• 59°

Homeowners’ insurance going up; settlement reached 

Homeowner insurance rates are going up 5.5 percent in the coastal and mainland areas of northeastern North Carolina. 

On April 18, a settlement agreement between the North Carolina Department of Insurance and the NC Rate Bureau was announced by Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey. 

The 5.5 percent rate change is the homeowners cap imposed statewide and is applied to 21 of the 29 insurance territories in North Carolina. Four territories (#s 150, 170, 350, 360) have increases between 1.5-5.4 percent. Four territories (#s 300, 370, 380, 390) have reductions varying between 6.1 to 9.4 percent. 

Statewide, the average rate increase is 4.4 percent. 

Rates for renters for liability and content coverage and condominium owners will increase 12 percent across the state. 

Overall, the rate increase with homeowners, renters and condo owners is 4.8 percent. 

The increase will take effect Oct. 1. 

Lori Brooks, President of the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS®, issued the following statement regarding the settlement agreement: 

“The Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® applauds NC Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey for reaching a fair and equitable settlement with the NC Rate Bureau on homeowner policy insurance rates. The announced 5.5 percent increase for Currituck and Dare mainland and barrier island homeowner insurance policyholders is welcome news compared to the very high increase originally proposed. Our position was that the proposed 25 percent increase on homeowners and wind only policies was unwarranted and unjustified. We thank the department for their extensive review of the filing and for hearing our concerns.” 

The statement continues “However, we recognize more work needs to be done” and cites a statement by 2018 NC REALTORS® President Amy Hedgecock: “It is important to take steps at both an administrative and legislative level to ensure consumers are not additionally harmed by actions like consent to rate letters distributed by companies who wanted more significant rate increases. We look forward to working with Commissioner Causey and legislative leaders over the coming months.” 

Homeowners insurance covers liability and fire and sometimes wind damage. Some insurance policies exclude wind damage and the homeowner seeks a separate wind policy. Flood insurance is also a separate policy. 

In territory 110, a policy covering liability, fire and wind on a $200,000 framed home in a Class 5 fire district with a $1,000 deductible would have an average base premium of $2,383, reports the Department of Insurance. In territory 130, the average base premium for the same home would be $1,516. 

Initially, the rate bureau filed for a proposed 18.7 percent rate increase Nov.17, 2017, claiming the increase was necessary because of the increased costs stemming from tornado, severe thunderstorm, and windstorm/hail damage. Along the coastal and mainland Outer Banks, the rate was proposed at 25 percent, the highest rate proposed. 

Causey called for a formal hearing to be held July 23, but the new settlement eliminates the need for a hearing. 

“The last time homeowners saw an insurance rate increase was in 2012.  At that time, the NCRB case was settled for an average statewide increase of 7 percent,” states the department’s media release. 

Lifestyles

High school seniors honored with NCCF Coastal Stewardship Awards announced

News

Mega Millions ticket sold online in North Carolina wins $1 million prize

News

NC State researchers predict 2021 hurricane season will be active

Crime

FBI increases reward for information on deaths of three women in North Carolina

Crime

Former Ft. Bragg private sentenced to over 12 years in prison after taking minor across state lines in fake kidnapping

News

Construction accident at old Bonner Bridge demolition site results in death

News

Former North Carolina Gov. McCrory enters US Senate race

News

Nags Head commissioners approve text amendments to UDO

News

State and local COVID-19 update

News

Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City hoists two people stranded in marsh near Mockhorn Island, Virginia

News

Interstate 85 Welcome Center, rest area near Virginia state line closed for renovations

Crime

Driver faces multiple charges after child struck, killed in North Carolina

News

Dare commissioners take next step in Home Health and Hospice process

Crime

North Carolina man sentenced to 18 years in prison for drug, firearm charges

Hyde

Ferry routes between Swan Quarter, Cedar Island and Ocracoke resume service, dredging continues

News

NCDOT to install temporary zipper merge in Carteret County

News

Court rules Duck beach access is private

News

Wake County won’t pursue criminal complaint of Louis DeJoy

Lifestyles

Lineman Appreciation Day recognizes critical role

News

Halifax County man becomes latest Millionaire Maker top prize winner

Crime

North Carolina sheriff’s office identifies two found dead; foul play suspected

Crime

North Carolina man sentenced to prison, ordered to pay over $6 million in restitution for wire fraud

News

Corridor in place to access Cape Point due to oystercatcher breeding

Lifestyles

Outer Banks Community Foundation accepting applications for Focus grants