Published: Sep 20, 2011 4:51 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Rates are rising fast for home and business owners in Florida covered by policies from the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp.
But not as much as they could have increased, especially for those who carry sinkhole coverage.
Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty capped a proposal from Citizens at a statewide average of 6.2 percent for standard coverage and on average of 32.9 percent for sinkhole coverage, although more in an area of west-central Florida hardest hit by sinkhole claims. Citizens initially requested a rate hike that could have cost some of its customers thousands of dollars more each year.
McCarty said Tuesday that a Citizens' policy owner of a $180,000 home in the hard-hit region encompassing Pasco, Hernando and Hillsborough counties is facing a premium increase of approximately $440 next year.

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