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Coastal counties could see higher insurance rates

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If you live near the coast you could soon be paying more for your insurance. The North Carolina insurance industry proposed rate increases of up to seventy-percent in eighteen counties, including New Hanover, Pender, and Brunswick Counties. The increase will have the largest impact on beach areas or parts of the counties south and east of the Intracostal Waterway. Experts say insurance companies are trying to protect themselves. Jim Moore of James Moore Insurance Agency commented, “The insurance companies are concerned about getting the big hurricane, the one we've never had, which I call the category 10, and they're afraid they'll go bankrupt if it hits.” Due to the high risk factor in coastal areas, most wind insurance is currently set up through a government established beach plan. If a disaster occurs, all insurance companies share the losses.

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Coastal Insurance

Homeowner's insurance in coastal communities I believe the latest homeowner's insurance rate increase is not only unfair but misdirected. There are property owner's that take great care locate in areas that have little or no storm activity that lead to claims even near the coast. I personally built a house that is hurricane ready. We added storm proof windows. The codes require tie down supports from foundation to roof beams. The codes also require 30 year Architectural shingles. I purchased window shudders and class door covers. In 1999 we stayed in our house during Hurricane Floyd. We had extra supplies and a generator. We had no claim. We are a retired couple on a fixed income. We live 1 mile from the intercoastal waterway. Two years ago my homeowner's insurance almost doubled. Last year it held steady. Now we face a 30% increase, still no claims. Undoubtedly the coastal areas are susceptible to storm activity realistically in August & September. In colder areas and locations near rivers they are more susceptible to fires and flood claims and for more than a couple of months. Now we near the coast are to be the scapegoats while some in other areas will enjoy a decrease in their premiums. Why aren't residents with no claim histories eligible for a decrease. I believe it is very easy for insurance companies to pile on high profile coastal communities that sometimes have storms for a couple of months of the year. If some residents in other communities are receiving a decrease in premiums because of no claims, I want someone to explain to me why I am not eligible for one. Sincerely, Walter A. Carolus 1674 Anita Ct. SW Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. 28469 910-754-4105

Limit this increase to the

Limit this increase to the homes directly on the beaches, and within 1 mile of the beaches. Leave the rest of us alone money hungry blood suckers! It's moves such as this that keeps our economy in a recession state. For those that have the $500,000 + houses facing potential danger with Mother Nature...well...you should have thought this out before building or buying. Having a lot of money doesn't always go hand in hand with intelligence :-) Locals here are tired of *Bailing Out* (new buzz word these days) home owners that build directly in harms way. FOR ONCE make those effected by a 100% disaster risk pay...not the person who's income doesn't allow a 75% mark up on their Escrow Account for Insurance Blood Sucker Rates! If I won a $1,000,000 home on Wrightsville Beach in a lottery...I'd tear it down and turn the land into a beagle farm...or better yet a duck farm where the residents can swim away when the BIG ONE STRIKES!!! Wait a minute...what if a huge chunk of the Continental Shelf breaks off and causes a major tidal wave on our coast line??? Well...there's another excuse for a rate increase!

You have a couple of flaws in

your assumptions. First, Hurricanes like Ophelia, Dennis, and Floyd did far more damage west of I-95, as in Raleigh through Tarborro, then they did at the Coast. Second, they ask for a lot and normally get a lot less. Their timing was astute as they waited so it would not become a campaign issue. However, they still have to present their case at a hearing before the NC Rate Bureau. They have to present statistics to support their case. The Department of Insurance will "defend" the consumer by challenging the rate hike increase. Bottom line, probably a 20% increase. Just for the record, if rates were based on Loss Experience, the folks living in Raleigh would likely pay as much as those of us at the Beach. Another thing, Doc, more damage occured inland near Maple Hill and Burgaw than did at the coast in the last couple of storms. Is Reiglewood on the coast; they had more damage from one little "windstorm" than we had in Surf City. To be really fair, let's apportion the rate increase to those areas which sustained the actual losses. Those of us who live in harm's way, but have not had a significant storm since 1996, will be just fine. It's the folks inland who will feel the heat. Since many of us at the Beach do not have school age children, can we extend your logic to property taxes and seek reductions as we do not have schools to support? Since so much of the tax dollar goes to education, we ought to see a good reduction while those who live in school districts can pick up the extra burden. Is that another form of wealth redistribution? By the way, where do you live?

Drive up and down

Drive up and down Wrightsville/Carolina Beach/Topsail and add up the dollar for dollar value of what you see. Are these beach front property homes more expensive then the average home in Maple Hill/Burgaw? I would say so. Those beach type replenishment's hurt the insurance companies nest egg more so then a $150,000 home in the inland areas. Those high dollar value homes are a hell of a lot more expensive to replace then others inland. Just remember...they are foreseeing the BIG ONE to hit...and if it does...the storm surge won't take out Maple Hill. So the insurance companies realized their miscalculations from over the years 10 years later...now let's gouge the people all at once. You are OK with that I take it? 70% + increase is fine by you? Then vote YES with your new monthly/yearly payment with checkbook in hand. I have had minimal to no damage for the past 10 years or so, but my wind/hail insurance rate says the opposite...and as the crow flies I am no more then 12 miles from the water and I am not in a flood zone. Let *your auto insurance rate* go up 70% due to the bad drivers...you'll agree with that too I suppose?

Why Don't You

Read my entire post rather than take selective hits. Which is a Greater Loss to the Insurance Company: 1 Beachfront home at $1,000,000 OR 10 Inland Homes at $100,000? The facts are: 1. The Insurance Industry can only use a 3 to 4 year loss history in presenting their case for a rate increase. 2. There has not been a significant impact on any of the coastal areas, which would have been covered by insurance, since 1996. The other big storms all hit inland. 3. Beach erosion is not covered by insurance. SO, when the loss statistics are presented, Pender County will reflect the losses in Burgaw, Maple Hill, and Holly Shelter. Columbus County will reflect Reiglewood. And again, if you take the time to read, I did not agree with a 70% increase. I noted the likely increase would be about 20%. Unhappy with the cost of wind and hail insurance as a seperate policy, then do some shopping. Some insurance companies include wind and hail coverage as part of their package. I can name 3 Carriers which do just that. They have a seperate deductible for losses under wind or hail. Big Deal; so many people want homeowner insurance to be a maintenance policy. Bottom Line -- you did not read my post. And if auto rates would go up 70%, I would comparison shop. But before they can go up, there would be a public hearing in Raleigh; and I would plan on being there. Why don't you watch the media for the date of this rate hearing and then take the time to drive to Raleigh and voice your feelings? At the very least, why not call your agent and tell him or her to do some price shopping for you?

How many houses burned up in the Holly Shelter fire?

This is not only about hurricanes. It's about hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, and the inreasing number of people seeking earthquake policies. We've been lucky in that we've dodged the mega hurricane here, but we've been equally lucky that the fires that broke out early last Summer were in remote areas. Another draught and a lightning strike in the wrong area could take out hundreds of homes in New Hanover County, nowhere near the beach. The bottom line is that insurance companies don't have enough cash on hand to pay off even a minimal percentage of that which they have covered. (Think of it as the largest under-funded pension in history) If you live near the coast, in the Western woods, in tornado ally, or in earthquake country (and have earthquake insurance) you are going to pay a lot more because you're most at risk. People everywhere are going to face increases, however. (BTW, I live quite a way inland and my home was almost destroyed by Fran. Don't think that hurricanes are a "beach only concern.")

Here

Here we go again....I have said it once and continue to say it....The big companies just keep hitting the little guys right when everyone should be doing their part to help in these economic times.

It's not a war on the little guys

The simple fact is that the insurance companies have seen their cash reserves whacked HARD since 2005. Unless these pools of money are replenished, a catastrophic event such as another Katrina or Oakland Hills fire could bankrupt the major insurance companies. Without immense pools of cash, they can't pay off immense groups of claims. So everyone in high risk areas across the entire nation are going to see their rates raised. How do you think "the little guy" will do when he stands amid the ruins of his house and finds out that his homeowner's policy is worthless because State Farm or Nationwide has filed for bankruptcy?

I am

Against too much Government intervention, but that is what it will take!!! Federal disaster aid, insurance companies are not paying that part of the bill, and the insurance will go to Washington and beg for bail-out money like the the automakers are doing, now.