RALEIGH — State Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey has set a Sept. 20 hearing for the N.C. Rate Bureau’s proposed 24.5% homeowners’ insurance rate increase.
“The data in the filing has not convinced me that such a drastic increase is necessary,” Causey said in a news release. “My goal is to find a rate that will make financial sense for our residents and keep our insurance companies healthy enough to pay claims.”
The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. in the second floor hearing room in the Albemarle Building, 325 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh.
The hearing will be held unless the N.C. Department of Insurance and the bureau are able to negotiate a settlement before that date. State law gives the commissioner 45 days to issue an order once the hearing ends. Once the order is issued, the bureau has the right to appeal the decision to the N.C. Court of Appeals, whose order could then be appealed to the N.C. Supreme Court.
The bureau and the Insurance Department can negotiate a settlement at any time during litigation.
The bureau filed the average 24.5% homeowners’ increase Nov. 9. The filing covers insurance for residential property, tenants and condominiums at varying rates around the state. Under the proposal, the increases would be felt statewide, with most homeowners seeing a 25% increase.
The bureau, which is not a part of the Department of Insurance, represents insurers that write homeowners’ policies.
The Insurance Department held a Dec. 10 public comment forum in person and via WebEx on the bureau's rate filing. The department also received more than 6,500 emailed comments on the proposed rate increase.
The last bureau homeowners’ rate filing was in December 2018 for a statewide average increase of 17.4%. Causey negotiated a statewide average increase of 4%.