TALLAHASSEE — A three-day special session in Tallahassee this week might not have solved Florida's property insurance crisis but it did produce more serious relief than previous efforts.
House Bill 1C (Rep. Jason Shoaf, R- Port St. Joe) will provide $176.2 million to the My Safe Florida Home program. State officials say it could lead to lower annual homeowners insurance premiums for Floridians by as much as $1,000.
The bill also allocates $181.5 million to help farmers and homeowners whose property was damaged by Hurricane Idalia on Aug. 30, as well as helping to address a backlog of My Safe Florida Home applications, which the state paused when applications exceeded the allotted funding for the program—$150 million in 2022 and $100 million in 2023.
The bill provides additional resources to assist farmers recovering from the impacts of Idalia, including tax relief on motor fuel used for agricultural shipments, debris removal, and repairs or replacement of nonresidential farm structures and fencing.
According to the state, nearly 39,000 people have applied for My Safe Florida Home grants. While just under 21,000 grants have been approved, more than 17,000 grant applications are still awaiting review.
The program is administered by the Florida Department of Financial Services. It provides grants to homeowners to harden their homes against hurricanes by reinforcing roof-to-wall connections, installing water-resistant roofs, upgrading roofs, improving the strength of roof deck attachments and installing hurricane-resistant exterior doors, garage doors and windows.
The program also offers free home inspections to owners of single-family homes or townhouses to determine improvements that could better protect against hurricane damage.