North Carolina Weighing Controversial Auto Insurance Rules

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  • In light of a few recent studies that have shown that auto insurance coverage costs can vary significantly from one state to the next, a number of lawmakers across the country have endeavored to alter the rules about the ways in which these policies are dealt with by issuers. One such state is North Carolina, where some advocates say the proposed “Good Driver Discount Bill” may not be as beneficial as the name implies. As a consequence of the recent trend, when these laws are being considered, insurance agents operating within the states in question may have to do more to deal with consumers’ issues  concerning how the proposals would affect their bottom lines.

    Currently, the state’s laws dictate that the insurance commissioner can set limits on the amount North Carolinians can be charged for their auto insurance every year, which can often serve to keep prices as depressed as possible, according to a report from the commissioner’s office. However, the “Good Driver Discount Bill” would allow companies to opt out of that rule, and therefore set rates above that limit if they so chose.

    What’s the problem?
    Critics of the plan note that there’s little need for North Carolina to change the way it deals with auto insurance costs overall, because the current system is working very well, the report said. At present, state residents pay the sixth-lowest average premium in the country and more than 150 policy issuers operate within its borders, indicating that the current pricing model is going well for just about everyone. If insurers didn’t think they could turn a profit, they simply wouldn’t do business there.

    “If this proposal passes, I am certain that car insurance rates will go up – even for good drivers,” said North Carolina insurance commissioner Wayne Goodwin. “Despite what profit-driven insurance companies will tell you, I will have little to no authority to stop rates from going through the roof.”

    Insurance agents who can do more to handle whatever questions a client may have about coming changes to auto coverage legislation in their states may be the ones best positioned to develop better relationships with their clients. Studies have shown that consumers value better customer service over improved prices, and the greater amount of work that can be done to make those inroads, the better customer satisfaction is likely to be.