JACKSON – April 3, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Mississippi’s citizens can have more confidence in the strength and resilience of their new homes and also potentially save money on insurance premiums with the signing of Senate Bill 2378 today, creating mandatory statewide building codes, if local leaders decide to operate under the new law.
A mandatory statewide building code has been one of Commissioner of Insurance Mike Chaney’s top priorities for years. “Since I first took office, getting statewide building codes has been one of my top goals,” Chaney said. “With the signing of this bill today, homeowners across the state will benefit by seeing lower insurance premiums because they have a home fortified against storm damage thanks to stronger building codes. Stronger codes will also help save lives and property.”
Statewide building codes help builders build homes that can withstand a storm’s winds while suffering minimal damage. In 2006, Chaney was instrumental in passing a uniform building code for the state’s lower five counties which resulted in approximately $500 million in Katrina recovery funds for coast schools and an increase in the number of insurance companies willing to write property insurance on the Gulf Coast.
Passage of the mandatory codes took the cooperation of legislators, homebuilders, the insurance industry and local leaders. The result of that unprecedented cooperation is the bill that was signed today.
The significant provisions of Senate Bill 2378 include:
• Mandatory adoption of one of the last three published editions of the International Business Code or International Residential Code plus the codes for plumbing, mechanical, electrical and fuel gas codes as approved by the Mississippi Building Codes Council.
• Specifically exempts fire protection sprinkler systems for one and two-person dwellings. Exempts most farm structures and hunting and fishing camps and factory-built homes.
• Counties or municipalities may adopt construction codes that are not less stringent than the codes authorized by this legislation.
• Cities and counties may “opt out” if they opt out within 120 days of the effective date of the legislation. This requires a resolution spread upon their minutes.