Insurance Commissioner rejects huge rate increase proposal, negotiates settlement; hearing canceled

RALEIGH

A hearing on a proposal by the North Carolina Rate Bureau to increase dwelling insurance rates, scheduled for Jan. 13, has been canceled after the NCRB reached a settlement with the N.C. Department of Insurance.

The NCRB, which is not a part of the N.C. Department of Insurance but represents companies that write insurance policies in the state, had requested a statewide average rate increase of 19.2%, varying by territory.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey rejected that increase, saying that the proposed rate hike was excessive. As a result, Commissioner Causey negotiated a 15-percentage point reduction of the proposed increase to an overall statewide rate of 4%.

 The NCRB had also requested a 4.6% increase in fire coverage and a 24.3% increase in extended (wind) coverage.

The settlement, instead, resulted in a 0% increase for fire coverage and a statewide average 5.3% increase for extended (wind) coverage, an almost 20-percentage point reduction from the proposed increase.

The new rates apply to all new and renewal polices effective on or after July 1.

The settlement includes provisions for credits for dwelling owners who install fortified roofs. Fortified roofs are built to a higher standard and designed to better withstand high winds that come from storms. Such credits could reduce insurance premiums by an average 7% in some territories.

(Please CLICK HERE to see the changes by territory.)

Dwelling insurance policies are not homeowners’ insurance policies. Dwelling policies are offered to non-owner-occupied residences of no more than four units, including rental properties, investment properties and other properties that are not occupied full time by the property owner.

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