MIAMI ( – Florida homeowners have battled sinkholes for years. But a move by Citizens could create a giant hole in the wallets of homeowners.

According to the News Service of Florida, the board of Citizens Property Insurance will be considering new sinkhole rates to propose to insurance regulators. Citizens’ staff recommended an average 428 percent statewide increase for sinkhole coverage.

In areas where sinkholes have become a major problem, the increase could be much more. The St. Petersburg Times reported that insurance rates in Tampa and Pasco County could skyrocket by more than 2,000 percent.

Citizens told the Times they had incurred $1 billion in sinkhole losses over the last nine years. The Citizens board will consider the issues during a Wednesday conference call.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)


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