North Carolina Commissioner Rejects Proposed 42% HO Rate Hike, Sets Hearing Date

February 7, 2024

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey has rejected an average 42% hike in homeowners insurance rates proposed in January by the state’s rate bureau, setting the stage for a public hearing and negotiations.

“Homeowners were shocked with the high amount requested by the insurance companies, and so was I,” Causey, who announced plans to seek reelection to a third term, said in a statement Tuesday. “I haven’t seen the evidence to justify such a drastic rate increase on North Carolina consumers.”

A hearing has been set for Oct. 7 at 10 a.m. After that, the commissioner will have 45 days to negotiate with the rate bureau and will likely land on a much lower average increase.

Causey in 2019 (Alan Campbell/Rocky Mount Telegram via AP, File)

The back-and-forth is not unusual in North Carolina. The rate bureau, basing its proposed rates on input from 197 property insurers in the state, often submits a double-digit increase each year, for HO, auto, mobile home and other lines.

After a 2020 requested HO increase of 24.5%, for example, the final rate ended up at 7.9%.

Still, the 42% number this year outraged homeowners across North Carolina. Many spoke out in more than 24,000 written comments and at a public forum in Raleigh last month. One woman said such a rate increase would force her family to choose between paying the mortgage and buying groceries.

Some coastal properties could see premiums almost double under the proposal. Mountain counties in the western part of the state would see average increases of 4.3%, Causey’s office has said.

Top photo: The Blue Mountains of North Carolina. (Adobe Stock)

Topics Pricing Trends North Carolina

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