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Grassroots organization voices opinion on coastal insurance rates

READ MORE: Grassroots organization voices opinion on coastal insurance rates
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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The Commissioner of Insurance has no power to raise insurance rates. On the contrary, the Insurance Industry files expense and loss data with its request for a rate increase. That data is reviewed prior to a decision being made by the NC Rate Bureau. At that point, the Comissioner may, if he feels the consumer has been disserved, take the Insdustry to court and challenge the rate increase. The Court then decides. Look at this very site and the post concerning the roll back in private passenger auto rates. While the current commissioner is basking in the light, that fight was begun by former Commissioner Jim Long who was a real consumer advocate in Raleigh. For anyone to say the Commissioner can arbitrarily increase rates merely shows how little that person knows about the rate making process.

Wayne Goodwin Was Instrumental in Rate Cut

Here's a "correction" to the post entitled "Correction": Though former Insurance Commissioner Jim Long started the fight against auto rate increases last year, it was Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and his expert, independent staff ALONE that negotiated the roll back of rates to 2006 levels, froze them in place for a 5 year span through 2011, and then ordered $50 Million in refunds to more than 1 Million NC policyholders. Additionally, it was Goodwin's leadership that led to estimated savings for 4 Million policyholders of $545 Million. Our Insurance Commissioner saved us one-half BILLION $$ by his leadership since January. So, it incorrect to state that Goodwin is merely "basking in the glow" ...Wayne Goodwin is a strong consumer advocate, who worked for Jim Long for 4 years and will continue that legacy of saving billions of dollars for NC consumers, homeowners, drivers, and business owners alike.

You must be

joking. And you must be one of his minions. And, Commissioner Goodwin must realize he is on track to be a one termer. But, if the savings was half a billion dollars -- your words -- why is the refund only 50 million dollars? Seems to be a disparity in numbers. Have you an actuary who can explain that?

Reply to "You Must Be Joking"

As any expert in insurance law and auto insurance in general knows, and at least someone familiar with either, the Insurance Commissioner approves (that is, sets or orders, usually at a level much lower than what the insurance industry has sought) a maximum insurance rate based on North Carolina claims per territory for the last several years. Many companies then offer discounts or deviations from that maximum rate. The reason that there is $50 Million in auto refunds is because those funds are for those persons whose rates were higher than the pre-2006 rate rollback. Thus, 1+ million policyholders receive refunds, and the other 3 million policyholders were already paying less than the pre-2006 maximum rate. As for the $545 Million in estimated savings over 3 three years, that's because EVERY driver will see a reduction of his or her insurance rates of between $90 and $110 dollar per year. When you multiply the number of policyholders in North Carolina (approximately 4+ million) by the $110, and by the number of years until the next rate filing is required by law and the settlement, and related factors, then the estimated savings come to approximately $545 million. So, SurfCityTom, it doesn't take an actuary, just simple math and occasionally algebra. The $50 Million and the $545 Million are separate and distinct calculations. As for Commissioner Goodwin's re-election, keep in mind that coastal/beach North Carolina comprises 9% of the population and 5% of the homeowners. According to the news reports and what is being said by legislators and news editorials outside of our area here in eastern North Carolina, the vast majority of the State doesn't agree with the coast on the issue and supports the Insurance Commissioner.

Runner, Runner, Runner

So much rhetoric. Had your initial explanation of numbers shown the clarity this post does, no one would have been forced to resort to the use of algebra to understand the flow of numbers you presented. And, if you look at my original post, you will note I said much the same concerning the Commissioner's ability to set or control rates. But you have raised a couple of questions. Your knowledge and fervent support of the Commissioner certainly bespeaks of one who works within the Department of Insurance. So, with all of these public accolades for the Commissioner, and given the time of day which you wrote the post, I must ask if you were on furlough or vacation when you took the time to write this? Or is this considered a portion of your duties? And, while knowing the election is 3 years away, would these public outcries, in support of the Commissioner, be viewed as a Campaign effort by a state employee? I believe tooting the horn, on behalf of an elected official while on the state dole, is against some election statute. I guess we can continue this exchange or let the matter drop. The ball is in your corner. But, you might want to check with the Commissioner first.

Oh surfcitytom while some of

Oh surfcitytom while some of what you've said is correct you are misinformed once again. The Rate Bureau sets the manual rates but it is the Commissioner of the Department of Insurance who approves the % increases and % decreases from those manual rates. All rate modifications are subject to the approval of the Commissioner. The issue is the 30% increase from the manual rates for our area while other areas got a 6% decrease. This decision was approved by the Insurance Commissioner.


the Commissioner has such omnipotent power, why was it necessary to seek court action and negotiate a settlement to reduce auto insurance rates? If he is all powerful like the Wizard of Oz, why did he not just issue an executiev order rolling the rates back?

No No No

again, someone takes a small portion of what I said and blows it all out of context. The Comissioner of Insurance has no rate making authority. Go read the statute.


spreading the rates across the state is ONLY FAIR...I mean...we pay for these types of events inland...tropical storms that go inland do just as much damage...yet WE on the coast pay for THAT damage...and the whole hurricane a LIE to get more money anyway...when was the last CATASTROPHIC hurricane in NC....IT'S BEEN A WHILE PEOPLE..and I hate to say it...but coastal residents in this state are a lot SMARTER than the NIT WITS in New Orleans! If you don't take responsibility for's not the state or feds fault!


Riely didn't start the grassroot campaign. Her board made up of local realtors did. She just is the spokesman. While it is a good thing I think the proper word of thanks goes to those realtors who started this movement to protect the people of the coastal counties. Thank you realtors and presidents/vice president relators with the Wilmington realtor board!!! Web Page Video

I am confused by the blogger called "Board" who stated that the realtors and not Ms. Riely started this grassroot campaign. This grassroot campaign in question in the TV video was the forming of the Cape Fear Coalition for Concerned Citizens and creating the web page ( with the well informed attachments. This indeed was started by Ms. Riely. Ms, Riely is the Governmental Affairs Director (GAD) for WRAR and has put out such great effort as the spokesperson to help get out the message on behalf of the realtors and this is just another example of her dedication. We are lucky to have such a dedicated and professional representative getting out the message for us. Could this blogger give me the name of those local realtors who he/she said formed this coalition and created the web-page that Ms. Riely spoke of in the video? it appears that this blogger is a realtor and feels that the realtors are not getting any kudos. This is not true. Being a GAD takes on many activities. This is her job and she is doing it extremely well. Nothing was ever done to slit any board member. Her passion should light some fires.

Riely works with and for the

Riely works with and for the realtors and they did it together.