TALLAHASSEE- A Senate committee has delayed voting on a proposed property insurance bill designed to crack down on fraudulent or excessive sinkhole claims.

Although it appeared the Banking and Insurance Committee was about to approve the bill (SB 408), until some late public testimony in Monday's sometimes testy meeting persuaded the panel's chairman and bill's sponsor to postpone a vote.

Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, said he wants to allow the committee an opportunity to hear more about the business-backed proposal.

The panel had already knocked down a series of amendments offered by Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, who says loosening the reins on insurers would make it easier for them to refuse to provide sinkhole coverage.

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