Homeowners could pay as much as $300 to $400 more

Published: Monday, October 8, 2012 at 09:57 AM.

A public comment period is open for a proposed insurance rate hike that could mean an average 30-percent increase in homeowner policies across 18 coastal counties.

The N.C. Department of Insurance said that it has received a homeowners rate filing from the North Carolina Rate Bureau. The Rate Bureau, which represents the property insurance companies doing business in the state, requested a statewide average increase of 17.7 percent. It is also requesting that the new rates take effect June 1, 2013.

Several area organizations say the filing shows the same discrepancies they’ve seen with past requests, with coastal counties bearing the brunt of the increases.

The Business Alliance for a Sound Economy said that while an average increase of 30 percent is proposed across the coastal counties, other areas of the state would see increases of only 1.2 percent.

And the 2012 filing follows rate increases that coastal homeowners have faced in every rate cycle since 1992.

“It comes down to the equity of it,” said Cameron Moore, governmental affairs director for BASE.

In reviewing the rate filing, Moore said there are several new issues, including the addition of reinsurance costs in the rulemaking and proposed rates based on $75,000 worth of coverage instead of the previous $150,000.

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