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Insurance rates taking residents by storm

READ MORE: Insurance rates taking residents by storm
Buying your first house is an experience you will never forget. The homeowners insurance that comes with it might be something you'd rather not remember. "We sat at the closing table and they were reading off these numbers and I was like, ‘oh, that's a lot more than I thought it was going to be," said homeowner Chris Long. Long and his fiancée bought their house for $180,000; their yearly insurance rate is nearly $1,900. "That sounds like a lot to me and it feels like a lot to me, especially when I know people who own much more expensive homes and are were paying what I’m paying now," added Long. A rate increase went into effect May 1st in New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender counties. On average, there was a $470 per year increase for a $150,000 house. "Not only were we getting an increase of 30 percent, which is the highest in the state, but 43 other counties were getting a decrease," pointed out Kathleen Riely of Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors. Riely said enough is enough. She created the group The Cape Fear Coalition of Concerned Citizens, or CFC3, to be a voice for frustrated residents. "What we would like to see is changes in the legislative process that will benefit all North Carolina residents that will give more transparency to the process - that will allow public comment," Riely said. CFC3 explains everything from a history of coastal insurance, to how increases are affecting the Cape Fear region, to lawsuits that have been filed over the issue. House Bill 1305 could go before the House Finance Committee as early as Wednesday. It addresses a number of elements within the beach plan and may bring about some relief for local homeowners.

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north carolina data thingy

I cannot believe the owners of the biggy franchises went along with the sharing of data with raleigh and charlotte.. it aint no secret that charlotte and raliegh want to control all the states real estate market and this just enabled them to do so... thanks big real estate owners in wilmington.. yall the ones that voted yes... guess when those charlotte big dogs move down here your little franchise wont be so big after all.... never a good idea to shoot yourself in the foot... good aim...

I have a question

I live 10 miles from the beach. Why are my rates higher than someone who has a beachfront house?

Big Metro locations get everything...

This is a pattern I've seen in this state across the board.. The big Metros (Raleigh, Charlotte, G-boro, Asheville) get everything, while the coastal towns get hit hard.... UNCW gets the least funding and it's been one of the fastest growing universities in the UNC system, we get overlooked for transportation improvements and traffic mitigation, and now the Insurance Commission of NC has the backs of those in the rest of the state. My whole problem with this isn't the 30% increase while the rest of the state gets such a cut in rates (although that is unreasonable), but rather, the fact of their reasoning...."need for insurance fund balance because of a major natural disaster,"... Just a few questions I've asked the insurance commissioner and haven't been given an answer- 1. Does the central part of the state have ice storms on a yearly basis? 2. Does the western part of the state have snow storms and forest fires on a yearly basis? 3. Do the coastal regions have major hurricanes on a yearly basis? 4. Does the rest of the state vacation on NC beaches? 5. Do the NC beaches have a significant contribution to the entire state's economy as a whole? 6. Who pays the highest insurance rates? 7. Who gets paid the least with respect to cost of living? 8. Why do only coastal counties get such a massive increase in rates when a major hurricane only comes here on avg every 12.6 years, while other regions of the state get severe weather on a yearly basis that also uses plenty of the insurance fund balance, yet get an insurance rate cut? My own personal answers are- 1. YES, 2. YES, 3. NO, 4. YES, 5. YES, 6. COASTAL REGIONS, 7. COASTAL REGIONS, 8. Politics Any other thoughts? NC Insurance Commission is a joke.

So, get proactive

If you take the time to research insurance losses due to snow and ice, then compare them to hurricanes, you reach a quick conclusion: They are a drop in the bucket. Earthquakes.....hurricanes.....floods...... large area wildfire....THAT's where the BIG losses are. I also have to wonder what our cost of living and the fact that tourists visit this area have to do with rates set for insuring personal property. They're totally irrelevant. But what can you do? Sit down with your agent and review your policy. You can save a pretty good chunk of change right off the top by increasing your deductible. If you CAN afford a $2500 deductible, why WOULDN'T you do it....and if you live in a $1.2 million home on Bald Eagle Lane but can't come up with $2500, WHERE are your priorities? Also take a look at how much insurance you have. Many, MANY people are over-insured, and by reducing the coverage the premiums drop rapidly. The important thing for people to realize is that the insurance companies wanted no part of this. Sure, they wanted a state-wide increase, but this "Beach Plan II" insanity was 100% a creation of the state.

These are great questions.....

...that you will likely never get an answer to. Very similar to getting a clarification from the IRS on an issue that may benefit a taxpayer. In addition to your good points, the only "real" disaster that looms over the coast is the proverbial and elusive hurricane. It should also be noted in your inquiries about the severe hurricane damage that has occurred inland, well away from the coastal regions. In recent years, hurricane Hugo demolished Charlotte and proceeded to the mountains to cause severe damage to Linville Gorge and surrounding mountainous areas. Hurricane Fran sped inland, wreaking havoc on Raleigh/Durham and surrounding counties. To this day, those residents say they got the worst end of Fran. Then came hurricane Floyd that sat and dumped unmentionable amounts of rain to induce the worst flooding this state has EVER seen. Countless homes, businesses, automobiles, crops, equipment and livestock lost in Wilson, Rocky Mount, Greenville, Raleigh, Tarrboro. That's a huge span of real estate and it's not coastal! It is absolutely amazing to me how an issue that stinks as bad as this one can simply fly by and get swept under the carpet with barely the blink of an eye. It is clearly evident that the people of this state and this country have lost the power to manage an out-of-hand and out-of-control government. "The power of the people" now exists only as a wet firecracker...nothing more.

homeowner insurance

You are right on Matt-I wish more people were aware of all the issues you brought up. Thank goodness CFC3 is doing something.


I agree totally. Charlotte & the Triad are also working to try to make the whole state use on Real Estate MLS databse. This would be devastating to local realtors and realtors in the Mountains (vacation areas). Lots of people from the big metro areas buy vacation homes here and in the mountains so their realtors there would be able to do the deal without knowing anything about the local market. However, it does not work in reverse since obviously local people here rarely buy second homes in large metro areas.

Your Place Mr. Tom

Tom.. While the Wilmington board is trying to do everything they can for everyone in the state effected.. Aren't they in Wilmington? Your name suggests you are in Surf City which is not Wilmington... What is your local board doing to help you as a homeowner?

homeowner insurance

You are correct. The Wilmington Realtor Association does not cover Surf City-maybe they should switch to the Wilmington Realtor group.

Insurance Rates

This is the very thing that will eventually cause people to move out of here. It's getting too expensive. There are many other areas where one can live with nice amenities for much less money. They are killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

Already looking.....

Enough already!


the Realtor's Association beats the drum with another excuse on wny houses are not selling, one must ask. Did any representative of the Association drive to Raleigh and voice concerns or question statistical data used by the Insurance Industry to validate the requested rate increase?

The Wilmington Realtor group

The Wilmington Realtor group has done a lot with this issue and others. They have been involved since the beginning. What has your Realtor Association done???? You could request that your area be part of the Wilmington group.


Tom, they most assuredly did. The association took up a massive collection and hired attorneys to represent their industry in Raleigh and have been working very hard to get this rate hike changed!

Ol Tom

Yes they did SurfCityTom....... When did you go to Raleigh and voice your opinion and ask for help for me as a homeowner? What are you doing to help the coastal area? It has nothing to do about houses not selling.... It has to do with ALL of our insurance rates going up but apparently your negative ideals and semi quasi attack with immoral terpitude of vengance outweighs the need for community members to try and help each other out and fight for something that right.. But like mama said.. there will always be more horsey hineys than horsies... Itstead of complaining, why don't you get off of your tail and help us all out... At least some people are, and it sure aint you.

It's nice how the insurance

It's nice how the insurance companies get a bail out and then kick the American people when they've already been knocked down by the economy. Things will never change as long as crooks keep getting elected to Raleigh and Washington. It's time to send most of them to the unemployment line.

The insurance companies were bailed out?

Which ones other than AIG, which got into trouble with bond, collateralized debt, and default swap insurances ? Which insurance companies that are major players in the homeowners' insurance field have received bailouts?

Just like the banks...

Just like the banks...