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CFO Sink: Msfh Program Helps More than 66,000 Homeowners Save an Average of $154 on Their Wind Insurance Premiums

9/5/2007

CONTACT:  Tara Klimek or Brannon Jordan
(850) 413-2842 

Potential savings for homeowners exceeds $11.2 million statewide
 
TALLAHASSEE– Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced today that 74.5 percent of homeowners who have received a free wind inspection through the My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program are eligible for significant savings on their annual wind insurance premiums. 
 
The MSFH program has projected that 66,461 homeowners out of 89,268 to date are eligible to receive a wind insurance premium discount or credit, with an average statewide savings of $154.51 based on an average statewide wind premium of $946.44.  Sink’s announcement reflects a potential savings statewide of $11.2 million and is based on the current structure of the home during the free MSFH wind inspection.
 
“At a time when many Floridians are struggling with the cost of insurance, we are finding that thousands of Floridians are able to save money on their wind insurance premiums without making a single improvement,” said CFO Sink who runs the Department of Financial Services which oversees the MSFH program.  “I encourage all eligible Floridians to sign-up for a free wind inspection to learn if they might be eligible to save money on their property insurance.”
 
Statewide, 74.5 percent of homeowners who have received an inspection from the MSFH program are eligible for a discount of 16.3 percent on their wind insurance premiums.  Savings vary widely by region, as homeowners with higher wind insurance premiums can realize greater savings.  For example, homeowners in South Florida are eligible to receive an average savings of 19 percent off their wind insurance premium, or $385.  Linked is a county-by-county breakdown of eligible homeowners, at
along with average potential savings on annual wind insurance premiums.
 
Some homeowners may already be receiving all or part of the mitigation credits for which they are eligible; however, in many cases, the MSFH program is assisting homeowners who are not receiving full credit based on the current structure of their home. 
 
To assist homeowners, the MSFH program provides eligible program participants with certified mitigation forms, which can be given to the homeowners insurance company in order to receive the estimated savings.  A sample mitigation form that homeowners will be receiving can be found http://www.mysafefloridahome.com/MitForm.asp.  Homeowners who might experience any difficulties with their insurance companies are encouraged to contact the Department of Financial Services helpline at 1-800-342-2762.
 
To date, the MSFH program has completed 89,268 inspections.  More than 106,000 Florida homeowners have signed up for free wind inspections through the program, signifying the program has exceeded 25 percent of its long-term goal of 400,000 free wind inspections in the next two years.
 
Any Floridian who lives in a single-family, site-built home is eligible for a free wind inspection through the MSFH program, which helps Floridians identify how they can strengthen their homes and reduces the overall potential for hurricane damage in our state.  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 receive a detailed inspection report, complete with additional information on estimated insurance premium discounts, if the homeowner is eligible. 
 
Additionally, some Florida homeowners receiving free wind inspections may be eligible for matching grant reimbursements of up to $5,000 to make recommended improvements.  To be eligible, the Legislature requires that homeowners: 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.
 
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.