North Carolina’s Insurance Commissioner is considering a request from the state’s insurance companies to increase homeowners insurance rates by an average of 17.4 percent.
The NC Homeowners Alliance has been fighting for months, encouraging the commissioner to reject this burdensome increase.
At the same time, it is important for consumers to understand how our rates are set.
North Carolina’s Unique Process
Property insurance companies in North Carolina do not individually set their homeowners insurance rates. Instead, this is the only state in the country that authorizes insurance companies to share data and collectively set rates. The insurance companies collectively share information through an organization called the NC Rate Bureau.
In what has started to become a yearly ritual, the NC Rate Bureau often proposes a large overall increase in rates. Then, consumers push back and the Insurance Commissioner rejects the increase or accepts a much smaller increase. In some cases they even agree to a decrease.
Consumer action, not competition
Therefore, competition in the marketplace is not the primary tool for consumers to keep insurance rates low.
The best consumer protection is to make sure that the Insurance Commissioner knows we are paying attention. That’s why it’s important to know a few facts:
- 6,000 emails – Between NC REALTORS and homeowners, more than 6,000 people have emailed NC Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey during this rate review process.
- 976 – That is the total number of pages for the Rate Bureau’s filing for a 17.4 percent overall increase in homeowners insurance rates. The NC Department of Insurance must conduct painstaking reviews of these filings
- 29 – The number of territories that the state is divided into, geographically, for ratemaking purposes. North Carolina is a complex environment for ratemaking.
For most homeowners, the home is their biggest investment. The NC Homeowners Alliance is the only statewide organization fighting for homeowners. One of the most important things the Homeowners Alliance does is mobilize advocates to fight against property rate increases.
You can sign up for the NC Homeowners Alliance to stay informed on important issues. You can also email Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey to encourage him to keep standing up for consumers.