North Carolinians Upset With Home Insurance Increases

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  • It can be more expensive to insure homes in many parts of the country for a number of reasons, but companies issuing such policies need to keep in mind that if increases are too sizable, there may be some considerable pushback from policyholders who buy such coverage.

    For instance, there might soon be this kind of backlash in North Carolina, where state regulators are considering whether they will allow home insurance costs to increase by as much as 25 percent on average beginning later this year, according to a report from the Associated Press. Of course, that wouldn’t apply in all parts of the state, as non-coastal areas could actually see savings of as much as 3 percent, but those near the ocean would see increases more in line with 35 percent. This request from insurers came just months after the state’s insurance commissioner approved a 7 percent increase in mid-2013.

    The state’s insurance commissioner, Wayne Goodwin, and state residents alike say they’re upset about the most recent filings, the report said. Further, Goodwin urged those with grievances to submit them during the public comment period ahead of the scheduled hearing. More than 3,000 have already been submitted.

    “This repeated pattern of significant rate increases represents an undue financial burden for our homeowners, and this burden has a negative impact on our budget, the regional tourism industry, and local real estate market,” Buck Lineberger of Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., told reporters. “These increases are unfair and unreasonable.”

    The insurers’ side
    Of course, for their part, the companies writing these home insurance policies say that they’ve been undercharging North Carolina residents for years, relative to the costs they’ve faced when disasters strike, the report said. In addition, they are trying to anticipate the payments they might have to distribute to claimants as far into the future as 2016 or more. The previously approved 7 percent rate increase in July came only after a request for a jump of close to 18 percent.

    Nonetheless, insurance agents will have to keep in mind that consumers aren’t always going to be willing to pay for rate increases of this type, especially because they believe that they won’t see much value as a result of it. As such, it might be wise for agents to try to highlight all the reasons that home insurance can be extremely vital to those living in just about any area.