HomeHome InsuranceFlorida bill replenishes program to upgrade homes against hurricanes

Florida bill replenishes program to upgrade homes against hurricanes

ORLANDO, Fla. – A bill headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis would put new money in the coffers of a popular Florida program to help homeowners pay for hurricane-related home improvements.

SB 7028 was approved by the Florida Legislature Thursday. The bill makes tweaks to the My Safe Florida Home Program, which provides hurricane mitigation inspections, and $10,000 grants to help homeowners pay for upgrades to roofs, windows, exterior doors and the garage door.

The program currently does not have money for new applicants, but if DeSantis signs the bill, the program would get a $200 million cash infusion.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said those upgrades not only help homes better withstand hurricanes — they can also help lower property insurance rates.

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“If you make that bubble, your house, harder to penetrate, it’s less of a risk,” Patronis told News 6 back in January. “If it’s less of a risk, it’s less likely an insurance company is going to have to write you a check because of a disaster claim.”

The bill also would now require the program to prioritize who gets a grant based on age and income level, with low-income homeowners who are at least 60 years old getting first priority.

DeSantis, who supported adding more money to My Safe Florida Home in his budget plan, is expecting to sign the bill, which would go into effect on July 1.

For more information on the program, including how to get a free home hurricane inspection, go to the My Safe Florida Home Program website.

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