Oklahoma Approves Grant Program for Homeowners to Build Climate-Resilient Homes

New legislation provides financial support for homeowners to build or retrofit homes to be more resilient to tornadoes, windstorms, and hail.

Julia Taliesin
Written byJulia Taliesin
Julia Taliesin
Julia TaliesinContent Writer

Julia Taliesin is a Content Writer at Insurify. She began her career as a journalist, covering local government and business in Somerville, Mass. She reported multiple investigative stories about municipal finances and budget allocation, building development and inspection, and personnel. When the pandemic began she became a de facto public health reporter, writing daily and weekly reports using available data to quickly communicate rates of infection and city response.

She's worked for print and digital outlets, writing everything from quick-hit breaking news to long-form community features. More recently, Julia managed content strategy at a startup creating a social platform for licensed nurses, overseeing a team of nurse freelancers and editing interview transcripts and news articles for publication.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in communications from Simmons University, with a focus in journalism. Outside of work, Julia enjoys working on crafting projects, learning about homesteading, and singing in cover bands.

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Published June 3, 2024 at 5:00 AM PDT | Reading time: 2 minutes

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Oklahoma has joined the growing number of states incentivizing homeowners to make their houses more resilient to climate disasters.

In May, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed the Strengthen Oklahoma Homes Act, which provides financial grants to build or retrofit homes to protect against damage from tornadoes, windstorms, and hail. The Oklahoma Insurance Department will oversee the grant program.

The Department of Insurance has not yet shared exact grant amounts or ranges. The bill takes effect Nov. 1, and funding will be secured during this summer’s budget process, a department spokesperson told Insurify.

“I am grateful to legislative leaders and the governor for understanding our goal to help Oklahoma consumers reduce their homeowners insurance rates and fortify their homes against Mother Nature,” Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready said in a statement.

How disasters affect Oklahoma home insurance rates

Oklahoma as a whole, and the more populated areas around Tulsa and Oklahoma City in particular, have a high risk index for tornadoes, strong wind, and hail, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That kind of catastrophic weather affects insurance rates around the country.

Oklahoma is the third most expensive state in the U.S. for home insurance, according to Insurify’s home insurance report. The average annual homeowner’s insurance premium is $5,444. Hurricane-prone Florida and Louisiana have the highest home insurance rates in the country, at $10,996 and $6,354, respectively.

Tornadoes play a prominent role in Oklahoma’s high rates. The state experienced 87 tornado events over 15 days in 2023, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Oklahoma has already had 95 tornadoes this year, including two “devastating” EF-4 storms, and June is also a peak tornado month.

How this grant program will help

Beginning in 2025, the new legislation will offer grants to residential property owners with an owner-occupied, single-family primary residence. The insurance department can establish eligibility criteria, but the bill specifies applications from lower-income homeowners and people living in vulnerable areas will have priority. Mobile homes and condos won’t be eligible for the grants.

Grants are intended to help homeowners meet Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) safety standards, including reinforcing roofs with impact-resistant materials.

“The recent destruction we have seen across our state is a grave reminder why this legislation will be so important to help Oklahomans rebuild and protect their homes from severe weather,” said Mulready.

The plan could help homeowners save on their insurance premiums as well. Many insurers offer discounts for modifications that make homes more resilient and less susceptible to climate damage.

What’s next: Funding climate resilience

Oklahoma joins a growing list of states using legislation to help property owners retrofit their homes.

Insurers in Alabama have been funding a Strengthen Alabama Homes grant program for years, and underwriting associations in Georgia and North Carolina have programs to help property owners make upgrades or access insurance discounts from retrofitting. Louisiana offers grants of up to $10,000 for homeowners to upgrade their roofs to IBHS standards. South Carolina provides tax credits on the costs spent to make homes more resistant to storm damage.

In April, Florida invested more funding into its My Safe Florida Home Program, allocating $200 million to grants for homeowners to strengthen their homes against wind damage.

Property owners in these states and others with such programs can contact their insurer or local officials for more information.


Julia Taliesin
Julia TaliesinContent Writer

Julia Taliesin is a Content Writer at Insurify. She began her career as a journalist, covering local government and business in Somerville, Mass. She reported multiple investigative stories about municipal finances and budget allocation, building development and inspection, and personnel. When the pandemic began she became a de facto public health reporter, writing daily and weekly reports using available data to quickly communicate rates of infection and city response.

She's worked for print and digital outlets, writing everything from quick-hit breaking news to long-form community features. More recently, Julia managed content strategy at a startup creating a social platform for licensed nurses, overseeing a team of nurse freelancers and editing interview transcripts and news articles for publication.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in communications from Simmons University, with a focus in journalism. Outside of work, Julia enjoys working on crafting projects, learning about homesteading, and singing in cover bands.

Evelyn Pimplaskar
Edited byEvelyn PimplaskarEditor-in-Chief, Director of Content
Evelyn Pimplaskar
Evelyn PimplaskarEditor-in-Chief, Director of Content
  • 10+ years in insurance and personal finance content

  • 30+ years in media, PR, and content creation

Evelyn leads Insurify’s content team. She’s passionate about creating empowering content to help people transform their financial lives and make sound insurance-buying decisions.

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John Leach
Reviewed byJohn LeachSenior Insurance Copy Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
John LeachSenior Insurance Copy Editor
  • Licensed property and casualty insurance agent

  • 8+ years editing experience

John leads Insurify’s copy desk, helping ensure the accuracy and readability of Insurify’s content. He’s a licensed agent specializing in home and car insurance topics.

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