Thank you for taking action on homeowners insurance rate increases. Here is some additional information about how the state's ratemaking process works.
The NC Homeowners Alliance is the leading organization in the state fighting against unnecessary property insurance rate increases. No other state in the nation sets rates the way that North Carolina does, and consumer engagement is a critical part of the process.
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:
- Public input – Consumers have a right to express their opinions on rates. Between NC REALTORS and homeowners, more than 6,000 people emailed NC Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey during the previous rate review process.
- Lack of transparency – The insurance companies have been playing games on ratemaking. They have consistently proposed massive increases and then negotiate smaller increases out of sight and without scrutiny. The NC Homeowners Alliance wants a more public review of the Rate Bureau's submissions.
- Insurance territories – The state is divided into 29 territories for ratemaking purposes. While the NC Homeowners Alliance and other organizations often give the statewide average impact of a rate case, it can vary significantly by geography. 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.