North Carolina Homeowners Could See Insurance Rate Increases

28 Feb
Atlantic Beach, NC coastal homeowners insurance, skyline view.

The North Carolina Rate Bureau (NCRB) recently proposed a homeowners insurance rate increase that local officials across the state are claiming is unfair, especially in coastal areas

The NCRB filed a rate increase request on December 20ththat proposes a statewide 17.4 percent rate increase for homeowners insurance. The rate increase would cover residential property, tenants and condominiums. Rate increases would vary across the state with coastal areas seeing the largest rate jump while some western counties may see a rate decrease. 

If the rate increase is approved, homeowners in Carteret County, which includes numerous coastal communities, could see rate increases of up to 30 percent in beachfront areas. Even inland communities would see a rate jump of 20-25 percent. 

 “It’s unacceptable, it’s not right,” Mark Mansfield, chairman of the county commission, said in a recent Carteret County News-Times article. “You have people struggling to make ends meet as it is, this is taking advantage of them.”

Condo owners would also see a rate hike but the increase would be limited to between 5 and 15 percent depending on where the home is located. 

If the board approves the increase, homeowners would see the new rates take effect on Tuesday October 1st.  The last rate hike in this area pushed rates up 5.5 percent and went into effect in October of 2018.

NCRB Says the Increases are Necessary

The NCRB is a separate entity from the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) and represents insurance companies. The NCRB claims that the rate increases are absolutely necessary to help cover increased costs, losses related to hurricanes as well as the cost of reinsurance. 

Mike Causey who is the NCDOI commissioner seems to agree that the rates hikes are excessive and has called for a hearing, which has been scheduled for Wednesday September 4th

“There is a pervasive lack of documentation, explanation, and justification of both the data used, as well as the procedures and methodologies utilized in the filing,” Mr. Causey said in the recent Carteret County News-Times article. “The proposed rates appear to be excessive and unfairly discriminatory.”

Unless the NCDOI and the NCRB are able to come to an agreement the hearing will take place in September. 

In addition to North Carolina homeowner insurance, many homeowners on coast need to carry flood insurance, which can increase the financial burden presented by insurance. 

The NCRB has also requested a rate increase for both car insurance and mobile home policies. 

A Few Tips to Save Money

If the rate increase is approved you may be looking for ways to lower your premium. Here are a few tips on how to keep your homeowners insurance affordable:

  • Raise Your Deductible: If you can afford to raise your deductible this is a great way to lower your premium. Insurers love it when you have more skin in the game and will lower your rate by 20-25 percent if you push up your deductible. Always choose a deductible that you can easily afford in the event you have to make a claim on your policy. 
  • Upgrade Your Home: Replacing your roof with wind resistant materials, adding storm shutters or even a sprinkler system can result in a major discount, especially for coastal homeowners. Ask your agent to see what upgrades will result in a discount

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