Frequently Asked Questions

The Grant Program

A pilot program that will provide grants up to $8,000 for roof replacement with an IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™. This program is open to eligible policyholders with properties on the Outer Banks and Barrier Islands (rating territories 110 and 120), subject to Program eligibility and rules.

A limited number of grants are available and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funds have been awarded or until December 31, 2024, whichever comes first. You are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to reserve your grant.

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is an independent, nonprofit, scientific research, and communication organization.

FORTIFIED is a voluntary construction and re-roofing program designed to strengthen against specific types of severe weather such as high winds, hail, and hurricanes. IBHS established FORTIFIED by conducting extensive field research of real homes after real storms.

Visit FortifiedHome.org/Research to learn more about IBHS.

Since this is a pilot program, the NCIUA will use the collected data to design future programs for its policyholders. We have partnered with multiple universities to assist with data analysis.

For example, the North Carolina State University Institute for Advanced Analytics analyzed NCIUA claims data from Hurricanes Dorian, Florence, Matthew, and Isaias. It confirmed that an IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ increased the resiliency of a home and, when the home was damaged, reduced the severity of the damage.

NCIUA is also working with the following universities to assist with research on disaster mitigation, construction, resilience, preparedness, and grant effectiveness: North Carolina State University, East Carolina University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Appalachian State University, University of Delaware, and University of California. None of these institutions are charging for their time and effort.

The Grant

A limited number of grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funds have been awarded or until December 31, 2024, whichever comes first. Policyholders are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to reserve a grant.

The grant maximum is $8,000. If your application is approved, NCIUA will reserve up to $8,000 toward the installation of an IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™. However, if the entire cost of installing the roof is less than $8,000, the grant amount will be limited to the total cost of the roof and will be paid upon completion of the roof replacement and receipt of the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation certificate.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to check their eligibility for a grant. Applications will be accepted until December 31, 2024, and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funds have been awarded or until December 31, 2024, whichever comes first. You are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to reserve your grant.

Currently, grant funds carry a tax liability. The policyholder accepts responsibility for all tax liability associated with the receipt of the grant. NCIUA will require a completed W-9, which is a request for the policyholder’s taxpayer identification number. The policyholder should consult with a tax advisor regarding any tax implications.

NCIUA continues to support and encourage legislation that would protect North Carolina residents who receive state based Strengthen Your Roof grants from having to pay federal and state income tax on the grant money they receive. NCIUA encourages bipartisan legislation to ensure consistent federal tax treatment for grants received by homeowners for mitigation work.

Eligibility

NCIUA Homeowners, Homeowners Windstorm or Hail, Dwelling, and Dwelling Windstorm or Hail policyholders with covered property along the Outer Banks and Barrier Islands (rating territories 110 and 120), subject to Program eligibility and rules. Policyholders must have a current, eligible policy that was effective on or before August 1, 2023.

Rating territories are established by the North Carolina Rate Bureau. In general, these territories include the area south and east of the Inland Waterway from the South Carolina line to Fort Macon (Beaufort Inlet), thence south and east of Core, Pamlico, Roanoke, and Currituck Sounds to the Virginia line, being those portions of land generally known as the "Outer Banks."

NCIUA determines initial eligibility for the Strengthen Your Roof Grant Program. IBHS will determine if the home is eligible for an IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™.

The FORTIFIED Home Program is only applicable for the residential, single-family, and two-family dwelling types listed below. Please note this list is not all inclusive and each building’s unique attributes determines eligibility.

  • Single-family detached home — a freestanding residential building occupied by one family. Limited to three stories above grade. This also includes detached single-family factory-built modular homes that are designed, built, and sited to meet all local building code requirements.
  • Two-family dwelling units (duplex) — a freestanding residential building occupied by two families. Limited to three stories above grade. NOTE: The entire two-family building, which includes both dwelling units, must be evaluated under the appropriate FORTIFIED requirements and the entire building must meet all requirements for the designation being considered. Individual units are NOT eligible for designation unless the entire building is being designated.
  • HUD manufactured homes — a single-family residential home manufactured to HUD’s Zone II or Zone III Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards adopted after July 1994. The home must be sited on and properly attached to a permanent foundation (see foundation requirements in Section 1.2.3.3). HUD manufactured homes built before July 1994, and Zone I homes built after July 1994, are NOT eligible.
  • Townhouse — a single-family dwelling unit constructed in a group of three or more attached units in which each unit extends from foundation to roof and has a yard or public way on not less than two sides. Limited to three stories above grade. Mixed use (commercial and residential) buildings are NOT eligible. NOTE: The entire townhouse building, which includes all townhouse units composing the building, must be evaluated under the appropriate FORTIFIED requirements and the entire building must meet all requirements for the designation being considered. Individual townhouse units are NOT eligible for designation unless the entire building is being designated. Example: A four-unit, two-story townhouse with all units attached is eligible for a specific FORTIFIED designation only if the entire building, including each and every townhouse unit, is evaluated and all units meet the requirements for that designation.

For more information on IBHS’ Eligibility requirements, please visit the IBHS website (https://fortifiedhome.org/technical-documents/).

Not all mobile homes and manufactured homes are eligible. To be eligible, certain criteria must be met. At a minimum, the home must: have been constructed after July 1994; meet IBHS foundation and building requirements; and have a HUD Zone IV designation.

IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™

An IBHS 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 begins ripping 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 your roof covering (shingles, metal panels, or tiles), it exposes the wood beneath and allows water to pass through the gaps and enter your home. FORTIFIED requires roof decks to be sealed to prevent this type of water damage.

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 your home in high winds. In fact, using ring-shank nails nearly doubles the strength of your roof against the forces of winds.

For more information on the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™, please visit the IBHS website (https://fortifiedhome.org/roof/).

  • 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

An IBHS 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 certified FORTIFIED Evaluator and is required in order to receive FORTIFIED insurance discounts and to qualify for mitigation credits.

An IBHS 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 could be re-issued for another 5-year period.

How to Apply

The policyholder can visit StrengthenYourRoof.com or call the dedicated Grant Team at 1-844-NCROOFS (844-627-6637).

Yes. Please call the dedicated Grant Team at 1-844-NCROOFS (844-627-6637).

Contractors and Roofers

For the policyholder's convenience, the Strengthen Your Roof Grant Program provides a list of Participating Contractors who are experienced and knowledgeable about IBHS and the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ program. The list of Participating Contractors, along with counties they serve, can be found on the StrengthenYourRoof.com website. Policyholders may select a contractor from this listing or a contractor of their choice to work directly with the assigned FORTIFIED Evaluator.

The policyholder may solicit bids from multiple contractors. The selected contractor will work with a FORTIFIED Evaluator who will confirm that the roof has been built to the FORTIFIED standards. When the roof is complete, the FORTIFIED Evaluator will send documentation to IBHS for review. If the FORTIFIED standards have been met, IBHS will issue an official five-year designation certificate, which may be renewed.

Yes. If a policyholder would like to select a contractor who is not on the list, please call 1-844-NCROOFS (844-627-6637).

If a contractor wants to participate in the Strengthen Your Roof Pilot Grant Program, the contractor can send an email to NCROOFS@ncjua.com or call 1-844-NCROOFS (844-627-6637).

When policyholders are ready to finalize the contractor decision, they can log on to the StrengthenYourRoof.com website to make the selection.

Participating Contractors are insured, experienced in IBHS construction, and understand NCIUA's Grant Program. NOTE: NCIUA does not guarantee any work performed by Participating Contractors or FORTIFIED Evaluators. In addition, NCIUA does not guarantee the quality or performance of any service performed or materials used on the roof. NCIUA does not warranty any workmanship by any Participating Contractor or FORTIFIED Evaluator.

Yes. Contractors may use their own bid sheets to provide an initial IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ replacement quote to the policyholder. NCIUA will contact the contractor to ensure he or she understands the grant process and the role of the FORTIFIED Evaluator. NCIUA will also send the contractor the IBHS Bid Sheet, an IBHS Re-roofing Checklist, and an IBHS Compliance Form. It is important to remind the contractor not to begin work until an approved FORTIFIED Evaluator has been assigned.

It will be helpful to ask your contractor to separate the FORTIFIED upgrade cost from the basic roof replacement. Separating the cost of the FORTIFIED upgrade from the basic roof replacement will assist you in understanding the savings associated with the grant.

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.

Evaluators

FORTIFIED Evaluators are third-party contractors who document the construction process to provide information to IBHS for verification that the FORTIFIED standards 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 IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation from IBHS.

The FORTIFIED Evaluator will provide guidance throughout the entire process of replacing the current roof with an IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™. The FORTIFIED Evaluator works with the policyholder and contractor to successfully receive the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation.

The FORTIFIED Evaluator is assigned once the policyholder has been accepted into the Grant Program and has selected their contractor. The steps below provide additional information on how the FORTIFIED Evaluator is assigned.

Policyholder Requests Bid(s) from Contractor(s)

Once the policyholder has been accepted into the Grant Program, they will select bid(s) from contractor(s) through the Strengthen Your Roof dashboard.

Contractor Uploads Bid(s) and Provides Preferred Evaluator (If Applicable)

The contractor receives notification that the policyholder has requested a bid. The contractor logs in to the Strengthen Your Roof dashboard to upload a bid sheet for the policyholder. The contractor may identify if they have a preferred FORTIFIED Evaluator for the construction project. If the contractor does not have a preferred FORTIFIED Evaluator, the Strengthen Your Roof team will have one assigned.

Policyholder Accepts Bid and Provides Preferred Evaluator Approval (If Applicable)

The policyholder logs in to the Strengthen Your Roof dashboard to review the contractor(s) bid(s) and the preferred FORTIFIED Evaluator for the construction project. At this time, the policyholder may select their contractor as well as provide approval for the FORTIFIED Evaluator.

If the policyholder does not wish to use the contractor’s preferred FORTIFIED Evaluator, the Strengthen Your Roof team will contact the policyholder to discuss Evaluator assignment.

Strengthen Your Roof Grant Team Reviews Selected Bid and FORTIFIED Evaluator Approval

Once the policyholder has selected their contractor and provided approval of the FORTIFIED Evaluator, the Strengthen Your Roof Grant Team will notify the FORTIFIED Evaluator that their assistance is requested for a construction project.

FORTIFIED Evaluator Accepts Construction Project

The FORTIFIED Evaluator will review the construction project and will send the Strengthen Your Roof Grant team acknowledgement of assignment.

Strengthen Your Roof Grant Team Assigns FORTIFIED Evaluator to Construction Project

The Strengthen Your Roof Grant Team will assign the FORTIFIED Evaluator to the policyholder’s dashboard and the policyholder and contractor will receive email notification of the FORTIFIED Evaluator assignment.

The Application and Re-Roofing Process

Application
  • Policyholder - The policyholder will submit the grant application through the Strengthen Your Roof website within the application period.
    • The policyholder will check eligibility by selecting “Check Initial Eligibility” button on the Strengthen Your Roof website.
    • The policyholder will be prompted to create a user log in and confirm their account.
    • Once their account is completed, the policyholder can log in to their account to fill out the application.
    • The grant application requires at least four photographs: front, back, left, and right sides of the home. During the application review process, additional photos may be needed in order to determine eligibility. The Grant Team will reach out to the policyholder if additional photos are necessary.
    • Grants are limited and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. If funding is exhausted prior to December 31, 2024, the application will be added to a waiting list.
Review
  • NCIUA Grant Team - The Grant Team at NCIUA reviews the application for pre-eligibility.
  • IBHS - IBHS reviews the application to verify that the property is eligible for an IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™. Once IBHS approves the application, the grant funds are reserved for the policyholder.
Construction
  • Policyholder - After the application is approved, the policyholder requests bid(s) from contractor(s) through the Strengthen Your Roof dashboard.
    • The policyholder can decide how many bids to obtain.
    • NCIUA provides an extensive list of contractors who are experienced and knowledgeable about IBHS and the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ Program.
    • If the policyholder would like to choose a contractor not on the list, call 1-844-NCROOFS (844-627-6637) to coordinate an alternative selection.
  • Contractor - The contractor receives notification that the policyholder has requested a bid. The contractor logs in to the Strengthen Your Roof dashboard to upload a bid sheet for the policyholder. At this time, the contractor may recommend a preferred FORTIFIED Evaluator for the construction project. The Policyholder will be required to approve the use of the Contractor’s preferred Evaluator.
  • Policyholder - The policyholder logs in to the Strengthen Your Roof dashboard to review the contractor(s) bid(s) and select their desired contractor. If the selected contractor has a preferred FORTIFIED Evaluator for the construction project, the policyholder is required to provide approval.
    • If the contractor does not have a preferred FORTIFIED Evaluator, the Strengthen Your Roof Grant Team will have one assigned.
    • If the policyholder wishes to use a different FORTIFIED Evaluator from their contractor’s, please email NCROOFS@ncjua.com or call 1-844-NCROOFS (844-627-6637) for assistance.
  • NCIUA Grant Team - Once the policyholder has selected their contractor and FORTIFIED Evaluator, the FORTIFIED Evaluator will be notified of the new assignment.
  • FORTIFIED Evaluator - Upon receipt of the assignment, the FORTIFIED Evaluator will be required to accept the assignment via email.
    • The FORTIFIED Evaluator will be assigned to inspect the property and collect details before, during, and after the project to verify the roof materials and construction meet FORTIFIED standards so an IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation can be awarded.
  • NCIUA Grant Team - Once the FORTIFIED Evaluator has acknowledged the new assignment, an email will be sent to the policyholder and contractor providing the evaluator’s contact information.
    • No work should begin until all parties have been in communication.
  • Policyholder, FORTIFIED Evaluator & Contractor - The policyholder, evaluator and contractor must be in communication throughout the duration of the construction.
    • After receiving NCIUA and IBHS approval, the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ must be installed before July 31, 2025.
Final Approval
  • FORTIFIED Evaluator - After the construction is complete, the FORTIFIED Evaluator will confirm the roof has been completed per required IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ standards and submit all required documentation to IBHS.
  • IBHS - IBHS reviews the required documentation and provides the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation certificate to the evaluator.
  • FORTIFIED Evaluator & NCIUA Grant Team - The evaluator works with NCIUA to have the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation certificate uploaded to the policyholder's dashboard.
  • Contractor - Once the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation certificate has been awarded, the contractor will receive notification to upload the final invoice to the Strengthen Your Roof dashboard. The Contractor Final Invoice is needed before the policyholder may be paid.
  • Policyholder - When the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation certificate and final invoice from the contractor have been received, the policyholder may log in to the Strengthen Your Roof dashboard to complete a W-9 to receive grant payment.
Payment
  • NCIUA Grant Team - NCIUA will distribute grant funds to the policyholder only after the following have been submitted to the Association: (1) the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation certificate, (2) a final invoice from the contractor, and (3) a completed W-9 which provides the policyholder's taxpayer identification number (or other necessary tax information).

A bid is not required before or during the application process. The policyholder only needs to complete the application, confirm the policy number, and submit at least 4 photos of the property.

Once the application is approved and the grant is reserved, the policyholder will be notified to request bid(s), select a contractor, and install an IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™.

Some homes are not eligible for the grant program. For example, and not by way of limitation, the home must have 7/16-inch minimum roof deck sheathing and 24 inches on center maximum rafter framing. This can be evaluated either by visiting the site or by reviewing photographs of the property (submitted during the application process). Other reasons that a home may be ineligible include homes with significant damage to roof structural members, un-reinforced foundations, or pest damage. This list is not exhaustive.

In some cases, a pre-inspection (at no cost to the policyholder) may be required to determine eligibility for the program. Cathedral ceilings and modular home foundations are some examples that may need pre-inspection.

Once a policyholder meets the eligibility criteria and the application is approved, NCIUA will reserve up to $8,000 toward the installation of an IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™, to be paid upon completion of the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ replacement and receipt of the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation certificate, subject to Program Rules.

The new IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ must be installed by July 31, 2025. Once the policyholder has submitted all required documentation, the grant funds may be distributed.

If a contractor has not uploaded the bid onto the StrengthenYourRoof.com website, call the contractor.

If a desired bid has been received, the policyholder does not have to wait until all other requested bids are uploaded to select a contractor.

The policyholder can withdraw the grant application. The grant may only be paid when the policyholder has replaced the roof and obtained the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation certificate.

After the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ is successfully installed:

  • The evaluator will submit the IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ designation certificate.
  • The contractor will submit the final invoice via the website dashboard.
  • The policyholder will submit a completed W-9 form on the Strengthen Your Roof website.

Open or Existing Claims

The objective of this Grant Program is to assist eligible policyholders who have voluntarily decided to replace their current roofs without having an insured loss for damages requiring a roof replacement. No policyholder can benefit from both the coverage provided by their NCIUA Policy for an IBHS FORTIFIED Roof™ replacement and the Grant Program.

Therefore, if the policyholder experiences a covered loss under an NCIUA policy for roof damage, Association staff will reach out to the policyholder to discuss. The Grant Program may not apply.

Disclaimer: Homes that achieve FORTIFIED Home™ requirements may still sustain damage during severe weather. However, meeting IBHS FORTIFIED Home™ requirements will harden the building systems that are most frequently damaged.