TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The one thing a New Year always brings in Florida is higher property insurances rates and 2013 will be no different.
Although Florida escaped a major hurricane for a seventh straight year in 2012, property insurance costs continue to soar.
Data from the New York-based Insurance Information Institute shows homeowners' claims have increased an average of more than 17 percent annually over the past decade-- more than double the number filed in 2003. And virtually all of these in recent years have been claims on non-catastrophic events.
Additional litigation and an increase in the number of public adjusters also factor into the rising number of insurance claims by home and business owners. Rate requests have also received more favorable action from state regulators. When all added up, consumers pay more.