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NC auto insurance companies request rate increase

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Auto insurance companies in North Carolina are asking for a 1.4 percent rate increase despite being at odds with the state's insurance department. The state Department of Insurance said Monday the North Carolina Rate Bureau has requested the statewide average increase for 2009. The annual request comes despite the bureau's appeal of a state order in 2008 to decrease rates by 16.1 percent. Then-Commissioner Jim Long issued the order in September. Current Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin said insurance companies have ignored that decrease and increased their rates 9.4 percent in 2008. It went into effect Jan. 1 but could be overturned by the court system. Goodwin said he will schedule a hearing for later this year if the Bureau and the department cannot agree on a settlement for the filed rates. (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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