Published: Apr 28, 2011 5:29 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 28, 2011 2:33 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Senate has passed a property insurance overhaul aimed at creating more competition in the private marketplace and also cut down on fraudulent sinkhole claims.

The measure (SB 408) passed on a 25-12 vote after some 50 minutes of debate Thursday. The House is also considering similar legislation.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, said the bill might not fix all of the state's insurance problems, but added that he considered it the most consumer friendly bill he's seen this session. The legislation would free company from having to offer sinkhole coverage.

A similar proposal, minus the sinkhole provisions, was passed last year in the Senate, but vetoed by former Gov. Charlie Crist. Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday he likes many proposals in Richter's bill.

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