Florida Solicits Sinkhole Data from Insurers

August 25, 2010

Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation issued a data call yesterday to the commercial and residential property insurance industry in Florida to collect claims data related to sinkholes.

During the 2010 Legislative Session, the Office identified increased sinkhole claims as one of the cost drivers affecting homeowners’ rates. The Office has heard from the industry that there has been a substantial increase in the frequency of claims, and that these claims are being filed outside the traditional “sinkhole alley” in Hernando and Pasco Counties. The Office is conducting a data call to learn more information about sinkhole activity including the frequency and severity of claims, and the geographic location of these claims. The data call will encompass sinkhole claims opened in Florida between 2006 and 2010. Companies are required to report data to the Office by Tuesday, September 21, 2010. The information collected from the Data Call will help the Office more clearly define: o The types of claims being filed
o Testing procedures to determine the legitimacy of claims
o Costs of Inspections
o Geographic location of claims
o Legal Fees and Public Adjuster Fees
o Amount of Structural Loss
The Office plans to compile a report based on the results; this information will help regulators determine potential regulatory actions, and whether additional authority is needed through legislative action.

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