Sunday, March 3

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recommended budget includes millions for property insurance market

Gov. Ron Desantis on Tuesday released his recommended budget for the next fiscal year, which includes $109 million to support residential home mitigation programs and additional oversight of the property insurance market.

WPTV caught up last week with David and Marcia Hayot in Delray Beach. The couple’s home was severely damaged by a tornado spawned by Hurricane Ian last year.

They paid about $50,000 out of pocket for the repairs.

“It took … about nine months to complete,” Marcia Hayot said. “We had stopped insurance because it had gotten prohibitively expensive, and we just decided let’s put our own money aside and if we need it, it’ll be there for us and thats what we did.”

The Hayots aren’t alone. Many Florida homeowners have dropped property insurance this year because of rising costs.

Desantis’ proposed budget includes “$109 million to support residential home mitigation programs and additional oversight of the property insurance market.”

This includes: “$107 million in annual funding to make the My Safe Florida Home Grant Program permanent and continue assisting Florida homeowners through home inspections and cost sharing for approved home hardening and wind mitigation programs to reduce premiums and make properties less vulnerable to hurricane damage. This investment follows additional funding provided during the recent Special Session and is especially important as Floridians are recovering following hurricanes Ian, Nicole and Idalia.”

“The My Safe Florida Home program provides grants to individuals to harden their home to make them safer against these types of wind storms,” Stacey Giulianti, co-founder of Florida Peninsula Insurance, said. “What they want to do is keep it going so people can continually apply for these grants.”

Giulianti said these grants help homeowners better protect their homes from heavy rain and wind, aiming to ultimately reduce their insurance premiums.

“The homeowner pays a third, the state will pay two-thirds of these types of upgrades, up to $10,000. That’s a lot of money,” Giulianti said. “Typically what that’s used for is upgrading your roof covering or what we call secondary water resistance or water barrier under it. It makes it so less rain, or less water, can get into your home.”

The proposed budget will have to be approved by lawmakers.

Giulianti said if it is approved it could be life-changing for homeowners.

“Those types of upgrades keep the shell of a home together,” Giulianti said. “That’s what stops the winds from getting in and that’s what you want for safety and what insurance companies look for when theyre putting their money at risk with your home.”

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