Overview of MyStrongHome

I’m being non-renewed by my insurer. Can MyStrongHome help?

We have recently seen an increase in the number of homeowners being non-renewed by their insurance companies, in the states where MyStrongHome operates (SC, FL, AL, MS and LA). In many cases, insurers non-renew customers – in other words, they decline to offer them new coverage when their current policy expires – due to the age or condition of their roof. Insurers know that the condition of a home’s roof is integral to its ability to withstand extreme weather events.

MyStrongHome has helped a number of people in this circumstance get a new roof in time to keep their current coverage. In many cases, we have actually been able to lower premiums – because the Fortified roofs we provide exceed the minimum requirements carriers are looking for.

Avoid being dropped by your carrier or finding yourself with force-placed insurance – sign up for MyStrongHome today!

What does MyStrongHome do?

MyStrongHome will strengthen your home against hurricane and windstorm damage by providing a new Fortified roof, which can save you a lot of money on your homeowners’ insurance bill. Our insurance agency may be able to ensure that you receive the maximum insurance savings. We also help customers secure financing from one of our lending partners – and your loan payments are likely to be offset by the money you save on your insurance bill. So, you get a stronger home and pay less for it. This video also provides a short summary of how we work.

MyStrongHome Financial is a licensed consumer lender, NMLS ID 1528501. Our AL Banking license number is MC22340.

How do I get started with MyStrongHome?

Any homeowner who lives on the coast in SC, FL, AL, MS or LA can apply today! Simply fill out our short registration form, or give us a call at 800.804.0410. If you have a friend or family member who needs a new roof, you can refer them to us by sending an email to referrals@mystronghome.net. If they sign up, you will get a $100 gift card!

What are the benefits of MyStrongHome?

MSH can get you a best-in-class, storm-ready roof that can pay for itself, due to the insurance discounts it earns you over time. Your roof is your home’s first line of defense, and a Fortified roof makes your family safer and your property more secure.

It also increases your home equity. A 2017 survey by the National Association of Realtors found that a new roof not only pays for itself through increased home value, but actually generates a 9% return on investment. And that is before insurance savings! A recent University of Alabama study found that home resale values in AL increased 7% as a result of being Fortified.

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

MyStrongHome Roofs

What will MyStrongHome do to my house?

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). 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.

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

MyStrongHome roofs look like other high-quality shingle or metal roofs, but include hidden mitigation features ‘under the hood’, such as reinforced roofdeck nailing and a secondary water barrier. Most of our roofs are done with best-in-class architectural shingles such as the Malarkey Vista AR architectural shingles. Malarkey Vista AR shingle have a Class 3 impact resistant rating, a 12-year algae resistance warranty, limited lifetime material warranty protection, and a 12-year comprehensive warranty.

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

MyStrongHome will find and oversee a qualified contractor to reroof your home so that it is stronger in the face of hurricanes and other storms. They don’t get paid until your home is certified Fortified by a third-party evaluator.

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.

Roof System FeatureMyStrongHome FORTIFIED Bronze RoofInternational Residential Code for One and Two Family Dwellings, 2015 (IRC)*
Roof Deck Attachment – 8d Ring Shank Nails spaced 6 inches or less apartno
Sealed Roof Deckno
Drip edge must be nailed 4 inches on-center with 3 inch overlaps on jointsno
Water penetration resistance of roof top ventilation (Ridge/Off-Ridge Vents)no
High wind resistant roof covering – Properly installed 130-mph shingles**no
Gable overhangs must be designed to prevent water intrusion and wind-driven rainno
Gable end wall vents must be protected from wind-driven water intrusionno
Vinyl soffits must be installed to meet the high-wind requirements set by the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI) to prevent blow offno

*The IRC is a comprehensive, stand-alone residential building code for residential homes. The IRC was created and is regularly updated by the International Code Council (ICC). The principles of the IRC arebased on protection of public health, safety, and welfare. The IRC is in use or adopted in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information on the IRC, visit iccsafe.org.
**International Residential Code for One and Two Family Dwellings, 2015 (IRC) wind rated up to 110.

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?

Many homeowners pay their insurance through a mortgage escrow account, which MyStrongHome is happy to accommodate. When your insurance premiums go down – either by switching to one of our carrier partners, or through your current carrier – we help ensure that your mortgage escrow goes down with it. It is a seamless process that puts money in your pocket – money which can go toward paying off your roof!

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, you will get the full benefit of the insurance discounts your Fortified roof earns.

MyStrongHome Financing Options

What’s the best way to finance a new roof?

For many homeowners, paying for a new roof can be unexpectedly challenging. Some tell us they were expecting their insurance company to pay for a new roof when they needed one, and are disappointed when they realize it will not. Other customers did not realize that most shingle roofs only have a 15-year lifespan in coastal communities, and then need to be replaced. Still others knew they would need to pay for a new roof at some point, but are not prepared when the time comes.

The most common financing tools (mortgage loans and credit cards) are generally not well-suited to financing a roof. Mortgage products are relatively burdensome, time-consuming and costly when you only need to finance something that costs $10,000. You cannot rip the nails out of someone’s roof, and so there is no easy source of collateral. Credit cards and other short-term consumer (unsecured) loans are, on the other hand, expensive and generally intended to be repaid in a matter of months, not years.

MyStrongHome and its partners have created a loan product that is uniquely designed to fill this gap. We help homeowners obtain 7-year, unsecured financing for their Fortified roof and related home improvements – much faster and more seamlessly than applying for a mortgage, and more cheaply than a consumer loan.

What financing options does MyStrongHome provide?

MyStrongHome helps homeowners obtain financing for their roof and related improvements.

We are a licensed lender in the states where we operate (NMLS ID 1528501, AL license MC 22340), but more often help our customers obtain loans from our lending partners. Our preferred lending partner SELF, a 501(c)(3) non-profit lender certified by the US Treasury as a CDFI – Community Development Financial Institution.  SELF loans are unsecured and credit decisions are made based on the homeowners’ ability to repay the debt  – not on credit scores or income levels.  Please visit SELF’s website for additional program information. SELF’s underwriting and approval processes are entirely independent from MyStrongHome, but we can help you get started. To start a loan application with SELF, click here.

We also partner with Opus Bank, which offers cash-out refi loans to homeowners who want to bundle MyStrongHome improvements mortgage refinancing. For more information, or to find out if you qualify, email support@optus.bank.

 

What happens if I want to pay off my loan early?

There is no pre-payment penalty if you pay all or part of your loan ahead of schedule.

MyStrongHome and State Programs

What is the difference between Strengthen Alabama Homes and MSH?

Strengthen Alabama Homes (SAH) and MyStrongHome (MSH) both aim to make Alabamans safer from hurricanes and other storms, specifically by retrofitting homes to the FORTIFIED standard. SAH is a state government-funded program administered by the Alabama Department of Insurance. SAH awards $10,000 grants to pay for FORTIFIED hurricane mitigation measures like re-roofing and opening protection for coastal Alabama residents. MyStrongHome helps homeowners secure financing for the same hurricane mitigation measures. A homeowner’s loan payments may be offset by their insurance savings, but they will be responsible for making loan payments.

A homeowner can use an SAH grant alongside of financing from one of MSH’s partners, and may choose to do so if they have already received a grant but the cost to reroof their home exceeds $10,000. A homeowner can also apply for financing without SAH, and get a FORTIFIED roof considerably more quickly.

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.

 

Still have questions? Email us.