Published October 27, 2023 at 12:00 PM PDT | Reading time: 3 minutes
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Louisiana homeowners who missed out on the first two rounds of the Louisiana Fortify Homes Program (LFHP) still have a chance to get up to $10,000 from the state to fortify their roofs against hurricane damage. Once improvements are done to program specifications, homeowners will also receive a certificate from the Louisiana Department of Insurance that will qualify them for a discount on their homeowners insurance.
How to apply
The application window opens at 12 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2023. Before that time, Louisiana homeowners should create a profile in the LFHP system. They’ll need to log into those profiles as soon as possible when the application window opens to apply for a grant.
This will be the third round of applications accepted in 2023. The program opened on Oct. 2, with 500 grants available in that round. The second round opened on Oct. 16, with 1,000 grants. Both the first and second rounds were limited to homeowners who have policies with Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, the state’s insurer of last resort.
The third round is open to all Louisiana homeowners who meet the eligibility criteria, and it will include approximately 750 grants, according to John Ford, deputy commissioner for the Louisiana Department of Insurance’s Division of Public Affairs.
“The program is first-come, first-served, so the first 750 people who finish the initial application will make it into the program,” Ford said. “The grant isn’t awarded until the roof project is complete and certified as FORTIFIED™.”
Must own an existing single-family dwelling — not a condominium, mobile home, or new construction.
Must be applying for a primary residence and can verify they have a homestead exemption.
Must provide proof of an active home insurance policy that includes wind damage coverage.
Must have a home that isn’t located on a foundation of unrestrained, stacked masonry or stone. Those that are must have an approved retrofit of the foundation.
Must have a home deemed in good repair by an assigned evaluator. Homeowners are responsible for the $300–$500 fee to have their homes evaluated.
What the grants pay for
Homeowners must use the grants — which can be for $10,000 or less — to help pay to upgrade their roofs to standards set by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). The standards are intended to fortify roofs against hurricane-force winds.
Because the state is located on the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana homes are at high risk of hurricane damage. That exposure contributes to the state’s high cost of homeowners insurance — Louisiana has the third most expensive homeowners insurance in the U.S., Insurify data shows. The average annual premium in Louisiana is $5,353.
How the program works
Homeowners who receive a grant must work with an approved contractor listed on the LFHP site. Recipients should confirm a contractor is available to do the work before they pay for an approved evaluator to assess their home, the insurance department recommends.
Once the roof work is completed to the FORTIFIED™ Roof standard, the LFHP program will pay the grant funds directly to the contractor. The grant will only cover construction costs. Homeowners are responsible for paying any costs in excess of the grant amount.
Grant recipients who successfully complete roof work to IBHS specifications will receive a certificate from the Louisiana Department of Insurance. Recently passed Louisiana laws require insurance companies to offer discounts to homeowners who have improved their roofs to the FORTIFIED standard.
Interested homeowners should visit www.ldi.la.gov/fortifyhomes and create an online profile. They should apply as soon as possible once the final application round opens on Nov. 6. Additionally, 2023 will include a fourth round, Ford said.
As for whether the program will continue in 2024, “that is to be determined,” he said.
Chris is Insurify’s Senior Editor for home insurance. He’s a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more. He is passionate about breaking down complex subject material to make important information accessible to everyone.
Chris began his career as a journalist, managing two weekly newspapers, then moving into marketing and content marketing roles. Before joining Insurify, Chris served as the content strategy manager at Siteimprove and as the content manager at Brandpoint, where he managed a team of content creators.
Away from work, Chris is an active hockey player and proud father of two rambunctious little girls. Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in mass communications from the University of Minnesota.