Sinkholes: Florida’s latest HO mess

Hurricanes aren’t enough of a problem; Florida homeowner insurers have to worry about a rash of sinkholes:

A sharp increase in claims related to damage caused by collapsing earth — including about 300 in South Florida, where sinkholes aren’t usually found — contributed to Citizens’ request for an average statewide 8.4 percent rate increase heard Tuesday by insurance regulators.
Traditionally sinkholes are found in Hernando and Pasco counties, north of Tampa. South Florida – the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area – don’t, er, didn’t get them.
Citizens has paid nearly $13 million for 141 claims for sinkhole damage in Broward County since January 2008, spokeswoman Candace Bunker said. During the same time, the insurer paid $2.5 million toward 159 claims in Miami-Dade.
That’s around $100K per claim in Broward and about $15K per claim in Dade, implying that there were probably a couple of big claims in Broward to skew its average higher.
When I lived there, Dade and Broward sat on limestone about 10 feet below ground level, and the prospect of that collapsing was pretty low.
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