Insurance Villages Recovered $5.6 Million for Southwest Florida Policyholders
~ CFO Says My Safe Florida Home Program Generating $1,000 in Savings for Policyholders ~
SOUTHWEST, Fla. — Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the recent Insurance Villages, which took place earlier this week from July 27 – July 29 in Ft. Myers and Punta Gorda, issued more than $5.6 million for policyholders in insurance claims checks. Approximately 14 insurance companies, and representatives from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), were on hand to assist more than 1,000 Southwest Florida consumers at the Insurance Villages who were impacted by Hurricane Ian. Since January, the CFO has also deployed ten Insurance Villages where over $16.6 million in insurance claims checks were cut by insurance companies for more than 3,000 residents impacted by Hurricane Ian. These Insurance Villages allow policyholders to meet with their property insurer in-person and work together to solve any outstanding claims.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “When Hurricane Ian struck Southwest Florida with devastating storm surge and historic flooding, we knew the road to recovery would not be easy. To help in the recovery process, we hosted three more insurance villages where policyholders were able to meet with their insurance providers face-to-face and secure more than $5.6 million in outstanding claims. Since January, we’ve helped issue $16.6 million in claims checks at ten insurance Hurricane Ian insurance villages. The people in Southwest Florida are still reeling from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Ian, and I’m committed to doing everything I can to ensure they’re made whole.”
Insurance Consumer Advocate Tasha Carter said, “The in-person, one-on-one assistance that consumers receive at Insurance Villages provides a unique opportunity for personalized claims handling. Consumers are able to share their experience and documentation in an environment designed to expediate claims and streamline the process. Survivors of Hurricane Ian have experienced extreme hardship due to the storm and any delays in their claim exasperates the disaster. I am grateful to CFO Patronis and the Division of Consumer Services for prioritizing consumers’ needs. I will continue to be a resource to survivors and work diligently to ensure claims are handled fairly and timely.”
The CFO also provided an update on the My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) grant program which was recently expanded by the Florida Legislature. CFO Patronis supported measures to expand eligibility requirements so more Floridians can protect their homes against storms and reduce insurance premiums. Additionally, the CFO worked with the Legislature to increase grant funding by another $100 million, for a total of $215 million in funding. Combined with the Home Hardening Sales Tax Savings, that’s more than $700 million in consumer relief, a huge savings for Florida consumers to shield their homes from storms.
My Safe Florida Home program changes effective July 1, 2023 include:
- Homes outside the wind-borne debris region are now eligible.
- Insured value of eligible homes for the home hardening grant was increased from $500,000 to $700,000.
- Townhomes are now eligible for opening protection (doors and windows) grants.
- Available grants for low-income homeowners increased from $5,000 to $10,000.
To date, the program has completed more than 39,790 free home inspections and obligated more than $114 million in home hardening grant funds to Floridians.
Regarding the My Safe Florida Home Program, CFO Patronis said, “Beginning July 1, the My Safe Florida Home program has been expanded, so more Floridians can take advantage of free home inspections and up to $10,000 in home mitigation grants to fortify their home and lower their insurance premiums. The average reported insurance premium discount following completion of the program was nearly $1,000. The program was a huge success last year, and I am thankful to the Governor for expanding the program’s eligibility requirements to provide even more access to Floridians to harden their homes as the next hurricane season approaches. I encourage Floridians to take advantage of the savings and protect their biggest investment from storms – their homes.”
Learn more and apply for a free home inspection and home hardening grant today at MySafeFLHome.com.
About CFO Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).