Why has Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) put Mother Nature in a Box?

Julie Rochman (IBHS) conveys the importance of creating better building standards.
Julie Rochman (IBHS) conveys the importance of creating better building standards.

Because it can, and we’re all the better for it…

Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO, led the group on a not-to-be-forgotten learning adventure showcasing IBHS and providing life-changing personal and professional knowledge.

Value proposition
IBHS is a not-for-profit organization, and the only entity other than FEMA, that works to mitigate the damage of natural disasters. Although supported by the insurance industry, Rochman noted that natural disaster loss mitigation is not just about insurance. IBHS has a value proposition involving codes, incentives, technical standards and fortification—all tested and disseminated so that the right decisions can be made by consumers. Throughout the nation, IBHS makes people safer and communities more resilient.

Definition of code
Rochman noted that codes are the minimum standards acceptable used to regulate design, construction and maintenance of buildings to protect building users. Most people in or out of the insurance industry might not realize that minimum code provides for buildings to stand long enough for a user to get out in case of a disaster. She was quick to acknowledge that, statistically speaking, codes actually work—but urged a better standard for the good of all.

Julie Rochman (IBHS) shares several examples of how a few extra bucks can save you thousands in the long run.
Julie Rochman (IBHS) shares several examples of how a few extra bucks can save you thousands in the long run.

Better than code: Fortified
IBHS looks at codes scientifically at the IBHS dedicated research center. At the research center, full-scale storms (wind, rain, and hail) can be created (still working on tornados).

With state-of-the art technology, IBHS simulates storms and monitors the most destructive elements learning exactly how all elements of construction are affected in storm situations. By studying the damage paths and making specific recommendations to strengthen buildings, IBHS helps consumers make better building decisions. As a result of its intensive, fact-based, studies, IBHS has developed specific guidelines for voluntary, superior construction standards—the Fortified standard.

Rochman noted for a minimal investment, small changes can be made to buildings (under construction and retrofitted) that will make enormous differences in the amount of damage or, indeed, whether or not a building can remain standing in various natural disaster situations. She demonstrated that a $500 investment to seal a roof deck meant the difference between an estimated $5,000 in damage repair and $17,000 in damages for an unsealed roof deck.

Deploying knowledge
Because the information generated via IBHS research can save consumer lives and money, Rochman urged strong and immediate action from all consumer affairs professionals and regulators. All IBHS items are available free of charge and some items have region-specific information to help guide the best possible decisions for individuals and builders.

The difference between a profound loss and a small loss in a disaster could be a few dollars and just a little information—insurance professionals, on both personal and professional levels, were encouraged to start the journey by going online at www.disastersafety.org.

Click here to view Rochman’s presentation

Julie Rochman
President & CEO
Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety
4775 E. Fowler Ave.
Tampa, FL 33579

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