Fidelity National Property and Casualty Insurance Co. asked Florida insurance regulators this week to allow the firm to raise its homeowners insurance rate by 27.6% to offset an influx of claims, according to Stephen Alexander, an actuary with the Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate’s office. Alexander testified at the hearing, advocating for a lower rate increase. A spokesperson for Fidelity National Property and Casualty was not immediately available for comment Friday afternoon. However, Alexander, who proposed an alternative 12% rate hike, believes the state foreclosure crisis is partly to blame for the increasing level of claims, but Fidelity has not elaborated on the reason claims rose. "We did not receive much background as to why their claims or the severity of their claims are increasing," Alexander said. "I think somebody needs to look at that. I have a high degree of confidence that this (the influx of foreclosures) is what is behind this, but to what extent I do not know." The requested rate hike is still under review by state regulators. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.