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Statement By:
Barney Bishop III, President and CEO, Associated Industries of Florida

Regarding Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink’s My Safe Florida Home Press Conference

April 7, 2009

“Over the last eight months, Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) and our Home Hurricane Rating Coalition have worked closely with Tami Torres and My Safe Florida Home to ensure that this worthy entity continues to exist. The 400,000 plus wind inspections have given thousands of homeowners the information they need to strengthen their homes. The inspections have also provided an invaluable database for the state, the insurance industry and for consumers, allowing us to better understand how these homes may survive future hurricanes.

“The data on homes that were built to meet the 2003 Florida Building Code or that have been strengthened to withstand storms is very valuable. When the damage from future storms is evaluated, the data will help us determine if the building code is appropriate for the ferocity of storms that Florida is destined to endure. After every hurricane, we must re-examine these homes to see if the building code and home mitigation techniques were effective. While less than 20 percent of the homes in Florida were built post-2003, it is nevertheless important that research and development of cutting-edge mitigation techniques be constantly reviewed after every hurricane.

"My Safe Florida Home has the potential to become a national model for hurricane survival for other states that are also prone to devastating hurricanes. We know that strengthening homes through mitigation protects against the devastating effects of hurricanes and will ultimately save lives, property and help avoid unnecessary misery. It will also reduce the state’s exposure to catastrophic damage and over time will help reduce insurance premiums. We believe it is imperative that the My Safe Florida Home program should be continued and strengthened, and the dollars we have should be strategically deployed for the highest return on our investment. Florida’s hurricane insurance crisis ends the day that every property in Florida is built to a strong building code and environmentally sensitive land is spared from development.”