North Carolina Rejects Home Insurance Rate Hikes

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  • For some time now, millions on homeowners across the country have seen their rates for various types of insurance coverage slowly creep up, and that may be cause for concern. However, it seems that home insurance coverage will not be part of this trend in North Carolina for 2015, as the state’s insurance commissioner recently rejected a number of proposed rate hikes. This news may necessitate a call from insurance agents to their clients, so that they can explain the reasons rates may not be shifting as much as they might have previously expected.

    North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin recently ordered what was effectively a 0 percent change to home insurance rates in the state for the coming year, according to a report from the North Carolina Department of Insurance. However, there are going to be increases in some parts of the state, because there are regional differences in risk and other factors that will impact costs for homeowners. But overall, the average premium for North Carolinians is probably going to drop 0.3 percent this year.

    “The rates I have ordered are the result of the most thorough inspection of North Carolina homeowners insurance rates in more than 20 years,” said Goodwin. “After considering all of the evidence and data available, I have determined that no factors or events justified the excessive rates requested by the insurance companies.”

    Why is this important for homeowners?
    Beyond the fact that this obviously means that owners won’t have to pay more for their coverage, this is a momentous decision for residents, the report said. Insurance companies had requested rate increases averaging 25.6 percent for the year, which in turn prompted the first public hearing in North Carolina about these kinds of costs since 1992.

    The more insurance agents can do to help consumers understand exactly what goes into their insurance coverage, including how rates are set and how that might impact them, the better off they might be in terms of forging a strong relationship with a given client. That, in turn, can lead to significantly increased customer satisfaction, because a number of polls indicate that people actually value high quality service even over the ability to provide discounts on coverage. And those kinds of positive feelings can lead to growing retention rates and even strong word of mouth.