBHS, in most years, roof-related damage is responsible for 70-90 percent of total insured residential catastrophic losses, depending on specific weather events. As startling as that statistic may be, it fails to capture the gravity of the human consequences and loss that results from roof failures—damaged homes and businesses disrupt daily life, derail careers, and destroy financial security. That's why it is critical for homeowners, business owners and communities to protect roofs from the effects of severe weather.

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is an independent, nonprofit, scientific research and communication organization supported solely by property and casualty insurers and reinsurers that conduct business in the United States.

Convinced that the continuing cycle of human suffering that strikes families and communities in the wake of severe weather can be broken, IBHS is a team of scientists and risk communicators who deliver strategies to build safer and stronger homes and businesses.

The FORTIFIED Home™ building standards, developed by IBHS after two decades of scientific research, are a set of voluntary construction upgrades that builders and roofers make to improve a building's resistance to the effects of severe weather. FORTIFIED Roof increases the number and strength of the nails used to attach the roof deck to a home, significantly increasing the amount of wind uplift the roof can withstand. The standards also require that edges around the perimeter of the roof have enhanced attachment, strengthening one of the most vulnerable areas of a roof system. Finally, FORTIFIED Roof requires the gaps between the roof decking to be sealed, which prevents water from getting into a home, even if shingles are blown off, which is to be expected in hurricane force winds. This can reduce potential water intrusion by more than 95 percent compared to a standard roof, dramatically lowering the possibility a homeowner will be forced from their home for an extended period of time, even if the roof covering is damaged. FORTIFIED Roof is an accessible and affordable way to increase a home's ability to withstand the next storm.

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Eligibility is based on territory, type of policy, and appropriate coverage form on the NCIUA policy.

Eligibility is based on territory and appropriate coverage form on your NCIUA policy. Other factors related to the structure may require inspection by the evaluator and approval by IBHS.

NCIUA's Claim Department will review for prior claims to determine if prior repairs were complete and if the IBHS endorsement will apply.

If (1) the amount of a "covered loss" to the roof covering of the dwelling on the "residence premises" shown on the declarations is greater than 50% of the replacement cost value of the entire roof covering, (2) the roof sheathing on that dwelling is (or was immediately prior to the loss) a minimum of 7/16-inch OSB or plywood, and (3) that dwelling is not (or was not immediately prior to the loss) on an unreinforced dry stacked foundation or is otherwise ineligible for FORTIFIED Home™ review as defined by IBHS, then this endorsement may apply at the option of the insured.

Partial roof replacement: If the policyholder experiences a covered loss under an NCIUA policy of less than 51% to the roof covering, NCIUA will pay to replace or repair the covered damage to the roof, subject to policy terms and conditions. In this scenario, policy endorsements PF 01 06, PF 01 09, PF 01 10, PF 01 11, HO 32 04, and DP 32 04 do not provide coverage for an IBHS upgrade. However, the policyholder may elect to replace the roof on their own and receive reimbursement for the cost of the evaluator up to $600.00 subject to policy terms and conditions.

Payments are determined based on reasonable incurred costs of FORTIFIED upgrades and the evaluator. The NCIUA Claim representative will determine actual payment amount once all documentation is received.

Evaluator only coverage has a limit up to $600.00 for the cost of an evaluator. This coverage is available if the damages do not qualify for the IBHS roof replacement. This coverage is available regardless of damages to the home. However, it is not available if the IBHS roof replacement coverage is pursued.


A FORTIFIED Roof meets a specific standard, which was designed after decades of research to provide greater protection from natural disasters.

Stronger Edges:

Roof damage often begins when wind gets underneath the roof edge and rips it away from the home. To help protect this vulnerable area, FORTIFIED requires specific materials and installation methods, including a wider drip edge and a fully adhered starter strip, that when used together create a stronger system.

Sealed Roof Deck:

If wind rips off roof covering―such as shingles, metal panels, or tiles―it exposes the wood beneath and allows water to pass through the gaps and enter the home. FORTIFIED requires roof decks to be sealed to prevent this type of water damage. In fact, a sealed roof deck can reduce potential water intrusion by more than 95 percent compared to a standard roof, dramatically lowering the possibility a homeowner will be forced from their home for an extended period of time, even if the roof covering is damaged.

Better Attachment:

Instead of common smooth nails, FORTIFIED requires ring-shank nails, installed in an enhanced pattern, to help keep the roof deck attached to the home in high winds. In fact, using ring-shank nails nearly doubles the strength of the roof against the forces of winds.

  • Strength: Superior performance in the face of severe weather
  • Savings: Insurance premium discounts
  • Value: Research suggests enhanced resale value
  • Security: Comfort knowing that your roof is built to higher standards

A FORTIFIED Roof™ designation is written certification that a home or business has been built, renovated, or re-roofed according to FORTIFIED standards. The document is issued by IBHS after a review of the documentation provided by a FORTIFIED evaluator and is required in order to receive FORTIFIED insurance discounts and to qualify for mitigation credits.

A FORTIFIED Roof™ designation lasts 5 calendar years. At the end of that period, a re-designation inspection will be required to maintain the home or business's current designation level. If there have been no substantial changes to the structure and the roof covering is within its life expectancy, the designation will be re-issued for another 5-year period.

Contractors & Roofers

Yes. Policyholders may use a contractor of their choice.

Yes. Contractors listed on our website have obtained certification from IBHS.

Contact IBHS to obtain additional information about certification.

Contractors listed have gained certification by IBHS. We are not recommending any of the identified contractors, nor are we guaranteeing the quality of work of the identified contractors or any other contractor. We are simply providing you with a list of contractors who have been trained by IBHS. You may choose any contractor that you desire, including contractors not on this list.

Work may begin when the FORTIFIED Evaluator is assigned and has coordinated the installation process with the selected contractor. It is critical to have the evaluator be part of the process from the beginning to help ensure all elements required to obtain the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation have been reviewed.


FORTIFIED evaluators are third-party contractors who have been trained to verify and document the construction process to ensure key elements of the FORTIFIED standard have been met. The evaluator will be onsite a limited amount of time and will rely on the homeowner and the contractor to provide some of the documentation required to apply for the FORTIFIED Roof™ designation from IBHS. If IBHS awards the FORTIFIED Roof™ designation, NCIUA will then review for payment considerations.

The initial assignment will be sent to a FORTIFIED Evaluator by NCIUA. NCIUA is also able to assign an evaluator of the insured's choice.

Once eligibility is confirmed, NCIUA will assign a third-party evaluator.

The Application and Re-Roofing Process

  1. Once an insured with the appropriate endorsement on their policy experiences a loss in which 50% or more of the roof covering is damaged, the insured may decide to replace their roof with an IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ standards.
  2. The NCIUA will assign an evaluator, or the insured can notify NCIUA of the evaluator of their choice for assignment.
  3. The evaluator, roofer, and insured will coordinate dates of the roof installation.
  4. Once the roof is completed, the evaluator will send photographs and the appropriate documentation to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). IBHS then reviews the documentation and confirms the roof is completed per IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ Standards. Once review is complete, then the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation is sent to the evaluator.
  5. Once the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation certificate has been awarded, a copy of the contractor's final invoice is required for payment consideration of the FORTIFIED Roof™ upgrade cost.
    NCIUA will review for payment consideration after the following documents have been submitted:
    • IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation certificate
    • Contractor's Final Invoice
    • Evaluator's Invoice
  6. Additional claim payments unrelated to the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ will be addressed by the NCIUA Claim Department.

The Claim Process

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) determines if the home achieves the IBHS designation.

No. Payments will be issued directly to the policyholder(s) once all required documents have been obtained.

Payments will be issued directly to the evaluator up to $600.00 or the insured may be requested to pay the evaluator up front and will be reimbursed by NCIUA once the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation certificate has been obtained.

Please note that the evaluator expense applies to the $5,000.00 limit. Any evaluator invoices reimbursed to the insured or evaluator will be deducted from the $5,000.00 limit.

Not at this time.

The process may vary based on the installation process, evaluator documentation, IBHS review of documentation, receipt of contractor's final invoice, and processing of payment by NCIUA once the IBHS Designation has been achieved.

IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation certificate, contractor's final invoice, evaluator's invoice.