The state has refused a recent request made by the industry to increase the premiums paid by policyholders.
Wayne Goodwin, the Insurance Commissioner in North Carolina, has now denied the request made by the homeowners insurance industry, which had been for an average of 25.6 percent on the rates paid by policyholders across the state.
This ruling followed a hearing that was held over 12 days, in October and into November to consider the proposal.
That was the first homeowners insurance hearing of its kind that has taken place in North Carolina since 1992. Goodwin has now released a statement in which he stated that he could not find any factors that would adequately justify the level of rate increase that was requested. He went on to explain that the rates that have been ordered by his department are the outcome of “the most thorough inspection of North Carolina homeowners insurance rates in more than 20 years.”
The Commissioner felt that the industry’s homeowners insurance rate increase request was unjustified.
He added to his statement by saying that “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.”
The staff of the Insurance Department had previously come to the conclusion that the request for the rate hike did not come with adequate justification. It was that decision that brought about the hearing that was held over twelve days.
Should the industry decide to do so, it can still appeal the ruling that was made by the insurance commissioner. The appeal would have to be made with the North Carolina Court of Appeals. In that case, it would need to re-file the request that it has made. Alternately, it must accept the decision that was made by the commissioner. The director of the N.C. Rate Bureau, Ray Evans, said that his staff was currently reading and analyzing the contents of the ruling – which was 356 pages long – at the time of the writing of this article. That bureau represents the insurance industry in the state.
The governing committee of the bureau will use this week to meet and choose the strategy that will be taking in terms of moving forward with homeowners insurance rates.