Insurers across North Carolina are asking to increase their homeowners’ insurance policy premiums – but the state’s insurance commissioner doesn’t believe that the increase requests are valid. In the coming weeks, state officials and the insurance industry will discuss the increase request, ask the public for their opinion, and try to come to an agreement for rates in 2014. New rates would take affect on August 1, 2014.
The insurance rates, if approved, would vary by county across North Carolina. Some counties would see a small decrease, while other counties along the coast would see a rate hike of up to 35 percent.
The last time that North Carolina insurance companies asked for a homeowners rate increase was in 2012. At that time, Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and North Carolina Rate Bureau Director compromised on a seven percent insurance rate increase across the state after the insurance industry asked for a 17 percent hike.
Over the past several years, the insurance industry has been telling state officials that because of the recent string of loss events, selling homeowners insurance policies is simply no longer profitable in North Carolina. In 2011, North Carolina Farm Bureau and Allstate Insurance both stopped offering homeowners insurance policies unless property owners also signed up for car insurance.
However, Goodwin stated he was appalled that the industry would ask for another rate increase so soon after receiving an increase two years ago. He also said that he would not compromise or negotiate as he did in 2012—he would only offer a full hearing.
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