Homeowners’ insurance rate increase requested

Jan. 07, 2014 @ 05:36 PM

A request by a nonprofit agency that represents home insurance companies in the state would mean that base homeowners’ insurance rates would go up by 24.4 percent in the city of Durham, by 32.1 percent in Durham County, and by 18.2 percent in Orange and Chatham counties.
The N.C. Department of Insurance received the N.C. Rate Bureau’s request Friday. The rate increase requests vary by territory, but for the state overall, the request is for an average increase of about 25 percent. If OK’d by the N.C. Department of Insurance, the base rate increases would take effect in August.
Kerry Hall, a spokeswoman for the state’s Insurance Department, said in an email that in determining what premium to charge customers for homeowners’ insurance, insurance companies factor in the home value and construction type, the fire department’s classification, and they may also offer different discounts. In addition, they also factor in the base rates, which are set at the state level.
This year’s requested base rate increase follows another increase that took effect in July of last year. In a prepared statement, N.C. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin said he’s “appalled” that insurance companies would request another insurance hike six months later.
“I believe the insurance companies should withdraw this rate filing immediately. If they do not, the insurance companies should expect a full hearing on this matter; I will not entertain any settlement negotiations,” he said.
The state’s Insurance Department is reviewing the request to determine what, if any, rate adjustments are warranted, according to a news release. If the department and the N.C. Rate Bureau can’t agree, Goodwin would call for a public hearing to allow both parties to argue their cases.
There will be a public comment session from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 24 in the Jim Long Hearing Room of the Dobbs Building at 430 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh. Written comments will be accepted through Jan. 31 and should be mailed to: NCDOI, Attn: Bob Mack, Property & Casualty Division, 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1201 or emailed to 2014homeowners@ncdoi.gov.