Insurance rates for coastal counties one target of meeting

Published: Friday, April 12, 2013 at 04:41 PM.

Homeowners insurance rates were a hot topic at a meeting of NC-20 on Friday in New Bern.

NC-20 is a group of leaders representing the interests of 20 Eastern North Carolina coastal counties.

Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, spoke on issues facing the General Assembly, including property insurance, storm water ponds, dredging and wind energy.

Brown said the issue he gets the most calls about is insurance rates in coastal North Carolina.

Brown said he wrote a bill last year that would eliminate any dramatic increases in property insurance, and that would allow the state’s insurance commissioner, Wayne Goodwin, who also spoke at the symposium, the opportunity to negotiate with the North Carolina Rate Bureau.

“He assured me it would not go up,” Brown said. “… I think the commissioner caved in on the coastal rate increase. … My argument is he blames the rating bureau. But he gets to negotiate.”

Brown said he was considering if the state needs an insurance rating bureau or an elected insurance commissioner. He wondered if it would be better if the insurance commissioner was an appointed position.

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