GALLAGHER ANNOUNCES FREE HOME INSPECTIONS TO
START IN PANHANDLE
Tom Gallagher, Florida’s chief financial officer, announced that free
home inspections will soon begin in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Walton
counties for approved homeowners who applied through the My Safe Florida
Home program. The program, funded with $250 million by the Florida
Legislature, was created to better protect Floridians by strengthening
their homes against hurricanes and to reduce the state’s exposure to
“Before this hurricane season ends, my goal is to provide 12,000 free
home inspections across the state to help Floridians strengthen their
homes and better protect their families against catastrophic storms,”
said Gallagher, who oversees the Department of Financial Services which
administers the My Safe Florida Home program.
Gallagher said that homeowners in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Walton
counties who have already submitted completed applications will be
contacted by a department-approved inspector to schedule an inspection.
The department has already received roughly 1,400 completed applications
in these three counties. Future applicants will be served with
additional funding of the My Safe Florida Home program.
Following an inspection, homeowners will receive a report that outlines
up to seven areas that could be improved to better protect the home
against hurricanes, an estimate of how much
improvements would cost, the expected insurance savings the homeowner
would receive if improvements were made, and a rating of the home’s
current ability to withstand hurricanes and its future ability to
withstand hurricanes with improvements.
Gallagher said that the expansion into Escambia, Santa Rosa and Walton
counties is possible thanks to a partnership with the Federal Alliance
for Safe Homes (FLASH) to screen and train over 500 inspectors.
Applying and obtaining a free home inspection is just the first step of
the program. Homeowners who undergo the My Safe Florida Home inspection
may also qualify for matching grants of up to $5,000 to fortify their
homes. As directed by the new law to reduce hurricane exposure and
property losses in Florida, grants will be prioritized and awarded to
homeowners who live in high-risk, hurricane-vulnerable areas of the
Since the My Safe Florida Home program launched in late August,
approximately 9,500 inspections have been completed in 17 Florida
counties. To ensure each county receives a fair share of free home
inspections, the My Safe Florida Home program is limiting the number of
inspections in each county based upon population. Applicants who do not
receive a free home inspection before this limit is met will have their
applications held for future phases of the program.
Eligible Floridians must live in a single-family, site-built home with
an insured value of $500,000 or less and have a valid homestead
exemption. Documents verifying this information must be submitted with a
completed application. Floridians can apply on-line at
or by calling 1-800-342-2762 to get an application packet.