Homeowners insurance rate hikes see setbacks

KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) – Controversy has been brewing ever since insurance companies asked the state to approve a price hike in homeowners insurance rates.

With the average rate hike request of 42.2%, homeowners like Charlotte Corey say it would be difficult to afford a home that holds a lot of sentimental value.

“Everything does go up, but asking for 70%, 90%, that makes people want to run, but where do you run to? What do you do?” Corey said.

Corey says she and her husband are avid travelers, but they ended up coming back to Kinston, where they were born and raised.

Since the moment they started working on their house together 6 years ago, the house has become a lot more than a physical structure to the Coreys, but home insurance rate hikes like this could jeopardize their ownership.

“I’ve been seeing a lot of people downsizing…big time. multiple families living together now and i feel like we might be going back to that, because of prices,” Corey said.

The North Carolina Rate Bureau sought the increase for insurance companies, citing the impact of inflation on repairs, and climate change resulting in more property destruction.

Causey says he hasn’t seen evidence to justify such a drastic rate increase. His office received more than 24,000 emailed comments in opposition.

“Insurance companies have got to do a better job with rooting out fraud, reporting fraud…our office is doing everything we can to go after insurance fraud that’s driving up our insurance costs,” Commissioner Causey said.

A hearing date is now set for October 7th on the request. the two sides could also reach a settlement before then.