WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The North Carolina Department of Insurance says it has received a request by insurers that could mean big rate increases for homeowners policies across the state.
NCDOI says late this afternoon the NC Rate Bureau, which represents all companies writing homeowners insurance in the state, requested a statewide average rate increase of 25.3 percent, varying by territory. The Rate Bureau requested the changes to go into effect Aug. 1.
The requested rate changes range from -2.7 percent to +35 percent. The insurance companies have also requested revisions to the current geographic rating territories.
"New homeowners insurance rates went into effect in July 2013. I am appalled that the insurance companies would request another increase just six months later," Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin said in a statement. "I believe the insurance companies should withdraw this rate filing immediately. If they do not, the insurance companies should expect a full hearing on this matter; I will not entertain any settlement negotiations. I urge North Carolina homeowners to take advantage of the public comment period and let their insurance companies know what they think about the notion of another homeowners insurance rate increase."
Goodwin was also upset about the timing of the filing.
"I take offense at the insurance companies' concerted efforts to file this request late on a Friday afternoon, when they think the public won't be paying attention," he said.
There will be a public comment session on Friday, Jan. 24, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Jim Long Hearing Room of the Dobbs Building, 430 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh.
Written public comments will be accepted from Jan. 3 through Jan. 31. Written comments should be mailed to: NCDOI, Attn: Bob Mack, Property & Casualty Division, 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1201; or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.