My Safe Florida Home Program Questioned

In a Tampa Tribune front page article it appears that the program is in trouble again much to no ones surprise. It is being reported that a high number of discrepancies are being documented between the initial inspection report and the follow up quality control check, one such instance contains 123 differences between the June inspection and the August review, excerpt is posted below, click the Tampa Tribune link for the full article.

There is also good news for home inspectors who are performing Insurance Discount Surveys privately for their own clients. Out of the 98,000 home that have been inspected 72% were eligible for insurance discounts averaging $181 which is above the set inspection price of $150.

Home inspectors who are currently not providing Insurance Discount Surveys are missing out on another stream of income and a way to distinguish yourself as a low cost problem solver within your community.

Home inspectors who provide this service do not use the same form as the My Safe Florida Home program, instead the form for private inspections is the OIR-B1-1802, Office of Insurance Regulation document OIR-B1-1655 lays out who is eligible to perform these inspections, from the document it is assumed that an IRC B1 certificate that confers the title of building inspector on inspectors who pass the B1 exam should suffice.

Assurance Check LLC, has made the OIR-B1-1802 electronic and available for everyone to use who qualifies, don’t miss out on adding insurance inspections to your services, it may mean the difference of having a bad or not so bad year as a Florida home inspector.

I spoke with a lady who had a MSFH inspection and she said the inspector did not even go into the attic. I am glad to see some quality control inspections are being conducted.

Private inspections are the way to go and the money is better. ICC Boot Camp is very helpful in preparing for the ICC exams. The Ace Educator software is GREAT.

I didnt think there were 123 points on the inspection report.

Thats like taking a true false test and getting all the answers wrong

It is amazing that they still don’t tell people that the report is a public record. Many people are going to save $150 now that will cost them thousands in the future.

This is real simple

Repair your home

You live there - screw the insurance companies - They will lower your rate if you show them that you tied the home down as per their specs – contractor statement works ok

The rest of us are sort of small actors in the process

If we make a $$ ok but the real winners are the clients - contractors - and the insurance companies – not the inspectors

Right now we are looking like a$$es – Thank goodness the state is watching us

And I hate the state




Once again you make a post that I can’t understand. What is it that you are trying to say?

That inspectors are dumb for going after this business.

That homeowners are dumb because it is so simple.

That insurance companies are dumb for having these requirements.

That it is all messed up by the state.

How are we looking like an a$$?


Why would you give me a red box and not add your name to it?

It is intersting that you made a post at 4:41 am and I got a red box at 4:42 am.

It would be great if we can get NACHI inspectors qualified to do this report the same way Nick got the 4 point insurance form approved. I’ve already forwarded the form to Nick and he has someone working on it.

I think I kinda almost sorta understand some of what Richard said… and I agree. Being a home inspector is personally rewarding when you get a opportunity to really help people, without that sense of purpose about what we do its only just a job.

At one time I thought that working for FEMA was really a privilege and a way for me to give back to the community, well I was wrong and I don’t do that anymore. Same goes with the My Safe Florida Home Program, when I first heard about it I thought it was a good thing, now we see it was just another poor decision in regards to spending tax dollars.

I get the idea what Richard was trying express is that this is another government boondoggle that is now making home inspectors look bad and I agree, we should cut ourselves free of this mess before it comes back to haunt us. But, who am I kidding there will always be those inspectors who will go out and whore our profession for $50-$75 wind inspections because it is better than working at Wal-Mart. Red boxes encouraged.

Boy it appears that we have a lot of cowards on the board.

Another red box with no name. What a puss.

If that is what Richard meant then I totally agree.

Greg - Joe



Thanks Richard,

I agree 100%

Thanks Doug

No greg. I can’t give you anything since I gave you a greenie 2 weeks ago

you would be surprised how many people are on line in the early morning.

Thanks Gary,

I was wondering why you would do that. My Bad

I am with convicts trying to look over my back through the office window.

A Perfect Storm Of Inspection Violations

By JOHN W. ALLMAN The Tampa Tribune
Published: Oct 20, 2007

TAMPA - Home Inspections LLC could not produce documentation that it employed experienced hurricane inspectors - one of several reasons state officials gave for firing the company last week.

Home Inspections was one of 11 inspection companies the state hired to provide free hurricane inspections through its My Safe Florida Home program. Each of the companies was recently audited.

Its contract was terminated Oct. 12, based on the audit results, said Tami Torres, special programs administrator for the Department of Financial Services, which oversees My Safe Florida Home.

The Tampa Tribune on Sunday reported that widespread discrepancies exist in the inspection reports, which help determine whether houses can withstand a hurricane and what, if any, safety improvements can be made. More than 98,000 residents statewide have gotten inspections since August 2006.

The state received 105 complaints about Home Inspections during its six months in the program. Of those, 97 were from homeowners who said they found an error in an inspection report prepared by the company.

The company, based in Madeira Beach, has been paid $893,250 for 5,955 inspections completed to date.

The state, per its contract, pays $150 for each inspection.

Home Inspections’ audit contains a litany of violations, including:

•Failure to maintain adequate records.
Personnel files for 34 of 39 inspectors did not include a resume or other documentation of prior inspection experience. In addition, 95 percent of the files lacked a required criminal background check and 11 of 39 files did not have required drug test results. Twelve of the 39 lacked proof that inspectors had completed the necessary training and testing required by the state.

The state required anyone hired to have prior residential construction and/or residential inspection experience. It did not specify the length of experience.
“The majority of the files contain virtually no information regarding the background, experience and education of the inspectors,” the audit found. “Several of those that did contain any form of resume revealed these individuals had little or no relevant experience prior to this program.”

•Failure to monitor its own inspections for accuracy.
Home Inspections agreed in its contract to reinspect 100 percent of its inspections to make sure few to no errors were being made. However, Torres said, an auditor found that only 1.5 percent, or 60 reinspections, had been done. And, she said, those reinspections happened days before the auditor arrived to review the firm’s performance.

•Failure to immediately notify the state that an inspector has been suspended or fired. Home Inspections, according to Torres, told the auditor it had suspended seven inspectors and fired 12 more. The company later said, however, that it had fired only four inspectors. But it notified the state of only two of those dismissals, which meant two other fired inspectors remained active in the state’s database.

The notification is important, Torres said, because it helps prevent bad inspectors from applying for work with another of the My Safe Florida Home firms.

Company Had Potential Conflict

Torres said there is no indication that all the inspections completed by Home Inspections should be questioned.

The state, in addition to the audits, is reviewing inspections for all 11 firms through a random reinspection of 3,000 homes statewide. A report on overall accuracy is expected this month.

“From a standpoint of building credibility, the firms we work with have to be of the highest caliber,” Torres said. “The public’s confidence level is very important to us.”

Another problem, according to the audit, involved a possible conflict of interest regarding the owner of Home Inspections.

Tom Whalley, chief executive officer, also owns Tom Whalley’s Installations 'R Us, which sells and installs hurricane shutters and protective panels. The company, according to the audit, requires all inspectors to sign an agreement not to market products or solicit sales while conducting My Safe Florida Home inspections.

The audit found that 13 of the 39 inspectors never signed the agreement.
“While no specific cases of conflict of interest were identified,” the audit stated, “inspectors expressed concern that there is a potential for conflict, especially regarding the procedure for calling back homeowners to determine customer satisfaction.”

Whalley said Friday that he is not sure yet whether he will fight the decision to end his contract. He has until Nov. 2 to file an appeal.

In a response to the audit, dated Oct. 15, his company disputed the state’s findings. It said that inspector files have been brought into compliance since the audit. It said that 85 reinspections - not 60 - were completed. And it said that each inspector must perform 10 mock inspections, which are reviewed for mistakes, prior to that inspector being sent into the field.

Need For More Training Seen

The My Safe Florida Home program has received criticism from homeowners since its inception. Many complained about changes to the program this year that eliminated much of the state from applying for a $5,000 matching grant to make improvements.

The Legislature voted in May to narrow grant eligibility to those who live within the wind-borne debris region, an area that extends inland about one mile. Most of Hillsborough County sits outside that region.

The Tribune, in examining the reinspection reports that the state will use to gauge accuracy, found that inspectors often differed on key portions. In a random sampling of 72 homes, looking at inspection and reinspection reports, the newspaper found a minimum of 20 discrepancies between the two inspectors in each set of reports. Six examples had more than 100 discrepancies.

In addition, the newspaper looked at the training that inspectors receive, which amounts to a single class and an open-book test.
The state this week said it is revamping its requirements for inspectors and inspection firms. On Monday, it will announce which of the remaining 10 companies will continue doing inspections - for now.
Some of the firms may be let go, Torres said, because they are not meeting the state’s standard, per the audit. But, she added, none of the other companies were found to have violated the contract, or else they would have been terminated immediately as well.

In November, the state plans to seek new proposals from inspection firms before signing new contracts in January. The state said it likely will stipulate more training of inspectors.

“We want to make sure if someone is coming out to your home, they know what they’re doing, and you can have confidence in the report you get back,” said Tara Klimek, communications director for Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink.

Reporter John W. Allman can be reached at or (813) 259-7915.

I completely understand what you are talking about. Where can I get more info on the public record issue and what that means to homeowners? I like facts. I don’t like making a statement, getting questioned and not having a source to back it up.