ONLY ON 3: Homeowners, leaders sound off against insurance rate change plan
 

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) -- Homeowners and leaders sounded off today about the insurance industry's request to raise homeowners rates again across North Carolina.

Calabash, like other coastal communities, could see homeowners insurance rates increase by 35 percent later this year if insurers get their way.

For a community made up of mostly seniors, Mayor Mary Knight says living is simply becoming unaffordable, especially with many residents already fighting the rise of medical costs.

"With the rising cost of medication, physician care and the small necessities of life; for a 35 percent increase to come along, virtually overnight is just not something we can accept," Knight told a public comment session today in Raleigh.

Carolina Shores Mayor Walt Goodenough echoes the same message and thinks this could have a ripple effect.

"I am betting a lot of them, if a rate like this goes through, will start dropping their homeowners policies, which will create another problem," Goodenough said.

One Carteret County realtor says increases will also affect North Carolina's tourism industry.

"As my costs go up, I've got to raise the rent," Mark Mansfield said. "I mean, it really erodes away at the middle class."

To ensure beachfront properties do not erode away, leaders say it costs thousands of dollars more to build these homes up to code.

"We are making it better for them to have to not pay out claims, but they're still charging us more money," Mansfield said.

"I have no idea what they are looking to do," Goodenough said. "The standards are getting out of hand."

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin also thinks this is getting out of hand and has vowed to fight the rate changes. If the NC Rate Bureau, which represents insurers, and the Department of Insurance cannot reach an agreement, a public hearing will be held.

While many people in our area would see their rates go up 35 percent, others in parts of Wilmington, Leland, Burgaw and other communities would see a nearly three-percent drop under the plan.

Insurers say they need the average 25-percent statewide hike because of higher claims recently from tornadoes and storms.

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How many of you posting have worked in insurance? If you have you know there is no other state that regulates the insurance industry like N.C. "politics" control insurance and everything dealing with it in our state. There is no company with plenty of cash going to come in and start writing low cost policies. They may come and write themselves out of the pool and charge a slightly lower premium but by no means low cost. If the commissioner would enforce the ethics code on some of these companies and agents that break it daily to make a sale or hire investigators that have a clue about how an agency operates rather than the accountants he currently has on staff, some of the fat would get trimmed and the cost could be recouped there rather than increasing our rates. The fact of the matter is if we have a serious storm there will be many people that have had the same policy for years and paid their premiums on time or early that have been sold a policy that will not pay them a dime when they have a loss! This is due to the abundance of incompetent and unethical agents in our area. I hope these folks are aware agents must carry E&O policies, and insist they file a claim on it and pay them what they are owed rather than letting them B.S. their way out of it by making the insured think they done something wrong to void their policy!!! Like a good…….. Yep sure are they stay on their side of the property line and only concerned with their bank account!!
**Remember agents working with a mutual insurance provider are working for that company. **
**Independent agents are working for the customer and shop multiple companies to find the best coverage available for the individual needs of that particular insured. **
My advice regardless of rather the rate increase is passed or not, find you a Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agent that is well established and only represents reputable financial stable companies or N.C. Farm Bureau, there will not be much difference in your premium and you may even save a few dollars. You will stand a better chance of being covered adequately.

and not second hand hearsay, why not give Wayne Godwin a call? The DOI has a fraud investigation unit with 26 trained investigators.

Easy to spout off. Now put up.

And by the way, what agency employs you?

What happened to the free market?
If the rates are really too high some company will come in with lower rates.
Plenty of cash is making nothing do to the low rates we have today.
Someone would love to make 15?

pound your gums and work your keyboard, head to Raleigh and show the industry how opposed you are at the public hearing.

Cause the rate bureau to put up the stats, territory by territory, to prove the validity of the filing request.

Get with your agent. After remembering his first loyalty is to his commission and second loyalty is to the insurance company which employs his services, have the policy deductible increased to $1,000 or more. Quit expecting rates not to rise and take some proactive steps.

Or, continue with pathetic whining, and don't get out the public opinion, just as the voters are so apathetic on election day.

And then, you have no one but yourself to blame for the industry being unopposed.

Goodness I'd like to see more involvement between voter and Rep/Senator too. Most probably don't even know who they are......

What is bothersome about this is that insurers are going after the people that pay the most in property taxes.
Thank goodness I don't live along the shoreline !!!

Vog

increase your deductible.

Shop for another agent and company.

Most won't; they'd rather whine and feel sorry for themselves.

Insurance is not an entitlement.

A long time ago I saved enough money to raise my deductible substantially and when my agent didn't lower my rates enough I started shopping around (I routinely change car insurers too)
But insurance is a game of risk - they don't want a large risk and WE don't want high rates ! I view insurance rationale with a jaundiced eye when it comes to justifying rate increases.
The have not sustained many losses from insurance - now if they're talking about their investment losses, well, thats another thing...

Vog

Bingo VOG

So limited in fact that we have companies that aren't under the auspices of the NC insurance bureau providing a lot of the coverage. Mine is through Lloyds of London. The majority of policies now for those that live on a barrier island have at least a 2% deductible (of building value) in the case of a named storm with a $2000.00 all other perils deductible. There are only 4 to 5 carriers that will cover coastal homes now and that are all fairly comparable with the exception of getting into the "state pool" for wind and hail. The people on my island pay well over double what the people inland pay.

Insurance isn't an entitlement, but it's a requirement for a mortgage and a neccessity to those without money shooting out of their ears. Coastal damage is only a part of the claims that get paid out. Flooding, fires, lightning strikes, tornadoes, straight line wind storms, downbursts, dust storms etc. are the vast majority of insurance claims. That stuff happens everywhere, not just on the beach.

I don't have a problem with a company making a profit and I'm all for capitalism, but it seems these days are filled with greedy, tyrannical businesses that are allowed to just reach into the consumers pocket and take what it wants because the consumer HAS to have it. The escalation of fuel costs is another prime example of that. I just dumped Charter Cable on it's ugly head and took them all of my equipment back for raising my cable/internet bill to 140 clams a month with no way to reduce it. I now have high-speed U-Verse, Netflix, Amazon Prime and a digital antenna for local channels. I'm saving 100 clams a month, have much more to watch, no commercials and enjoying watching others carrying their equipment though Charters front doors!!!

I am originally from the Piedmont section of NC so I can recall damage from hurricanes in that area. I moved here to Wilmington about 48 years ago. If one looks back through history most likely you'd see there has been about as many hurricanes that have came off the ocean in the "Gulf" region that have crossed up through the USA and hit either the mountains or Piedmont section of our state and not given the coast hardly a puff of wind. In fact I was recently reading a non-fiction book that took place back in the late 1800s and they had a severe hurricane hit back then in the mountains of NC. Yet our Insurance Commissioner of NC gives in to the insurance industry over and over in our state allowing the rate hikes if not the full amount requested then at least more than we on the coast need to shoulder.
Don't we on the coast have to share in the cost when hurricanes come up from the Gulf and hit the mountains or Piedmont sections of NC with clean ups, repairs etc.? So why do we on the coast have to shoulder the blunt of insurance hikes year round? If the whole state had to shoulder the hikes since the WHOLE STATE gets hit by hurricanes then it wouldn't be such a financial burden on us along the coast. I know most in the other regions of our state say if you can afford to live on the coast you can afford the insurance hikes. Not so as it also affects those of us that don't live right on the coast but just a block or two inland and I am by far below average when it comes to income. We that live on social security and are holding on to homes we paid for in the years we worked are surely eventually going to loose them with these continual insurance hikes. How can anyone say everyone in our state shouldn't have to shoulder the insurance rate hikes burdens if they are honest with themselves?
When our insurance commissioner was Mr. Ingram he kept the insurance companies more in line with their rate hikes. But sadly he left office so we have no one to watch over us regular folks anymore.

and get your facts straight. Ingram consistently took the Rate Bureau to court on any and every rate increase request. And just as consistently, he lost the case. He lost well over 20 cases; and scored a big fat zero in the win column.

He tried; just as Wayne Godwin will try.

BUT, the Rate Bureau puts together a rather strong case of statistics to support its case.

The only effective commissioner was Jim Long, Godwin's predecessor who left office just prior to his death.

Well I guess after dropping my health insurance from not being able to afford it this is next.. Where does it end for the pinched lower middle class?

When this issue was emailed to the homeowners in Carolina Shores Golf Community, I wrote a letter to the NCDOA. I hope others have done the same. Below is the

"The proposed increase in homeowner’s insurance rates for Carolina Shores will cause extreme financial stress on my husband and I. We are retired without the benefits of a corporate retirement package and use our personal savings to pay our bills and live here. Our move from NJ was determined by the affordability. In NC our property insurances, including fire, flood, etc., is substantially higher than NJ. With the various policies required it is +/- 300% higher! Additionally, like many others living here, we have a mortgage to pay. Had we known the expense for the various required insurances for this town before purchasing vacant land, and our home, we would have chosen from several other locations for retirement.

The proposed rates would require that we take money from our everyday expenses, which we simply cannot afford. Please do not increase our insurance based on those who actually live at the beach. We simply cannot afford to subsidize their choice of living location. We do not use the beach as we are older and we cannot pay for those who choose to live there. Their choice should be their financial responsibility."

Michael & Nancy Gallo
3 Oakbark Ct
Carolina Shores, NC, 28467

Sorry Nancy for sounding harsh here but it sounds an awful lot like you and your husband didn't plan very well when choosing your retirement destination. Whether you use the ocean or not you chose to live miles away from one, so maybe you should be the one to take responsibility for that instead of wanting the burden to be put on those couple hundred residents who live there year round. I've never claimed unemployment or disability yet I don't expect to not have to pay into it. Chances are you could have found a reasonable home to purchase and not have a mortgage. But since you wanted your "dream home" you bought the land, house, and everything that goes along with it. You knew the insurance costs were 300% higher and you chose to build anyways. Does anyone want insurance costs to go up? No, of course not. If you do not want to pay them then live somewhere else. It really is that simple. NJ is still a much more expensive place to live and just wait how their insurance rates rebound after Sandy if they haven't already. People like you who move down here and contribute nothing but high medical costs still have the nerve to whine about costs associated with living here...Sorry but I have no sympathy for you. Poor planning on your part, should have lived within your means.

"Insurers say they need the average 25-percent statewide hike because of higher claims recently from tornadoes and storms." I want to know what storms and tornadoes hit the North Carolina southeast coast??? I call BS on this nonsense. Due to taxes and insurance increases I can't afford my home now, I will have to sell if this ridiculous rate increase is put into effect. I say that the ones trying to up the rate are getting payoffs from the insurance companies. I call for an investigation on this horse manure. There have already been numerous rate increases already over the last few years. We have not experienced damaging hurricanes, tornadoes or any other storms to justify this raping by insurance companies. Something needs to be done, now.

>>I want to know what storms and tornadoes hit the North Carolina southeast coast???

Hurricane Diana 3 September 13 1984 100 Cape Fear
Hurricane Gloria 3 September 27 1985 100 Hatteras Island
Hurricane Emily 3 August 31 1993 100 Offshore Hatteras Island
Hurricane Fran 3 September 6 1996 100 Cape Fear

That would tell you that one is due

which should be done is to educate yourself on the rate making process.

The rate increase proposed is based on loss history. Losses which include fire, theft, and vandalism. You people who point only at storm occurances play right into the industry game plan. You don't know anything about what you are banging your gums and keyboards about.

Every day, there are fires, home break-ins, vandalism, lightning strikes and other acts such as cars colliding with houses. All of those are losses which fuel the loss history rate making formula.

Want to see premiums drop? How many have deductibles of $500 or less? That is being pennmy wise and dollar foolish.

Kick your deductible up to $1,000 or more; folks with more expensive homes have deductibles of $5,000 or higher. Even the every day, average home should see the deductible at $1,000 or $2,500.

But you won't. You want the insurance policy to act as a maintenance policy rather than as a tool for catastrophic loss.

You're also the same ones who won't get out to the polls at election time and will whine when Berger and Woody are re-elected.

if you think they not going to get that higher rates you are dreaming . so you better just pay up. dept . of insurance will be getting a pay off from the insurance companys.

WERE IS THE NEED TO RAISE RATES? I SAY NOheavy metal