Florida Program That Could Bring Down Insurance Rates Hits Obstacles

The state plans to offer free home inspections and up to $5,000 matching grants to help pay for improvements to Florida’s older homes, but the state has yet to come up with a start date for the program, in large part because officials are having trouble figuring out how to regulate inspectors and make sure homeowners aren’t ripped off by unscrupulous contractors.

Gov. Jeb Bush says the $250 million program will be an important step toward bringing down insurance rates. It’s the first program of its kind, and he’s asking people to be patient.

“What are the entities that will be used to get the money out into the hands of people? And secondly, how do we handle all the inspections that are required?" the governor asked. "It's a big undertaking and I think we need to leverage these dollars so we get the maximum benefit.”

The State Department of Financial Repairs is overseeing the so-called Hurricane Mitigation Program.