State (NC) Rejects Proposed Homeowners Insurance Increase

05 Jan

North Carolina homeowners are getting a reprieve from higher premiums, at least for another year. Insurance companies who were hoping their request for a 25 percent increase would be approved were disappointed recently when the state regulator agreed to a zero percent increase.

Wayne Goodwin, the Insurance Commissioner in North Carolina said, “I found no factors or events that justified the excessive costs requested by the insurance companies,” according to a press release.

Rates across the state will vary depending on coverage levels and area of the state but overall there will be a zero percent increase for the average premium across the state. Last year, homeowners in North Carolina were hit with a seven percent increase.

This year’s rate increase was requested by the North Carolina Rate Bureau, which represents roughly 100 insurance companies selling homeowners coverage in the state. According to the Rate Bureau’s filing, the increase is needed in order to cover accelerating expenses in the repair and replacement costs, as well as the growing risk of catastrophic losses.

North Carolina Home Insurance

I found no factors or events that justified the excessive costs requested by the insurance companies. – Wayne Goodwin, the Insurance Commissioner in North Carolina

The Rate Bureau was not happy with the decision and will decide shortly whether to file an appeal. They felt the commissioner gave too much weight to the historical record and not enough to the data and statistics from their experts.

The Insurance Commissioner’s orders will have a big effect on a variety of cities in the state.

Insurers hoped to increase rates by roughly 25 percent in both Durham and Raleigh. They also requested an average 33 percent increase in Wake and Durham counties but according to data released by the state Insurance Department (, the Commissioner ordered that rates drop by four percent in these cities and counties.

Homeowners in Winston-Salem and Greensboro will see their rates stay flat despite a request by insurance companies for an average increase of 21 percent. The insurers also requested a double-digit increase for homeowners in Triad County, but again, the insurance commissioner held rates at their current levels.

Mecklenburg, Union, Alexander, Iredell, Stanly and Wilkes county homeowners also escaped an increase averaging 15 percent when the commissioner again, ordered no change.

Even homeowners in coastal areas that have seen large premium increases for the last several years will see a reduction thanks to Goodwin. Insurers disagree, citing the risk of damage from hurricanes and other tropical storms.

Unfortunately, insurers are refusing to issue policies in some areas unless policyholders sign an agreement that allows the insurer to charge higher rates than those approved by the Insurance Commissioner’s office. These higher than approved rates policies made up 30 percent of the homeowners insurance market in North Carolina.

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