MoneyReal Estate News


Florida lawmakers discuss homeowners insurance during special session

One bill from Republicans aims to add funding, while Democrats push for bill that would award grants to homeowners
Posted at 6:38 PM, Nov 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-07 18:58:45-05

Florida lawmakers are spending part of the special session this week on homeowners insurance.

One notable bill filed by state Sen. Corey Simon, R-Tallahassee, centers on hurricane relief and aims to add $175 million to the My Safe Florida Home Program.

"The program has been such an amazing success we ran out of money," state Rep. Toby Overdorf, R-Stuart, said. "That's why we're here and felt it was important to reauthorize and get some additional money because frankly it's helped out a lot of different folks."

Devii Pratt homeowners insurance November 2023.png
Devii Pratt is hoping she can install new windows in her home once program has new funding.

The program offers state-paid inspections for wind mitigation to help reduce insurance bills and grants for qualified homeowners to make necessary repairs for storms.

"I had sent an email to let them know I was having difficulties with the system and all they said was, 'We're out of funds,'" Devii Pratt of Palm Beach County said.

She tried sending in an application online earlier this year.

State Representative Toby Overdorf of Stuart November 2023
State Representative Toby Overdorf of Stuart explains how they are in Tallahassee requesting to reauthorize a program to help homeowners.

She said she is still hoping to get through and eventually install new windows in her home, once the program has new funding.

Some Democrats are also pushing for a bill that would award $2,500 one-time grants to homeowners to help with premiums.

"It's a short-term solution, but we know that we have many families that are fiscally restrained," state Rep. Anna V. Eskamani, D-Orlando, said. "They cannot afford to maintain a home because of the rate of their property insurance."

However, Republicans in the majority seemed unsupportive. Overdorf said it "only puts a Band-Aid on an issue that needs surgery."