CFO SINK ANNOUNCES MY SAFE FLORIDA HOME
FAIR TO BE HELD IN THE FORT LAUDERDALE AREA SATURDAY
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced the My Safe Florida Home
(MSFH) program is partnering with Broward and Palm Beach County non-profit
organizations and businesses to hold a fair designed to raise awareness
about the safety and financial incentives of mitigation.
The MSFH fair will take place at the Broward County Community College in
Coconut Creek on November 3, 2007, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. More than 50
hurricane-preparedness exhibits will be on display at the fair, and all
exhibits and workshops are free to the public. Door prizes will include: a
generator, an emergency radio, restaurant gift certificates, a $100 Publix
gift certificate, garage door openers, and a $25 Home Depot certificate.
“We are taking the My Safe Florida Home program on the road to educate
Florida homeowners about the importance of mitigation,” said CFO Sink who
oversees the Department of Financial Services. “I encourage every homeowner
in South Florida to apply for their free wind inspection and see if they are
eligible for discounts on their windstorm insurance.”
Representatives from the MSFH program will be on hand to sign up eligible
homeowners for their free wind inspections. CFO Sink has reported that many
homeowners who have received free wind inspections from the MSFH program are
eligible for discounts on their wind insurance premiums without making a
single improvement to their homes. To date, 78,739 or 71 percent of
participating homeowners are eligible for an average discount of $192.55 on
their wind insurance premiums, based on the current structure of the home
during the free MSFH wind inspection.
Savings vary by region, and through the program, 12,787 Broward County
residents have learned they are eligible to receive an average windstorm
insurance discount of 18 percent or $348.33 annually. In Palm Beach County,
9,645 homeowners are eligible to receive an average of 18 percent or $358.29
on their windstorm insurance. In Miami-Dade County, 8,549 homeowners are
eligible to receive an average of 17 percent or $312.10 on their windstorm
Insurance company representatives will also be at the fair to assist
homeowners in understanding which hurricane-resistance measures will best
protect their homes and how policyholders can apply for discounts on their
insurance premiums. By law, insurance companies are required to offer
policyholders discounts on the wind-coverage portion of their homeowner
policy premiums for specific measures that reduce their homes’ exposure to
windstorm damage. Homeowners are encouraged to bring insurance documentation
to obtain information on possible insurance savings through the program.
The MSFH program resumed offering wind inspections and expanded statewide
this year after conducting a pilot program during the previous year. Since
April 2007 the MSFH program has performed over 111,200 free wind
inspections. More than 13,500 homeowners have been approved for matching
grants and are working with the MSFH program to harden their homes.
Statewide, the program has issued a grand total of more than 1,876 grants to
homeowners for more than $6 million.
Any Floridian who lives in a single-family, site-built home is eligible for
a free wind inspection through the program. Floridians can apply on-line at
www.MySafeFloridaHome.com or by calling the program toll-free at
1-866-513-6734. Homeowners who receive free wind inspections through the
MSFH program will get detailed inspection reports, complete with additional
eligibility information on matching grants and estimated insurance premium
discounts, if the homeowner is eligible.
In order to be eligible for the program’s matching grant reimbursements of
up to $5,000, the Legislature requires that homeowners meet the following
requirements: have received a completed wind inspection after May 1, 2007;
live in a single-family, site-built home built before March 1, 2002; have a
valid homestead exemption; have an insured value of $300,000 or less; and be
located in the wind-borne debris region.
Additionally, while the free wind inspections will still cover seven
potential wind-resistance improvements, matching grants may only be applied
to opening protections, including windows, exterior doors and garage doors,
as well as the bracing of gable ends.