The North Carolina Department of Insurance will hold a public comment session in Raleigh this morning on possible insurance rate increases. The North Carolina Rate Bureau, which represents all the insurance companies doing business in the state, filed a request to raise rates an average of 20.9 percent for this year. Kerry Hall is a spokeswoman for the Insurance Department.
"So that 20.9 percent that’s being requested is a statewide average, but it would vary depending on where the property is located. That’s what we’ve received and what we’re reviewing at this point and what we’re accepting public comment on."
Hall says the request is just for so-called dwelling properties.
"And that’s a non-owner occupied home. So for example, if I owned two houses, and I live in one, the house that I live in I would have your standard homeowner’s insurance policy. That’s not what this is for. It would be for that second home I own that I’m renting out to somebody else. So it can be rental properties of anywhere from one to four units."
The session is this morning from 9:30 to noon in the Dobbs Building downtown. Hall says the Department is reviewing the filing to determine whether the rate adjustments are worried and will take into consideration comments received this morning. She says people who attend will sign up to speak and their comments will be entered into public record. It’s an opportunity to speak, but not a back and forth dialogue. If the department and rate bureau disagree, Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin will call for a public hearing in which both parties would present their cases. Hall says there’s no current timetable as to when a decision will be made.
The filing is available for public review on the Department’s website: www.ncdoi.com/pc/documents/2011_dwellingratefiling.pdf