Causey Reaches Settlement on Homeowners Insurance Rates

On September 27, Commissioner of Insurance Mike Causey reached a settlement with the North Carolina Rate Bureau regarding their proposed homeowners insurance rate increase. As you may remember, in 2018, the Rate Bureau, which represents companies writing property insurance in North Carolina proposed a 17.4% statewide overall increase in homeowners’ insurance rates. After studying the data, Commissioner Causey negotiated a settlement for a much smaller rate of an overall statewide increase of 4%.

The 4% increase will vary according to territory, with a cap of 10% statewide instead of the 30% cap in some coastal territories initially requested by the NCRB. The highest negotiated rate increase is 9.8% in some coastal territories. The western-most territory in the state will see an average 0.1% decrease. To see the specific rates in your area, check out the full settlement. The increase will take effect on new and renewed policies beginning on or after May 1, 2020.

“Insurance is a critical factor in the overall cost of housing with even small increases making a huge difference in a homeowner’s bottom line,” said Wendy Harris, 2019 NC REALTORS® Legislative Chair. “We thank the Commissioner and the entire team at the Department of Insurance for their work in reviewing the filing and recognizing the egregious nature of the proposed 17.4 percent average increase.”

Sherri Pickard, 2019 NC Homeowners Alliance Board Chair, referenced concerns about the Rate Bureau’s year-over-year requests for rate increases in her statement of support.

“Even as an agreement is reached, we remain vigilant regarding future requests from the Bureau,” said Pickard. “The annual nature of these requests is worrisome. We know that even though these settlements are low, the total impact on homeowners gets worse every year and will eventually represent a significant increase.”

Both organizations remain committed to their advocacy regarding other options to reach equitable rates for the industry and consumers. They recognize that all avenues should be explored to ensure that homeowners are not subject to annual, excessive increases on one of the most significant costs of homeownership.

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