Politics & Government
8:00 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Live By The Coast? Insurers Want Permission To Raise Rates Dramatically

Calabash is a small fishing town in Brunswick County, North Carolina
Credit Town of Calabash

Aaah, the coast. Those salt breezes. The tasty fresh seafood. The high insurance rates? Not if some mayors and business owners across North Carolina's coastal region have their say. The groups are banding together to contest a proposal to increase home insurance rates in counties that line the coast of North Carolina.

The industry group for insurance companies in North Carolina has requested the state's permission to increase rates up to 35 percent in coastal counties. In other parts of the state, the rise in rates would average 25 percent.

Mary Knight is the mayor of the town of Calabash, a tiny community that would feel the rise in rates. She says many of the people in coastal communities like hers are retirees on fixed incomes, and that increased rates would be an undue hardship:

The groceries, the doctor, even the vet bill. They have to really curtail their spending, set a new budget and decide if they can't make it. If they can't, the option is, either you don't pay it, or consequentially the possibility may exist for many that they move back with their children.]

One insurance group says current rates are substantially inadequate. State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin has called for the increase request to be withdrawn.