Lee Morton, the regional vice president for North Carolina at Nationwide Insurance addressed the N.C. Legislative Research Commission Joint Study Committee on Automobile Insurance Modernization regarding the improvement of rate systems.
He talked about the competitive, strong, healthy, diverse, and low-cost system for auto insurance that is already present within the state and identified concerns about the impact that changing the system could have on the state’s motorists.
Morton explained that the insurance system in the state is currently fair to all motorists and provides consumers with protection against rate hikes that have been unjustified while it helps to encourage consumers to actually purchase the coverage that they require, leading to the overall benefit of the public.
He added that changing or removing the current insurance rate system will cause insurance premiums to increase for the nearly one million (992,000) policyholders in the state, and that he doesn’t feel that “the people of North Carolina want higher auto insurance rates, less independent oversight, more uninsured drivers, or a more volatile insurance market.”
According to Morton, the enactment of the SB 490 or a similar form of legislation will lead to the following consequences:
• The inability of consumers to evenly compare insurance quotes any longer
• The elimination of the stability of rates within the state
• An average annual increase of $150 in the premiums of every policy
• The necessity for families with high school and college-aged drivers to pay a larger amount for insuring those motorists
• The loss of authority by the elected Commissioner of Insurance to help in protecting the consumers in the state who are legally required to purchase coverage.
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