By Roy Wright, President & CEO, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety
High-performing impact-resistant shingles can prevent avoidable damage caused by hail attacking roofs. Consumers should have confidence that products labeled as “impact resistant” live up to their expectations. This is the predicate for the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety’s (IBHS) groundbreaking work to improve roof performance against hail.
One month ago, IBHS reached an institutional milestone by releasing the IBHS Hail Impact Test Protocol for Asphalt Shingles—a new test method that uses best-available science for predicating performance of asphalt shingles when exposed to hailstorms. This is the first performance scorecard rating of eight asphalt shingle products labeled as impact resistant. By bringing together years of work in the field and in the lab, IBHS continues to be a leader in the hail research space.
IBHS’s new test standard combines the results of lab and field work that advanced industry understanding of hailstone mass, strength, and kinetic energy. Applying those findings allows us to manufacture hailstones in our lab and mimic the way natural hail attacks a roof. We assess damage from the top side of the shingle – the same way a claims adjuster would – and use artificial intelligence along with experts to evaluate the performance range.
Yet this milestone is just the beginning. The IBHS Hail Impact Performance program is poised to drive change and innovation across industries for years to come.
With the performance of eight products now rated and released, three new products are already at the IBHS Research Center in Richburg, South Carolina awaiting testing at the specific request of the relevant product manufacturers. These new arrivals demonstrate our commitment to ongoing testing of new products brought to the market. In addition, we are committed to retest products every two years, ensuring performance scorecards remain up to date and offering manufacturers the chance to improve product offerings based on our results.
Exclusively for the member-companies supporting the IBHS mission, we have provided a data set that expands on what is publicly available and provides greater quantitative insights and relative consumer price comparisons. We answered questions live during a Hail Impact Standard Question and Answer webinar for the IBHS Members as we strive to help put this data to work for the insurance industry.
Roofing manufacturers have actively engaged with our research team throughout the development and release processes and continue to be engaged. Some have been excited to share the results while others look forward to the next round of testing. Each manufacturer has been on our research center campus observing testing, asking questions, and striving to put their product at the top. Since the release last month, we have already had manufacturers back at the research center talking with our researchers and continuing to push for improvement.
IBHS research is inspiring conversations to drive shingle performance forward, and that will pay dividends to the Members of IBHS, to the insurance industry, and to consumers. These conversations, initiated by the performance data, are only possible with the commitment IBHS, and IBHS Members, have made to resiliency. And these very same conversations are stimulating awareness of impact-resistant shingle performance in order to improve shingles and to inform consumers of their options.
Through this new work, we are showing the insurance industry and consumers which products live up to those expectations of resilience.