Overview of MyStrongHome

MyStrongHome is a Benefit Corporation. What is that?

MyStrongHome is a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) with a mission to make homes and communities safer from extreme weather. Benefit corporations are a new type of legal form for entities that both make money and exist to create a positive impact in the world. We started as a non-profit, philanthropic project but decided to incorporate as a benefit corporation so we can achieve larger scale and help more people. We are also a certified b corporation

What does MyStrongHome do?

MyStrongHome will retrofit your home to make it FORTIFIED against hurricanes, and funds the cost of this retrofit using the subsequent reduced insurance premiums on your home. So, you get a stronger home at little to no upfront cost. Once the cost of the work on your home is paid off, which takes 5-7 years, you get to pocket the entire savings in your insurance costs. During that 5-7 year period, you pay no more than what you are paying in insurance costs today. MyStrongHome brings insurance, construction technology, and financing together.

MyStrongHome Fortified Roof

What kind of roof gets installed on my home and what kind of warranty do I receive?

MyStrongHome uses Malarkey Vista AR architectural shingles with the Malarkey hip and ridge and starter shingles. The Malarkey Vista AR shingle has a Class 3 impact resistant rating, a 12-year algae resistance warranty, limited lifetime material warranty protection, and a 12-year comprehensive warranty that states: “If the shingles are found to have manufacturing defects that will adversely affect the performance of the shingle, Malarkey will either repair, replace or pay for installation of new shingles plus a reasonable cost for underlayment and other materials.” These materials warranties accompany an additional warranty from MyStrongHome that covers the installation and labor for two years after the home is retrofitted.

What will MyStrongHome do to my house?

MyStrongHome assigns contractors to retrofit homes in hurricane-prone areas. We hire and manage proven contractors who will retrofit your home to reach the FORTIFIED Bronze standard set by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS). The majority of the work our contractors do to your home to reach FORTIFIED Bronze is in the roof of your home. We nail together your roof deck and rafters using more nails than required by most building codes, replace typical felt/tar paper with a high wind resistant ice and water shield underlayment that sits between your roof deck and shingles, and we install roof shingles that have a superior wind rating. FORTIFIED Bronze also requires us to strengthen your home’s gable rafters, outriggers, and roof ventilation system. The work on your home generally takes 1-2 business days.

Who is going to do the work and how do I know it will be of high quality?

MyStrongHome only hires the best, proven contractors in your area. We only work with contractors we have tested on projects before, ensuring that the IBHS FORTIFIED standards are met. Additionally, MyStrongHome doesn’t pay your contractor until a third party inspects the quality of the work on your home and MyStrongHome receives the IBHS FORTIFIED Bronze certificate on your home. This ensures fast and cost-efficient work on your home.

How is FORTIFIED different than other roofing or mitigation measures I may take?

The major difference between the FORTIFIED standards and any other roofing or hazard mitigation standard is simple—the IBHS FORTIFIED system is scientifically tested, proven, and constantly improving. FORTIFIED is a holistic approach to strengthening the entire roof system. Other mitigation programs might strengthen one feature of a home, but leave another major part of the home unprotected. With FORTIFIED, the whole roof system is strengthened together at the same time. Additionally, most mitigation programs in the United States are dependent on government funding, while MyStrongHome uses your insurance policy to finance the improvements made to your home. MyStrongHome bridges the traditional gaps between home mitigation measures, insurance, and construction technology, with the homeowner being the chief beneficiary.

Can you describe the kind of building materials MyStrongHome uses to strengthen homes?

MyStrongHome uses roof shingles that are designed to meet or exceed the following industry standards: ASTM D7158 Class H, ASTM D3462, ASTM D3161 Class F, ASTM D3018 Type 1, CSA A123.5, ICC Approval – ESR-3150, FBC Approval – #14809. The FORTIFIED Standards are designed to reduce the likelihood of roof shingles blowing off in a windstorm. In addition, the water and wind barrier adhered to the roof decking under the shingles protects the interior and your personal property from water damage should shingle loss occur. Other improvements include protecting roof ventilation system from taking on water during windstorms, strengthening of gable overhangs, strengthening gable wall sheathing, and strengthening vinyl and aluminum soffits to reduce failures that open your attic areas to wind and water. To understand how a sealed roof deck can protect the interior of your home, please watch a demonstration video by clicking here.

MyStrongHome Insurance Services

I’m willing to change insurance agents but all of my coverages are with one agent. Can you handle my auto or other insurance coverages?

Currently, we only offer homeowner’s insurance. Your agent will probably be happy to continue to provide your auto and any other coverages you have with him or her. You may be receiving a multi-policy discount, so you will need to check with your agent to find out if there will be an increase in any of your other policies as a result of moving your homeowner’s insurance.

Right now, I pay my home insurance through a monthly escrow payment with my mortgage company. Can I pay my insurance costs with MyStrongHome the same way?

MyStrongHome requires that your insurance premium be paid in conjunction with your construction loan payment on a monthly basis through our finance company. While we cannot ensure the payment of your mortgage, insurance, and loan together in one single payment, your total cost per month should not increase—the only difference is that you go from a single payment to two payments each month, without an increase in total cost. Our automatic payment process makes the transaction simple and efficient.

I have been with my insurance agent for years and really like him/her. Can I keep my current agent and still become a MSH customer?

Possibly. Your agent will need to apply for and be approved as a producer by our insurance partner. We can provide information to your agent at the appropriate time.

Will my insurance bill go up in future years?

As you’ve probably noticed, your insurance premiums don’t stay the same year after year. Sometimes they go up and, occasionally, they go down. These fluctuations are based on a number of factors, including overall loss experience, your specific loss experience, changes to your policy such as increased value, increases in reinsurance and other expenses, etc. Rate changes must be actuarially supported and are subject to approval by state insurance regulators. Our insurance partner is very committed to the MyStrongHome program and has agreed to a rate stability policy for the duration of the construction loan.

What happens after I’ve repaid the cost of the roof?

Once your construction loan is re-paid, the insurance savings that were being applied to that loan will go directly in your pocket.

MyStrongHome and State Programs

What is the difference between Strengthen Alabama Homes and MSH?

There are several differences between Strengthen Alabama Homes (SAH) and MyStrongHome (MSH). One key difference is that SAH is a state government funded program administered by the Alabama Department of Insurance. SAH provides matching grants for hurricane mitigation re-roofing for coastal Alabama residents whose household income does not exceed a threshold set by the State of Alabama. SAH is mostly focused on serving low to moderate-income homeowners. MyStrongHome does not rely on government funding and its clients are not restricted to any sort of household income threshold. MSH funds its hurricane retrofits to homeowners by using the reduced insurance premiums that result from the fortification of the home. MSH provides both the financing for these retrofits as well as insurance directly to homeowners at competitive rates for high quality coverage.

What is the difference between the South Carolina Safe Home Program (SCSH) and MyStrongHome?

The South Carolina Safe Home program (SCSH) is a state-funded grant program administered by the South Carolina Department of Insurance for the promotion of hurricane mitigation. To qualify for a grant, the home must be an owner occupied, single family dwelling with an insured value of less than $300,000. The maximum individual grant amount is $5,000.00 for qualified hurricane measures and grants must be matched dollar-for-dollar (up to $10,000.00 total), except for low-income homeowners with homes valued at $150,000 or less. Low-income homeowners may receive up to $5,000.00 with no matching requirement. Total grant funding is approximately $2 million per year. Grants are awarded on a first-come-first-served basis and are paid to the homeowner after proof of the qualifying construction has been completed. SCSH does not assist grant recipients in securing wind mitigation credits from their insurer. MyStrongHome has none of the above income or home value thresholds. Eligible homeowners receive financing for the full cost of construction to achieve FORTIFIED Bronze and repayment is made primarily out of future insurance savings, which have been secured by MyStrongHome. Moreover, MyStrongHome is an end-to-end solution; we are there with you from the initial application to completion of construction to receipt of your Fortified certificate.

 

Still have questions? Email us.

info@mystronghome.net