The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, a research arm of the insurance industry with a testing facility near Chester, SC, released its ratings for 18 hurricane-prone states along the Atlantic coast.  The ratings evaluate the state’s building code and its enforcement, code official certification and training, and contractor licensing.  South Carolina had the fifth highest rating, behind Florida, Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

View the ratings for each state at by clicking here.

From the IBHS press release, the report is the first of its kind, state-by-state assessment of individual state performance in developing and promulgating a residential building code system, which uses modern building codes, coupled with strong enforcement related activities to enhance the protection of homes and families.

“The report goes beyond just evaluating each state’s code system,” said Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO. “The report offers each state the detailed information and tools it needs to improve its building code process to better protect its citizens. It also gives interested citizens useful information so that they can understand the need for, and demand, better building codes.”
The report combines IBHS’ engineering expertise and regulatory research to examine the three main elements of a state’s building code system:
  • Code adoption and enforcement – Statewide mandatory code adoption and enforcement are the primary elements to require that the minimum standards of codes are utilized.
  • Code official training and certification – Code official training and certification are part of the regulatory scheme to ensure that code officials are properly educated, trained and tested in order to correctly enforce building codes.
  • Licensing requirements for construction trades – Licensing requirements for construction trades ensure that contractors and subcontractors are familiar with the sections of code that impact them, that they demonstrate minimum competency in their trade, and stay current with code requirements.
“IBHS hopes to work with all of the states included in this report – as well as the other jurisdictions across the country – to improve building code regulatory systems. Strong, well enforced codes are essential to effectively strengthening homes, businesses and communities against hurricanes and many other hazards that threaten the U.S.,” Rochman said.