North Carolina Approves 7% Home Insurance Rate Increase

By Emery P. Dalesio | March 7, 2013

North Carolina’s top state insurance regulator has signed an agreement allowing companies to raise homeowner’s insurance policies by a statewide average of 7 percent a year starting in July.

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin agreed to a rate increase for less than the 17.7 percent the North Carolina Rate Bureau requested in October. Goodwin said two weeks before the November election that decided whether he kept his job that companies would have to justify their request, which insurers had wanted to take effect in June.

“Homeowners insurance is a very complex issue. We face a great challenge in making sure that it is not only affordable, but available, to consumers across the state,” Goodwin said in a statement. “I feel this settlement helps strike that balance, and I am pleased that the increase will be significantly smaller than what insurers originally requested.”

The last homeowner’s insurance rate increase took effect in 2009. The insurance companies had sought a 19.5 percent statewide average increase, but settled for 4 percent.

Home insurance rates this year will be allowed to increase by as little as 1 percent in Winston-Salem and Greensboro. Charlotte homeowners could see their costs climb by 8.4 percent, raising the premium on a $150,000 frame home by $45 to $574 for a yearly policy. Durham and Raleigh rates would be allowed to climb by 2.8 percent, pushing premiums to $682 for a $150,000 home.

But homes along the beach in Brunswick, Carteret, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender counties could be hit by a premium of as much 19.8 percent. Beach homes in Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties could see a 17 percent rate increase.

State insurance regulators determined much higher rate increases for beach homes were appropriate because insurers faced higher costs of backing hurricane risks, Goodwin’s office said, and out of concern about companies dropping coverage and making it less available along the coast.

The settlement eliminates the need for a June hearing where the companies and Insurance Department staffers were scheduled to present arguments for and against the industry’s October increase request.

 

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Latest Comments

  • January 4, 2014 at 9:23 am
    carolyn says:
    I think this home owners insurance hike is terrible . My house payment has increased $229.00 in four years because of rate hikes I think it would be much for the people who li... read more
  • November 2, 2013 at 11:21 am
    Kim says:
    I am a USAA customer and I do get great customer service but when you first switch your insurance to a new company, that company normally gives you an introductory offer to ge... read more
  • October 1, 2013 at 9:22 am
    Richard says:
    Julie, do not agree to a rate increase and get other quotes. Others such as Geico offer good rates if you have no accidents or tickets.
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