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County Commissioners Oppose Homeowners Insurance Rake Hike

Managing Editor

NEW HANOVER CTY - The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously February 3rd, to adopt a resolution opposing a homeowners insurance rate hike currently under review by the North Carolina Department of Insurance. The North Carolina Rate Bureau is requesting a statewide homeowner insurance rate increase of an average 25% with increases in southeastern North Carolina as high as 35% for coastal communities. New Hanover County opposed a similar proposed increase in 2012 with consideration of the burden to citizens. The North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) held a public hearing on February 3rd.
On January 27th, New Hanover County submitted the following comment to NCDOI:
Dear Commissioner Goodwin: On behalf of the citizens and elected leadership of New Hanover County, we appreciate this opportunity to convey our sincere concern and opposition to the recent proposed homeowners insurance rate increase. The state average in excess of 25% is alarming, but more so disconcerting is the potential and disproportionate financial burden of rate increases proposed in the 35% range for our citizens in southeastern North Carolina. Your participation and support of North Carolina citizens during the 2012 rate increase request and your continued willingness to carefully review and respond to issues as they may impact North Carolina citizens is appreciated. New Hanover County implores you to once again consider the best interest of North Carolina and New Hanover County and to ultimately deny this request put forward by the insurance carriers. Thank you for your consideration of this very important issue."
The resolution unanimously adopted by the Board stated, "The North Carolina Rate Bureau, in its capacity as a representative of the insurance industry, has requested from the Department of Insurance a 35% rate increase in homeowner's insurance for large parts of New Hanover County."
The resolution stated, "Many eastern North Carolina counties have been hit with rate increases in every rate cycle since 1992 including 2002, 2005, 2007, 2009 and again in 2012" and, "Homeowners in coastal communities already pay homeowner's premiums two to three times the rate charged for the same type of homeowners policies (fire, theft, etc) of inland properties, in addition to having separate flood as well as wind and hail policies."
The resolution explained, "New Hanover County, as well as other coastal communities in North Carolina, is experiencing difficult economic times that are currently gripping our nation" and, "additional increases would once again place an undue and excessive burden on homeowners and the economy in coastal communities."
The resolution stated, "Loss experience does not justify this 35% rate increase, especially since significant losses were experienced in areas other than the coast of North Carolina."
The resolution stated, "Now, therefore be it resolved, that the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners hereby opposes the 35% or any rate increase in homeowners insurance requested by the North Carolina Rate Bureau and finds it unjustified and unnecessary" and, "that the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners fully supports the Commissioner of Insurance in his public efforts to encourage the North Carolina Rate Bureau to withdraw the rate filing immediately."
The resolution stated, "The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners also requests that the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner conduct a public hearing on the proposed rate increases to include actual loss history in Eastern North Carolina in the calculation of the rate increases."
Commissioner Beth Dawson said the City of Wilmington and several beach Town's have already adopted similar resolutions and recommended citizens contact the Department of Insurance and voice their concerns on the issue. The Department's website is  located at www.ncdoi.com