State proposed homeowner’s insurance rates raise eyebrows along the coast


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) –  If you live near the coast, your homeowner’s insurance rate could go up by more than 20%. That’s what the state rate bureau is proposing.

The state rate bureau proposed a 18.7% rate increase statewide for 2018. They also included up to 25% of an increase for coastal communities.

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“I was shocked because that is a significant rate hike,” said Fred Gainey with Seacoast Realty and the Cape Fear Realtors association.

Map of insurance territories. Courtesy NC State Rate Bureau.

The bureau says past and expected inflation rates led them to the increase. The uncertainty of storms like hurricanes was their reason for the coastal rates.

“For our economy, to be able to buy these kinds of products that’s what our cost is,” said North Carolina State Bureau General Manager Ray Evans.

“That was the first thing I thought. Are you kidding me?,” asked Daniel McIntyre who is a local developer and owns Turf Master Sod. “You guys are taking advantage of these people because you can.”

The rate bureau thinks it will be between $18 to $25 a month more for average home owners. Those numbers are not definite though as they are based around the average monthly mortgages according to Evans. That’s something realtors like Fred Gainey argue though will hit home not just for those sitting beach side, but also home owners on main street.

“Twenty-five dollars might be a meal or a prescription and you know I’m talking like our grandparents and stuff,” Gainey said.

The new rate hike proposals come after the previous rate requests were turned down back in 2014 according to Evans.

The deadline for the public to share their opinion is December 29th.

Comments should be sent to Written public comments should be mailed to Tricia Ford by Dec. 29, 2017, and addressed to: 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1201

By the new year – it will be up to the insurance commissioner. Evans says these are proposed rates, even if approved, policies differ.

“Because the rate bureau does something doesn’t mean insurance companies do exactly that same thing,” Evans said.

However, Gainey has a clear message he thinks homeowners should make.

“We don’t want this, we just don’t want it, it’s too much.”

The town of Shallotte is circulating a letter of opposition on the rate hike.  Sunset Beach town leaders and Brunswick County Commissioners voted in favor of adopting that letter go to the insurance commissioner.

Topsail Beach, Pender County commissioners and Surf City adopted resolutions to tell the commissioner they are against the rates.