Kitty Hawk, N.C. (WTKR) - Homeowners in North Carolina may see an increase in their homeowners insurance this year if a request from the North Carolina Rate Bureau is approved.
The suggested average rate increase is 25.3 percent and will vary by territory, with a requested effective date of August 1st, 2014.
In the beach areas of Currituck and Dare Counties, the proposed increase is 35%.
Another rate hike of 17% went into effect in those areas on July 1, 2013.
The North Carolina Department of Insurance received the request from the Bureau in the late afternoon of Friday, January 3rd.
The Bureau is not a part of the Department of Insurance, but they represent all companies writing homeowners insurance in the state.
The filing will now be reviewed by experts at the Department of Insurance to determine if the rate adjustments are warranted.
If the Bureau and the Department of Insurance do not initially agree on the rate changes, Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin will call for a public hearing in which both parties would present their cases for or against rate adjustments.
Goodwin issued the following statement about the request:
"New homeowners insurance rates went into effect in July 2013. I am appalled that the insurance companies would request another increase just six months later. I believe the insurance companies should withdraw this rate filing immediately. If they do not, the insurance companies should expect a full hearing on this matter; I will not entertain any settlement negotiations. I urge North Carolina homeowners to take advantage of the public comment period and let their insurance companies know what they think about the notion of another homeowners insurance rate increase.
Also, I take offense at the insurance companies' concerted efforts to file this request late on a Friday afternoon, when they think the public won't be paying attention."
If you want to voice your opinion about this, write to NCDOI, Attn: Bob Mack, Property & Casualty Division, 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1201 or send comments via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.