Kathleen Riely with the Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors opened up the eyes of some members of the Pender County Republican Party. She gave a presentation about the insurance rates in coastal counties, which, as many people know, are going sky high. Riely recently started the group The Cape Fear Coalition of Concerned Citizens, or CFC3, to educate the public. "I want them to feel that they have a voice in this. They can have a voice in this process but they need to get involved," she said. Topsail Beach resident Bill Morrison attended the presentation and said, "I was very familiar with the coastal rates because I was presented them by the beach plan for payment." Some relief could be in sight. Tuesday, House Bill 1305 passed its second reading in the House and will have its third reading Wednesday. The bill helps spread the cost of covering catastrophic events across the state, rather than putting the burden on coastal residents. "I think it's marvelous. I think it should get through as soon as possible because I know that a lot of people are going to have to be paying a great deal of money," said Morrison. Riely said House Bill 1305 is at least a start. "I like the fact that it's a one percent deductible instead of a two percent deductible," she said. "What I don't like about the bill is that it doesn't address the rate making process. It doesn't address the fairness to the system in a rate making process." The group passed a resolution supporting CFC3, joining towns like Kure Beach, Carolina Beach, and Burgaw, in expressing their concerns. Pender County resident Jack Swann added, "The insurance commissioner is just able to arbitrarily raise rates wherever he thinks he can get away with it." House Bill 1305 will likely pass its third reading in the House Wednesday. Then, it is onto the Senate, where Riely said there will be more opportunities for changes to the bill.
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