Saturday, December 15, 2007

Help For Florida Homeowners!


In the State of Florida Homeowner’s Insurance has become extremely expensive. So expensive that some homeowners - those who no longer have to pay a mortgage, and thus must have certain insurance - have opted to go without Homeowner’s Insurance. This is a chancy thing to do in a state that has suffered some hellacious hurricanes in the past few years.

The State of Florida, to fight this rotten state of affairs, and rather than just throw taxpayers’ money into the Insurance pot, has come up with a program to help. It is a way to mitigate the danger of hurricane damage to your house and, by taking the recommended steps, lower your homewoner’s insurance rates by quite a chunk! There’s also a program to get help paying for the repairs/upgrades you need to qualify. The kicker:
By law, all companies offering homeowners insurance must provide discounts to policyholders who invest in products and improvements proven to defend a home against hurricane damage. Contact your insurance company or your agent to find out what discounts are available to you after strengthening your home.


The program is called My Safe Florida Home. You can reach the information through My Safe Florida.org and following the links. Click right here to get right where you want to be. This information isn’t a secret, but it is not something your insurance company is likely to volunteer.

Why would you bother? What’s the upside of this? Here’re 3 good reasons. From My Safe Florida.org:
Reason 1: A free wind inspection. Before you can improve your home’s ability to withstand a hurricane, you need to know how hurricane resistant it is today. The inspection will be conducted by a qualified wind inspector trained in wind-resistant building techniques. Following the inspection, a detailed report will be provided to you that will:
1. explain and prioritize what improvements can be made to strengthen your home against hurricanes,
2. provide cost estimates for making each of the recommended improvements,
3. rate how hurricane resistant your home is today, and how resistant it will be after improvements are made,
4. explain what insurance discounts are available to you if improvements are made and how to get them, if you provided your insurance information.
Reason 2: A financial incentive. For qualified homeowners, the state will offer a matching grant of up to $5,000 to help pay for the cost of the hurricane-resistance improvements recommended in your inspection report.
Reason 3: A discount on insurance premiums. Homes that are strengthened with hurricane-resistant improvements are less likely to suffer serious damage in a hurricane. Homeowners who invest in strengthening their homes will be entitled to a range of discounts on their homeowners insurance premium, depending on what and how many of the recommended improvements are made. The discounts you may be eligible to receive will be outlined in your free wind inspection report.

[...]

Where do I sign up for a free wind inspection?
Step 1: To help you get started on making your home more hurricane resistant, you will need to apply for the free inspection. You can apply through the My Safe Florida Home Web site... www.mysafefloridahome.com ...or by calling the My Safe Florida Home helpline at 1-866-513-6734.
Step 2: Once your application has been approved, you will be contacted by a qualified wind inspector who is trained in residential wind inspections and wind-resistant building techniques. You and the inspector will set up a time for the inspection of your home.
Step 3: Once your home has been inspected, you will be provided an inspection report that will rate the hurricane resistance of your home before and after improvements, prioritize which improvements will give you the greatest defense against hurricanes and the cost of these improvements. It will also outline the potential insurance premium savings you could receive if improvements are made, if you provided your insurance information.
You may qualify for a free wind inspection if you have a single-family, site-built home.
NOTE: Mobile, modular and manufactured homes, apartments and condominiums are not eligible.
For some Floridians, this report may be the only My Safe Florida Home tool they need!

[...]

Where do I sign up for a matching grant to help pay for the
improvements recommended in my free wind inspection report?
Qualified Florida homeowners can apply for up to $5,000 in matching funds to invest in the hurricane resistant improvements recommended in their free inspection report.
Local governments and not-for-profit agencies are also offering grants to low-income homeowners in certain areas of the state. These programs will offer hurricane protection upgrades at reduced or no cost to the qualifying homeowner.
To obtain an application or just learn more, visit
www.mysafefloridahome.com


If you are a Florida Homeowner why not take advantage of the chance to lower your amazingly high Homeowner’s Insurance by checking this out? If you take the steps you will make your home safer and better able to withstand a hurricane, and you may well qualify for grants to fix your home, and the lowering of your insurance rates. How can you lose?

Use your head! Do this as soon as you can.

Thanks, Steel Magnolia, for the heads up!

8 comments:

WomanHonorThyself said...

great heads up Benning..what do we New Yorkers get eh?..lol..btw..the comments on my last post got deleted by accident..ugh..lol..you can re-post if u wish hun!:)

shoprat said...

Amazing that the government occasionally comes up with a good idea.

Brooke said...

Am I in an alternate universe? ;)

Seriously, I think I'd rent, or move to someplace a little more affordable.

Brooke said...

Clickie.

benning said...

Brooke: The problem is that the insurance companies took such a hit over the last decade - and more - that they hiked their rates to compensate. But when the weather stays calm they don't lower them. The rates just got way out of hand. I understand the companies need to make a profit - they aren't in the business to be pals, but to amke some money.

Homeowners have been pinched badly. So the Florida government, as Shoprat notes, came up with a good idea to help.

camojack said...

I think that people should only get paid once if their property gets wiped out...after that, they should move someplace less risky, or face the consequences.

Of course, this is coming from someone who plans to retire on the Big Island, where they get:

1. Hurricanes
2. Tsunamis
3. Earthquakes
4. Lava flows

I think I've chosen a good lot though, it's on the opposite side of the island from the tsunami-prone areas, at 1400' elevation and in a location that hasn't had a lava flow in 100 years...

benning said...

To a certain extent I agree. I remember watching the people whose homes had slid down the cliffs of Malibu declaring they'd rebuid. Rebuild? And who pays for the next time your home slides into the water?

Same for the folks building on the barrier islands up and down the East Coast. The islands are not there to be lived on! They're ther to protect the mainland. Buffers in big storms!

There oughta be a law! And I don't say that very often. LOL

Stormy said...

Thanks much for keeping this worthwhile program in the public conscience...The state of FL hataken a step in the right direction to help homeowners faced with the double whammy of hurricane dangers and rising home insurance premiums. Despite a lot of red tape, the program is definately worth it, even if just to get the free inspection. The state assigns the inspector to do write the report, then you can pick a MSFH contractor to install any improvements. These MSFH contractors are all over FL, so yoyu can find one near you. My company blog also posted on this program a couple times this past hurricane season.

Best regards,
Stormy