Insurance commissioner rejects industry request for 42% hike to home insurance rates

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey has given the insurance industry his answer to their request for a large rate hike for homeowners insurance premiums. That answer was ‘No.’

Insurance companies often ask the state for permission to raise their rates, but the industry’s request this year was much higher than it normally is. The request had been to impose an average increase of 42% higher to rates statewide, driven in part by rates that would nearly double in some parts of Eastern North Carolina, particularly on the coast.

“I haven’t seen the evidence to justify such a drastic rate increase on North Carolina consumers,” Commissioner Causey said. “The Department of Insurance has received more than 24,000 emailed comments on this proposal, with hundreds more policyholders commenting by mail. Scores more consumers spoke during a public comment forum. North Carolina consumers deserve a more thorough review of this proposal. I intend to make sure they get that review.”

The proposed rate hikes by the North Carolina Rate Bureau on behalf of the insurance companies writing policies in the state range from 4.3% in some of the mountain counties to 99.4% in some of the beach areas, something Causey said was not fair treatment across the board for everyone calling the proposal excessive and unfairly discriminatory.

“Homeowners were shocked with the high amount requested by the insurance companies, and so was I,” Commissioner Causey said.

The N.C. Rate Bureau, which represents companies that write insurance policies in the state, is not a part of the Department of Insurance. The Rate Bureau was created by the General Assembly in 1977. Any insurance companies writing homeowners’ insurance or personal automobile insurance policies in North Carolina must be a member of the Rate Bureau.

Causey has set a hearing date for October 7th, state law gives Causey 45 days to issue an order once the hearing is over.