Published: Jan 30, 2011 7:01 PM EST
Updated: Jan 30, 2011 4:01 PM EST

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - The state's largest private property insurer wants to hike rates by an average of 28 percent.

State Farm Florida Insurance says premiums need to go up to cover the risk in the state.

Florida has dodged a direct hit by hurricanes for the past five years, but the company says it's suffered a spike in non-catastrophic claims, including hundreds of millions of dollars in losses due to sinkholes.

State Farm received approval for a 28 percent increase in the average policy in 2009 and another 6.6 percent increase last year. It covers nearly 700,000 homes.

The rate request goes before the Office of Insurance Regulation on Feb. 15.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)