My Safe Florida Home Program $10,000 Grants available
November 2022. Homeowners in Florida can now apply for a grant of up to $10,000 towards strengthening their homes against hurricanes and to help them save money on their home insurance costs which have been rising steeply. It will also cover the cost of a Wind Mitigation Inspection.
To qualify, it must be a single-family home and your homestead. The state will give qualifying homeowners $2 for every dollar they spend on approved retrofits up to $15,000. $115 million has been allocated for hurricane mitigation grants and $25 million for wind mitigation inspections. The $115 million is likely to run out fast, so you should apply as soon as possible. DFS anticipates awarding between 11,000 and 12,000 grants based on current funding
The My Safe Florida Home Program is the response of the Florida legislature after Hurricane Ian and the huge strain on insurance carriers and homeowners who have faced enormous increases in their policies for the last several years.
The most common way to strengthen your home is to upgrade all your openings to hurricane-rated doors, windows, panels, and shutters. To qualify for this discount, all windows and doors must be protected in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
A second way to strengthen your home is if you do not have proper hurricane straps. Many older homes built before 1994, especially those built in the 1950s and 1960s, do not have proper hurricane straps, and they can have these retrofitted to help prevent the roof from blowing off and reduce insurance costs.
Other upgrades include Improving the strength of roof-deck attachments, upgrading roof covering from code to code plus, and a secondary water barrier for the roof.
Other criteria of the My Safe Florida Home Program:
- A homeowner must provide documentation that their home is insured for less than $500,000
- Requires that a homeowner who participates in the program must agree to make his or her home available for inspection after the mitigation project is completed.
- Requires a building permit for the home’s initial construction must have been made before January 1, 2008.
- Requires the home to have undergone an acceptable hurricane mitigation inspection after July 1, 2008.
- Requires that grants awarded under the program provide $2 in grant funds for every $1 provided by the homeowner. Exceptions are provided for low-income homeowners. Applicants may receive up to $10,000 in program money.
- Requires the DFS to include the average annual amount of insurance premium discounts and the total of such discounts received from insurers in the annual report of program activities.
To get a free Wind Mitigation Inspection, you will need to use a Home Inspector who has been approved and certified under this program.
Hopefully, My Safe Florida Home Program will be up and running by the end of November.
Other legislation features include protection for homeowners from losing or being denied, coverage solely for having an older roof, placing limits on attorneys’ fees on lawsuits against insurance companies, and creating a new $2 billion fund to help insurers buy reinsurance for hurricane season.