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CFO Sink: Pensacola My Safe Florida Home Fair Breaks Attendance Records

9/18/2007

CONTACT:  Tara Klimek or Brannon Jordan
(850) 413-2842     
 
TALLAHASSEE – Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced today that the My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) Fair last Saturday in Pensacola broke all previous MSFH event records with attendance of more than 3,000 North Floridians.  In a five-hour span, representatives from the MSFH program raised awareness about the safety and financial incentives available through the program and helped more than 1,000 homeowners sign up for a free wind inspection.
 
“I am thankful to the Floridians who attended the My Safe Florida Home Fair this past Saturday and the members of our department who worked so hard to make this event a success,” said CFO Sink, who runs the Department of Financial Services and oversees the MSFH program.  “Not only were we able to sign-up 1,000 Floridians for a free wind inspection, we were also able to promote the importance of mitigation in our state.”
 
CFO Sink hosted the MSFH Fair along with the Escambia County Commission, Gulf Power Corporation and WEAR-TV. The fair featured various hurricane-preparedness exhibits and more than 60 vendors.  State Representatives Clay Ford (R-Pensacola) and Dave Murzin (R-Pensacola), along with local elected officials from Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties, were on hand Saturday at the Pensacola Civic Center to promote the program.
 
Recently, CFO Sink reported that nearly 75 percent of homeowners who have received inspections from the MSFH program have learned they are eligible for a discount of 16.3 percent on their wind insurance premiums.  Savings vary by region, and through the program, 1,652 Escambia County residents have learned they are eligible to receive an average windstorm insurance discount of 20 percent, or $253.66 annually.
 
To date, the MSFH program has completed more than 92,000 free wind inspections. More than 113,000 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.  More than 9,700 homeowners statewide have been approved to receive matching grants to make the improvements recommended on their inspection reports.  To date, more than 1,100 homeowners have received matching grants totaling more than $3.4 million. 
 
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 insurance information is provided at the time they applied.
 
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.