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By EMERY P. DALESIO
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s top insurance regulator says industry-backed changes in state law would lead to higher auto insurance rates.

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin said Monday he opposes doing away with his authority to limit auto insurance rate increases.

The current system has more than 100 auto insurers doing business in North Carolina proposing a common rate increase.

Goodwin says most people don’t know that companies can decide they don’t want to insure a driver’s liability. That risk is transferred to a pool and every driver pays a hidden surcharge to cover the costs. The companies can charge higher prices for damage or other parts of the policy.

State regulators say the surcharge averages $13 a year per driver and pays for a system that prevents companies from jacking up rates.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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