Homeowners insurance companies haven’t given up on rate hike requests

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Despite the fact that they have been unsuccessful, so far, insurers in North Carolina are still trying.

According to an industry spokesperson in North Carolina, homeowners insurance companies are not yet ready to back down on their goal to increase premiums by an average of 25 percent across the state.

A group that represents nearly 100 insurers in the state is taking its case to the Court of Appeals.

According to Ray Evans, a spokesperson for the Rate Bureau industry group, which represents almost 100 companies that sell N.C. homeowners insurance policies, it will be appealing its request for an increase in the rates after it had previously been rejected by the state regulator. The group has filed notice that it will be bringing the case to the Court of Appeals.

The group believes that it could be up to a year before this homeowners insurance rate battle is decided.

North Carolina Homeowners insurance ratesEvans explained that the case will decide whether or not the increase in insurance rates of about $500 million has been adequately justified. On the flip side of the coin, insurance companies can still file new requests for increases with the Insurance Department in the state, he added.

He said that “In the meantime, we still feel the rates are inadequate.”

At the time that this article was written, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin’s office was not prepared to release immediate comment on the issue. Following a hearing on the rate increase requests, last month, Goodwin decided that “no factors or events justified the excessive costs required by the insurance companies.”

At that time, Commissioner Goodwin required that a number of regional increase and decrease would occur, which brought about an almost zero average change on the cost of policies, statewide. Those changes will become effective in June 2015. Last year, homeowners in North Carolina saw an increase of 7 percent in their coverage rates. The new rates differ based on the type of coverage and on the geographic location.

Homeowners insurance customers residing in coastal counties have been seeing premiums increases over the last several years and Goodwin’s order will likely cause them to see some decreases.

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