Homeowners Insurance Rates To Increase 9.8% In New Hanover

Homeowners Insurance Rates To Increase 9.8% In New Hanover

Homeowners Insurance Rates To Increase 9.8% In New Hanover Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 02 October 2019 18:55

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - Homeowners insurance in many coastal counties will increase following a settlement between the NC Department of Insurance and the NC Rate Bureau.

According to Barry Smith with the NC Department of Insurance (NCDOI), "The Department of Insurance settled a homeowners insurance legal dispute with the NC Rate Bureau, averting a  potentially costly administrative battle with insurance companies. This means the hearing scheduled for Oct. 2 is canceled."

NCDOI also announced on September 27th, a settlement was negotiated for mobile home rates.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey explained in a release, "I am happy to announce that North Carolina homeowners will save nearly $285 million a year in premium payments compared to what the NCRB had requested," Commissioner Causey said. "I am also glad the Department of Insurance has avoided a lengthy administrative legal battle which could have cost consumers time and money."

The Rate Bureau, which represents companies writing property insurance in North Carolina and is not a part of the N.C. Department of Insurance, proposed in 2018 a 17.4% statewide overall increase in homeowners' insurance rates.

Commissioner Causey negotiated a settlement for a lower rate of an overall statewide increase of 4%.

According to Smith, "The 4% increase will vary according to territory, with a cap of 10% statewide instead of the 30% cap in some coastal territories initially requested by the NCRB. The highest negotiated rate increase is 9.8% in some coastal territories. The western-most territory in the state will see an average 0.1% decrease."
Smith explained, "Compared to the rates requested by the NCRB, the settlement means a significant savings for homeowners. For example, Wilmington residents with a $200,000 frame home with a $1,000 deductible would pay an average $400 less a year than had the NCRB's requested rates gone into effect. Residents for similar homes in Wake and Durham counties would pay an average $120 less."

New and renewed polices after May 1st, 2020 will see the impact of the increase.

As for mobile home insurance, Smith explained, "In February, the NCRB requested an overall statewide average increase of 19% for MH-C (Casualty) policies and an overall statewide average increase of 19.9% for MH-F (Fire) policies. Both MH-C and MH-F programs provide property and liability coverage. The agreement reached between the Department of Insurance and the NCRB provides for an overall average increase of 4.3% for MH-C policies and an average overall statewide rate increase of 6.6% for MH-F policies. Rates will vary according to territory."

Those increases will be effective for new and renewed policies after May 1st, 2020.

Previous Rate Filings

The NCDOI held a public comment forum in July 2018, regarding the NCRB rate filing Dec. 12, 2017. 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 Dec. 29, 2017.

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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