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POTENTIAL SCAM: Warnings about criminals going after popular program that helps save on home insurance

People across Florida are applying for My Safe Florida Home grants to make homes more resilient
Posted at 11:26 PM, Jun 21, 2024

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Officials are warning about misleading solicitations and flyers claiming association with the My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program, promoting free roofs and windows.

My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) gives people the opportunity to receive grants up to $10,000 to make their homes more storm resilient while, hopefully, reducing home insurance premiums. State lawmakers put more money into the program after its popularity.

Prior WPTV reporting shows premiums in Florida are expected to rise 7 percent, driving the average premium to $11,759.

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, who oversees the program, says they've heard of instances where criminals leave people paying for the full cost of repairs after claiming it signed people up for the program, but they weren’t eligible or approved. It’s asking people to report people to My Safe Florida Home program administrators or relevant authorities.

John Pavelko, who changed his carrier after his home insurance premium rose from about $1,200 in the '90s to about $10,000, said he’s been trying to get approved for the program since September 2023. He told WPTV’s Ethan Stein it’s a frustrating process while surrounded in paperwork on Friday.

Pavelko said he hasn’t seen any scam activity yet related to My Safe Florida Home, but he’s confident he could catch any potential scams.

Officials recommend people verify credentials, research contractors, get written estimates, understand the inspection/improvement process and report suspicious activity to avoid fraud.