The Secrets of the My Safe Florida Home Program: A Guide for Homeowners

Homeowners of Florida are well aware of the destructive power of hurricanes, and to help them protect their homes, the state has established the My Safe Florida Home Program. This initiative, set up as part of Senate Bill 2D, provides free wind mitigation inspections and matching grants to homeowners for necessary improvements. The program is divided into two parts: wind mitigation inspections, which are offered at no cost to single-family homeowners, and wind mitigation grants, which can be applied for based on the results of the inspections. The Florida Department of Financial Services estimates that around 11,000 to 12,000 grants will be granted with the current funding, with up to $10,000 per eligible homeowner. To qualify, homes must be located in a wind-borne debris region, have a building permit issued before 2008, and have insurance coverage of less than $500,000. Homeowners who receive grants must also allow for re-inspections after work is completed.

The wind mitigation inspection will examine the roof, windows, doors, garage door, and other features of the home that can affect its ability to withstand high winds. The inspector will look for features like reinforced roof decking, hurricane shutters, and impact-resistant windows. Based on the results of the inspection, the homeowner will receive a report detailing the home’s wind mitigation features and any recommended improvements.

The wind mitigation grant can be used to make the recommended improvements, such as adding or upgrading hurricane shutters, reinforcing the roof, or installing impact-resistant windows. The grant is a matching grant, meaning that the homeowner will need to provide some of the funds for the improvements. The grant can be used to cover up to 80% of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of $10,000.

According to data from the program, homes that have undergone wind mitigation improvements through the program have experienced up to 45% reduction in wind damage during a hurricane. Additionally, homeowners who have taken advantage of the program have reported an average of 20% reduction in their annual insurance premium. The program has also helped to reduce the number of insurance claims after a hurricane. Since its inception, more than 100,000 homes have been inspected and over 30,000 grants have been awarded.

This new program is an important step that lawmakers in Florida have taken to try to decrease the amount of damage that homes throughout the state sustain during hurricanes, and help ease the burden on insurance companies. More information about the program can be found on the program’s webpage, including the application process, eligibility criteria and the list of approved contractors.

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