Insurance Commissioner rejects proposed homeowners insurance rate hike

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — The state does not agree with the proposed homeowner’s insurance rate increase, so now there will be a hearing about the proposal.

NC Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey said in a statement, “We are not in agreement with the Rate Bureau’s proposed increases filed Nov. 17, 2017. After hearing and reading the more than 9,000 comments from residents across the state and studying the figures in the filing, it is now necessary to hold a hearing to reach a resolution that will make the most financial sense for our residents and insurance companies.”

The NC Rate Bureau is proposing an average increase of 18.7 percent, but in our area, the increase would actually be 25 percent.

The hearing is set for July 23 at 10 a.m. in the Second Floor Hearing Room in the Albermarle Building in Raleigh.

The hearing will be held unless the NC Department of Insurance and NC Rate Bureau are unable to negotiate a settlement before that date.  State law gives the Insurance Commissioner 45 days to issue an order once the hearing concludes. This means the order could be issued in October.

Once the order is issued, the NCRB has the right to appeal the decision before the N.C. Court of Appeals.  A Court of Appeals order could then be appealed to the N.C. Supreme Court.

The NCRB filed the average 18.7 homeowners increase Nov. 17. The filing covers insurance for residential property, tenants, and condominiums at varying rates around the state.

Under the NCRB proposal, the biggest increases would be felt along the coast. The NCRB has requested certain areas of western North Carolina receive small rate decreases. These areas include Haywood, Cherokee, Mitchell rand Avery counties. Anson, Montgomery, and Richmond counties would also see small rate decreases.

The NCRB represents insurers that write the state’s homeowners policies. It is a non-profit unincorporated rating bureau separate from the Department of Insurance. The NCRB also represents auto and workers compensation insurance companies.

The NCDOI held a public comment forum regarding the NCRB rate filing Dec. 12. Six people attended the forum, including Rep. Bob Muller, R-Brunswick, and Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort. The department also received comments via email and U.S. mail through December 29.

The last NCRB homeowners rate increase filing was in 2014 that resulted in an order of “no change” from the Commissioner of Insurance.

In 2012, the NCRB requested a 17.7 percent increase, which was settled for an increase of 7 percent that took effect in 2013.


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