The North Carolina coast is a hurricane prone area. That means the right homeowner's insurance is important to have. As we have seen in years past, hurricanes in our area have damaged coastal and inland communities alike. The state has had a government funded insurance plan in the works for 40 years, but now insurance companies are facing a bit of a crisis, and the state wants to have a back up plan. Patrice Parker has lived and owned a business in Surf City for 15 years. This year, her insurance went up $3,000 dollars. "Do I think it's fair that it went up that much, no. I think that's insane. And I didn't even have a claim." Parker is not alone. Private insurance premiums will be going up in all 18 coastal counties. The additional funds will go to a government insurance association called the beach plan. It was started 40 years ago as a safety net for property owners who could not afford private insurance. Now a legislative committee wants the beach plan to be backed up by substantial funding in case of a financial or environmental emergency. Right now, the plan insures $72 billion dollars in property. Available funds for damage control add up to only about 2.4 billion. Carolyn Justice, a NC legislative committee member said that is not enough. The revenue gained from this premium increase will tack onto the 2.4 billion. So if private insurers ever close their doors, residents will have the beach plan to fall back on. Patrice Parker realizes she may benefit from this in the future, but in the short term, it means more money out of her pocket. "People who have not planned or prepared, and anticipate things going up, you'll see people lose their homes and businesses. And that's not fair for people who have worked all these years and can't pay their insurance or taxes, that's insane." Now part of the premium increase means that residents will automatically be subscribed to wind and hail insurance which costs a little more than your average homeowners insurance.
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