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Despite Tropical Storm Debby, Citizens Insurance Sees Drop In Sinkhole Claims

This summer, Tropical Storm Debby left Florida riddled with sinkholes, and state-run Citizens property insurance company raised its sinkhole-coverage rates. The company claims committee met on Monday and discussed sinkhole management.

David Boyle, the Senior Director of Claims Operations for Citizens, said, the insurer has seen 27 percent more claims this summer and fall, compared with last year. But, he said, even after Tropical Storm Debby, new sinkhole claims are bucking the overall trend.

“New sinkhole claim volume continues to decline, representing only 3.8 percent of all claims through September. We finished 2011 at just over 6 percent, so that’s a significant decline," he said.

In addition to raising sinkhole rates, which go into effect in January, Citizens has a new policy allowing its investigators to call in outside experts to help assess sinkhole claims.

Boyle also reported, Citizens had an all-time low rate of customer complaints in the the quarter that just ended.