Local
5:11 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

NC Homeowners' insurance rates to rise July 1st

Homeowners’ insurance rates are going up in North Carolina  effective July 1st.   Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin says the actual increase is less than half of what insurance companies requested. 

And while barrier islands in North Carolina will see the biggest hikes, the Cape Fear region is just slightly above the statewide average.   

The average statewide increase is 7 percent.  New Hanover, Pender, Brunswick, Onslow, and Carteret Counties will see a hike of more than eight and a half percent; barrier islands in those counties will see rates go up by almost 20%.  Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin says he settled with homeowners’ insurance companies on a lesser rate hike -- instead of going through with a hearing on June 3rd.  But, he says, keeping rates low is only part of his mandate. 

"But the balancing act is that while we’re focusing on that, we have to make sure that the rates are adequate so that when consumers are paying premiums, that the insurance companies have enough monies in hand to be solvent for the amount of coverage and the amount of claims that could occur should there be claims made.  And we have to make sure that the companies have the opportunity to make a reasonable profit. "

The steadily rising cost of reinsurance related to hurricane risks and ongoing concerns about insurance availability in the state made it clear, says Goodwin, that an increase is warranted.