Our Positions | Building Codes

Research has shown that uniform statewide adoption and enforcement of model building codes helps eliminate long-term risks affecting people, property, the environment, and ultimately the economy. Through the cutting-edge scientific research of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, it has been shown that small tweaks to building codes, such as using roof straps or ring-shank nails, can be the difference between a home standing or completely destroyed in the wake of a weather catastrophe.

But the increasing reliance on the federal government to cover post-disaster losses has created a moral hazard of states not ensuring homes and businesses are built resiliently, leaving millions of Americans vulnerable to the next disaster. Because they have every reason to assume that almost all of their post-disaster costs will be covered by the federal government, only a dozen or so states have currently adopted and are enforcing construction standards in line with one of the last three iterations of model building codes. Further, most states do not have the adequate amount of resources to operate a comprehensive inspection regime. This means that the majority of the nation is stuck in an endless cycle of destruction, where homes and businesses are rebuilt after a disaster to the same subpar standards that led to their destruction.

The growing role of the federal government in financing post-disaster costs is also creating the dangerous, but ever-pervasive, false assumption that Federal Emergency Management Agency has a never-ending supply of cash to cover the cost of post-disaster recovery. This is discouraging individuals from adequately protecting themselves from loss or liability that could be suffered during a catastrophe. Ultimately, a larger pool of uninsured victims will be created, dangerously exposing them to financial loss after the next disaster.

In 2011, NAMIC created the BuildStrong Coalition to bring together a group of firefighters, emergency responders, insurers, engineers, architects, contractors, manufacturers, consumer organizations, and code specialists to advocate for policy designed to encourage stronger construction.

NAMIC Position

NAMIC supports state and federal legislation that encourages the adoption and enforcement of strong building codes. Stronger, safer homes and buildings for Americans can save lives and reduce loss, thereby reducing the need for public disaster aid. NAMIC and the BuildStrong Coalition support the creation of a separate, federal financial incentive for states that adopt and enforce statewide building codes. Legislation promising greater post-event aid for those states with strong building codes can serve as a powerful incentive to state governments.

NAMIC Urges Action to Implement Disaster Reforms, Modernize Building Standards

December 11, 2019 The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies urged federal disaster recovery officials to speed their efforts to provide funding and other tools to help communities prepare and protect themselves from natural disasters. Read more

South Carolina: 2020 Pre-filing Underway

November 26, 2019 Pre-filing for the 2020 portion of the 123rd South Carolina General Assembly has begun. Almost 100 new bills have been introduced, and several are of interest to the property/casualty... Read more

NAMIC Honors Smith With Chairman’s Award, Salutes Service to Insurance Industry

September 23, 2019 The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies presented its Chairman’s Award to John Smith, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company, at the association’s 124th Annual Convention today in National Harbor, Maryland. Read more

North Carolina: Resiliency Roundtable Scheduled

September 17, 2019 As part of NAMIC’s ongoing focus on resiliency in the states, the association is partnering with the North Carolina Chapter of the Nature Conservancy to host “Making North Carolina Resilient to Hurricanes: A Roundtable Discussion” on Sept. 26 in Raleigh. Read more

NAMIC, BuildStrong Coalition Host Disaster Mitigation Forum With U.S. Chamber, FEMA

July 23, 2019 The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and the BuildStrong Coalition today hosted the first in a series of regional disaster forums in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.... Read more


Andrew Huff
Federal Affairs Director