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Insurance rate hikes proposed for dwelling policies

Yet again, the North Carolina Rate Bureau has submitted an insurance rate filing. This one affects dwelling policyholders.

Dwelling policies cover non-owner occupied residences, including rental and investment properties. Second homes not occupied full-time by the owners are insured for fire and wind under dwelling policies.

The North Carolina Rate Bureau represents all companies writing property insurance in the state

The statewide rate of increase for wind or extended coverage is 40 percent. The rate filing reduces fire coverage by 20.8 percent. The two are combined to show the statewide increase for dwelling policies at 18.9 percent.

But, it’s a different story for the North Carolina’s coastline.

The northern coastal territory (Territory 110) includes beach communities in Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties: fire insurance declines for buildings 0.1 percent and for contents, 17.5 percent. Rates would increase for wind coverage for buildings 38.5 percent and for contents 39.5 percent.

The northern mainland territory (Territory 130) includes Currituck, Dare, Hyde and Pamlico counties: fire insurance would decline for buildings 25.7 percent and contents 38.6 percent; for wind coverage, rates would increase 58.3 percent for buildings and 28 percent for contents.

The southern coastal area (Territory 120) has Carteret, Onslow, Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick counties: fire insurance would decrease 12.5 percent for buildings and 27.8 percent for contents; for wind coverage, rates would increase 39.6 percent for buildings and 41 percent for contents.

The southern mainland territory (Territory 140) includes portions of Carteret, Onslow, Pender and Brunswick: fire insurance rates would drop for buildings 21.3 percent and for contents 35.1 percent; for wind coverage rates would increase 48.3 percent for buildings and 48.9 percent for contents.

Premiums in two districts in the southeastern part of the state will double for wind coverage: Columbus County (Territory 200) would increase 114.6 percent for building insurance and 100.8 percent for contents. For wind insurance, Robeson County (Territory 230) would increase 102.8 percent for building coverage and 55.2 percent for contents.

Statewide, the dwelling rate filing has 38 districts. Changes are made to correspond to homeowners insurance territory changes submitted in a rate filing dated Nov. 17, 2018.

Statewide all districts have reduced fire rates for buildings and contents. For buildings, the decreases vary from 0.1 percent to 42.8 percent; for contents, decreases vary from 17.5 percent to 48.6 percent.

Statewide, 15 districts have proposed rate reductions for wind content coverage ranging from 11.1 percent to 39.5 percent. The remaining 23 districts have increases for wind content coverage ranging from 100.8 percent to as low as 0.8 percent.

All 38 districts would have increased premiums for wind building coverage. The increases range from a high of 114.6 percent to a low of 3.6 percent.

“It’s very worrisome,” said Willo Kelly at the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting on March 5.

The dwelling rate filing is available for public review on the Department of Insurance website ncdoi.com/PC/Default.aspx and the SERFF Filing Access filingaccess.serff.com/sfa/home/NC. Enter the SERFF Tracking Number NCRI-131370773.

Three ways are available to make public comment:

• In person during a public comment forum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, March 23, 2018, in the Second Floor Hearing Room at the Albemarle Building, 325 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh. Dare County’s Board of Commissioners will present testimony opposing the rate hikes as has been done in the recent past at the homeowners insurance proposed increase.

•By email sent to 2018DwellingandFire@ncdoi.gov.

• By mail sent to: N.C. Department of Insurance, Attn. Tricia Ford, Legal Division, 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1201.

Comments will be accepted through March 23, 2018.

Kelly also reported to the commissioners that some building owners are receiving notices of rate increases by mail. In the cases she has seen, the owners had signed, after receiving a letter from the insurance carrier, a Consent-to-Rate form. That form permits the insurance carrier to raise insurance rates on the insured properties.

For individual questions about homeowners or dwelling insurance, contact your insurance agent.