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Citing Rising Sinkhole Costs, State Farm Requests Rate Hike in Florida

Posted on 17 Feb 2011

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State Farm Insurance has requested for a rate increase for homeowners insurance inf Florida that would average 27.7 percent, citing the rising costs of sinkholes.

The request was made at a state Office of Insurance Regulation hearing in Tallahassee on Tuesday. State Farm, the largest private property insurer in Florida, covers almost 700,000 homes in the state and more than 27,000 in Volusia and Flagler counties. The 27.7 percent request is an average, so some policyholders will see a higher increase and others will see a lower increase if the request is approved.

State Farm has implemented rate increases of 27.9, 14.3 and 6.6 percent over the past 16 months, and non-renewed 125,000 policies in the state.

"Despite these rate increases, there is still a significant rate need," State Farm said in a filing asking for the increase.

The proposal comes as state lawmakers and insurers are discussing how to address the state's rising costs of sinkholes. Florida's next legislative session convenes March 8.