The North Carolina Rate Bureau, which represents insurance companies, is seeking another significant rate increase for homeowners’ insurance. The proposed increase of 17.4% comes on the heels of an increase of 4.8% last year. The insurance industry had asked for much more, but the 18.9% increase they requested got cut back to the agreed upon increase of just under five percent.
The Rate Bureau attests the increase is needed to cover increased losses, hurricane losses and the net cost of reinsurance.
While those with bigger and more expensive homes will pay higher insurance premiums if the rate increase is approved, the increase will likely hurt those most who don't own big, expensive homes. Many of them are already uninsured, and many more will likely not be able to afford insurance if the premiums are increased by a large amount.
According to the US Census Bureau, about 25% of Lincoln County residents live in a mobile home. That's fairly typical across the state where some counties have nearly 40% of the population living in mobile homes.
The Dept. of Insurance held a public forum on the request February 26th at which dozens of property owners, realtors and others expressed their opposition to the requested increase. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey issued a statement in which he disagreed with the proposal and announced another public hearing on the request for September 4th, 2019 unless a settlement is reached before that time.