Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Commissioner Causey negotiates settlement on automobile insurance rates Settlement will save drivers $1.6 billion over the next two years

Aug 8, 2023

Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced a settlement with the N.C. Rate Bureau on automobile insurance rates. The settlement is about two-thirds less than the insurance companies had requested. 

On Feb. 1 the Rate Bureau requested an overall average statewide increase in of 28.4 % for private passenger auto rates and 4.7% for motorcycle liability. The settlement provides an average statewide auto rate increase of 4.5% in 2023 and another 4.5% in 2024. The settlement also includes motorcycle liability increases of 2.3% in 2023 and 2.3% in 2024. The Rate Bureau represents the insurance industry in North Carolina and is not a part of the Department of Insurance.

The settlement will save drivers approximately $1.6 billion over the next two years compared to the Rate Bureau request. In addition, the settlement cancels a hearing scheduled for later this year, avoiding a lengthy administrative legal battle which would have cost consumers time and money. 

According to a 2023 study from U.S. News and World Report, North Carolina ranked as the sixth lowest state in average annual automobile insurance costs.

“I’m proud that North Carolina is consistently among the lowest annual average rates for private passenger vehicles in the nation,” Commissioner Causey said. “In recent years, we’ve seen some rate increases due to more accidents and fatalities in North Carolina. This can be attributed to factors such as excessive speeding and driving under the influence. However, the number one cause of accidents and, thus, rate increases, is distracted driving. It is unlikely that we will see rate decreases in the future unless some of these trends change. Drivers and driving habits impact the rates the most, in addition to increased repair costs due to excessive inflation. We don’t wish for any rate increases but we are doing everything we can to protect consumers.” 

The increase will take effect on new and renewed policies beginning on or after Dec. 1. By law, the bureau must submit auto rate filings with the department every year by Feb. 1.

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