|INSPECTOR NEWS, MAY 22, 2008|
Last year, legislation was passed offering $250 million of grant funds for modifications performed on site-built, owner occupied homes for items that make the structure stronger and less vulnerable to windstorm activity. In addition, having these safeguards in place, insurance carriers are mandated by law to give significant premium discounts (windstorm discounts). (more about discounts in next article)
The My Safe Florida Home Program, to be overseen by the Office of Insurance Regulation, was established to assist homeowners in making retro-fits to strengthen their homes against hurricanes.
Specifically, the funds were to used for the intial inspections and the retro-fits including, new roofs, truss straps, exterior pedestrian doors, garage doors, impact windows/sliding doors or hurricane panels/shutters. The programs grant phase is almost over. May 31, 2008 will be the last day to apply for the grant portion of the program.
The program was designed to be a short term, incentive to promote safeguarding homes. Valuable information was learned in the aftermath of the recent hurricane seasons, that (a) simple upgrades could have saved millions in damage and insurance claims and (b) lower income housholds needed financial assistance in securing their dwellings. Hence, the birth of the program.
The way the program is designed;
1. Register online or via phone to schedule the FREE windstorm evaluation.
2. Once the inspection is completed, the areas of concern (upgrades) are reviewed and forwarded to you in report fashion.
3. Make the suggested retro-fits, using a program approved contractor.
4. Submit the documentation from the contractor and the program will re-imburse the homeowner up to $5000.
There are some qualifiers, including a cap on the dwelling's assessed value, so it would be in your best interest to review the program's website. www.mysafefloridahome.com If you are considering the upgrades listed above and your home meets the qualifiers, act now before the funds dry up. As long as you enroll in the program prior to the end date, you should still qualify for the grant funds. Due to the budget cuts, there will no additional funding allocated to continue the program.
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