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NOTE: This story was originally written and published on August 8, 2011

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida consumers have a new tool to help them shop for the best property insurance rates.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has launched a revamped website that lets you compare rates in your area from leading insurance companies.

The website is: www.floir.com/choices.

Just go to the site's map of Florida and click on your county. Then you'll see a pop-up window ranking insurance rates in that area along with companies' contact information.

The website, called CHOICES, is proving very popular. Spokeswoman Brittany Perez says thousands of Floridians are already taking advantage of the information.

"Consumers can click on their respective county, see what sort of insurance company options are available and they can find the contact information for those companies all in one spot. So they can look between the different choices, compare the different choices and ultimately find the best choice for their homeowners' insurance coverage."

Perez says homeowners can also see how to earn a property insurance discount for taking certain mitigation measures against hurricanes.

"We have a mitigation form on there that consumers can look at and see what sort of measures they can take to storm-proof their own home and then at the same place they can see all the contact information for insurance companies."

CHOICES, which stands for Consumer HomeOwners Insurance Comparison Electronic System, is the state's next-generation website for comparing insurance rates. It was originally developed as shopandcomparerates.com in 2007.

First Coast News

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