Note: This blog's templates will be updated this afternoon to a responsive design bringing it in line with

At that time, we will also change to the Facebook commenting system. You will need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment.

« NOW endorses Nan Rich for governor | Main | Despite loss of 2,600 jobs, Florida's unemployment rate continues to fall »

As Citizens' lawsuits mount, company tries new tactics in court and legislature

Citizens Property Insurance has a lawsuit problem.

More than 12,000 policy holders have sued the company in an effort to get their outstanding claims paid and, new data shows, the defense costs are rising — with the company billed more than $21 million for the last three months of 2013 alone.

Some of the longest-fought battles are in sinkhole alley — the section of the state that includes Hillsborough, Hernando and Pasco counties, which rest on a porous, cavity-prone limestone bed. The amount the agency spends on sinkhole litigation alone has has doubled — from an average per month expenditure of $944,345 for 2012 to $2,050,106 for 2013, according to data provided to state Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, last week,.

As more than 2,100 homeowners have filed lawsuits for sinkhole damage reported more than two years ago, the legal costs of those claims are now costing

Citizens more than $4.4 million a month, or about $2,100 per sinkhole claim.

To deal with the mounting lawsuits, Citizens is fighting in the courtroom and at the capitol: Read more here.