My Safe Florida Home Wind Inspections No Longer Free As Of July 1
Jul 10, 2009
Because the Florida Legislature did not sustain the program with additional funding, My Safe Florida Home wind inspections will no longer be free as of July 1, 2009.
In a effort to stem possible homeowner confusion about the now-concluded program and its cost, the Florida Department of Financial Services (“DFS”), Division of Consumer Services has issued a Notice of Emergency Rule that repeals the applicable Rule 69J-7.003, entitled “Free Wind Inspections.”
The Notice of Emergency Rule, which is printed below, may also be viewed by clicking here.
Note: Due to the expiration of the My Safe Florida Home program on June 30, 2009, it is no longer certifying wind inspectors. A list of inactive inspectors associated with the program has been provided to allow insurance companies to verify that the Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Forms (Form 1802) submitted by homeowners participating in the program were completed by qualified, certified inspectors. Click here for a complete list of inspectors associated with the My Safe Florida Home program.
Should you have any questions or comments, please contact Colodny Fass.
Notice of Emergency Rule
RULE NO: RULE TITLE
69JER09-1: Repeal of Rule 69J-7.003: Free Wind Inspections
SPECIFIC REASONS FOR FINDING AN IMMEDIATE DANGER TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY OR WELFARE: The proposed emergency rule is necessary because of a lack of funding for free wind inspections under the My Safe Florida Home program, which was created under Section 215.5586, F.S. The emergency rule becomes effective immediately upon filing. There is an immediate danger to the public welfare because of potential homeowner confusion regarding the status of their legal rights under the program which could expose consumers to the risk of unintended financial obligations. The rule currently states that homeowners will be able to receive a free wind inspection if the homeowner lives in a single-family, site-built, detached home. However, during the 2009 Florida Legislative session, the My Safe Florida Home program was not granted any additional funding to sustain the program. Therefore, there is no current funding to provide free inspections to Florida homeowners. If an Emergency Rule is not put into place repealing Rule 69J-7.003, F.A.C., homeowners will be ostensibly granted a right under the rule that has been abrogated by the Florida Legislature. This emergency rule serves to repeal Rule 69J-7.003, F.A.C.
REASON FOR CONCLUDING THAT THE PROCEDURE IS FAIR UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES: The Department of Financial Services believes that adopting an emergency rule is essential to protect the public because without the repeal of the existing rule, homeowners may take measures to protect their homes which place them at risk of assuming unintended financial obligations. In the absence of this emergency rule, homeowners may contract with home inspectors while under the misconception that the home inspection will be at no cost to them. Because funding for the home inspection program has been discontinued by the Florida Legislature, state funds are not currently available for this purpose.
SUMMARY: This emergency rule repeals Rule 69J-7.003, F.A.C.
THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE EMERGENCY RULE IS: Ellen Simon, Chief Counsel, Department of Financial Services, 200 East Gaines Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0333, phone (850)413-4270
THE FULL TEXT OF THE EMERGENCY RULE IS:
69JER09-1 (69J-7.003) Free Wind Inspections.
The following rule which would have become effective on July 1, 2009, is hereby repealed.
(1) The process to apply for a free wind inspection is for a homeowner to apply on-line at http://www.mysafefloridahome.com/NewApplicant.asp or by telephone at 1(866)513-6734.
(2) The application for a free wind inspection will be approved if the homeowner lives in a single-family, site-built, detached home. Properties that are ineligible for a free wind inspection include mobile homes, manufactured homes, apartments, condominiums, multi-family dwellings and businesses.
(3) An application number will be assigned to each applicant. The application number will be utilized for identification purposes for all services in the My Safe Florida Home Program.
(4) If approved, the homeowner will be contacted by an approved inspection firm or inspector by telephone within three weeks to schedule the free inspection.
(5) As part of the inspection, the inspector will review any documents the homeowner has on their opening protections (such as shutters, impact resistant windows or garage door). The inspector will also review any documents in regards to roofs under five years old. If the inspector is unable to determine the wind protection rating or building code approval number of the existing shutters or roof shingles, and the homeowner is unable to provide documentation to substantiate this information, then the inspector will not be able to confirm that the homeowner has hurricane-rated opening protection or roof covering.
(6) The inspector will take photos of the applicant’s home during the inspection if the inspector believes that the photos will facilitate the preparation of the inspection report.
(7) At the end of the inspection, the homeowner will be asked to sign a form verifying an inspection was conducted. After the inspection, the inspector shall send the homeowner a free inspection report within 45 days. The report shall include the following information:
(a) An outline of improvements that could be made to the home to increase resistance to hurricane wind damage;
(b) An estimate of how much each improvement would cost to complete;
(c) An estimate of insurance discounts that may be available, if insurance information was provided when applying for the inspection; and
(d) A hurricane resistance rating that shows the home’s current ability, and future ability with improvements, to withstand hurricanes.
Rulemaking Authority 215.5586(6) FS. Law Implemented 215.5586 FS. History-New 1-31-07, Amended 7-1-09, Repealed 7-1-09.
THIS RULE TAKES EFFECT UPON BEING FILED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE UNLESS A LATER TIME AND DATE IS SPECIFIED IN THE RULE.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2009
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