Insurance companies asking to increase property insurance rates by an average of 25% has been called excessive and unfairly discriminatory by the North Carolina Commissioners Office, but how will Commissioner Wayne Goodwin respond?

When the North Carolina Rate Bureau requested an overall rate increase of 25.3 percent in January, Commissioner Goodwin called for insurers to withdraw the filing and said he was appalled at the figure. It was just last July when a 7% increase was imposed on North Carolina’s homeowners. As you might imagine, the insurance companies did not withdraw the 25.3% request, and the public outcry has been intense. Over 10,000 comments from homeowners were logged in the first month after the rate proposal, but the public needs to keep their message in the foreground.

The hearing was originally scheduled for August 6th, but the date has been moved to October 20, 2014, so mark your calendars!

Monday, October 20, 2014, @ 9:00 a.m.
Jim Long Hearing Room on the third floor of the Dobbs Building,
430 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh, North Carolina

While the hearing will not be a forum for public comment, the public is invited and a large audience can only help homeowners. A standing room only hearing will show Goodwin that North Carolina policyholders are concerned about increased rates. All too often our government has hearings of this nature and the people are not present to witness exactly how the process works, only hearing the end result. Please take a few hours or set aside the day and get informed and involved if you are concerned about rising rates.

When Florida has hearings of this nature, it is difficult to get the word out with decent advance notice of the hearing to allow time to rally up. It seems as if the times and dates almost always preclude the public from attending. Getting a big crowd of homeowners to Tallahassee can be difficult because it is not a true central location for Floridians, but Raleigh is much more manageable for North Carolina residents.

Some North Carolina insurance risk advisors seem to think current rates are arbitrarily low, but it should not be forgotten that insurance companies are in business to make a profit, and many companies make incredible profits year after year.

If you attend, you can expect speakers from the North Carolina Rate Bureau on behalf of the insurance companies, and experts from the NCDOI who will be representing the interests of the public. Each side will present their cases on the rate changes. Goodwin is to serve as the hearing officer and determine what, if any, rate adjustments are warranted.

The hearing has been postponed to give Department experts more time to prepare testimony after significant revisions were made to the original rate filing from the N.C. Rate Bureau.

It is important to note that the North Carolina Rate Bureau is not part of the Department of Insurance, and represents all companies writing homeowners insurance in the state. It was this Bureau that requested a statewide average rate increase of 25.3 percent, varying by territory.

Here are few blogs that discuss the motivation of insurance companies to make large profits priority number one: