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Commissioners Oppose Proposed 57.2 Percent Homeowners Insurance Overall Increase for Bladen County, NC –

A staff report

The Bladen County Board of Commissioners has taken a stand against a proposed increase in homeowners insurance rates for Bladen County, as announced during their January 16, 2024 meeting. The Board presented a resolution opposing the request made by the North Carolina Rate Bureau on January 3, 2024, to raise rates by 42.2 percent with an additional 15 percent surcharge for Bladen County homeowners, making the increase for the local area 57.2 percent overall increase.

Charles Ray Peterson, Chair of the Board of Commissioners, emphasized the significance of this issue for local property owners. He urges citizens to express their views on this proposed increase.

If approved by the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI), the new rates would take effect on August 1. However, if the department rejects the increase, the rates will be either denied or subject to negotiation with the North Carolina Rate Bureau (NCRB) until a settlement is reached.

The proposed increases vary across counties, with coastal and beach areas facing substantial hikes. Stephanie Watkins-Cruz, the director of housing policy for the North Carolina Housing Coalition, attributes the rise in home insurance premiums to factors like inflation and climate change, particularly affecting coastal regions.

The detailed breakdown of requested rate increases according to news reports by counties, towns, and regions in North Carolina is provided below:

  • Beach areas in Currituck, Dare, and Hyde Counties – 45.1%
  • Beach areas in Brunswick, Carteret, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender Counties – 99.4%
  • Coastal areas in Currituck, Dare, Hyde and Pamlico Counties – 33.9%
  • Eastern Coastal areas of Brunswick, Carteret, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender Counties – 71.4%
  • Coastal areas in Beaufort, Camden, Chowan, Craven, Jones, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrell & Washington Counties – 25.6%
  • Western Coastal areas of Brunswick, Carteret, New Hanover, Onslow & Pender Counties – 43%
  • Gates and Hertford Counties – 30.4%
  • Bertie, Greene, Martin, Pitt, and Wayne Counties – 57.8%
  • Duplin and Lenoir Counties – 71.3%
  • Columbus County – 63.1%
  • Edgecombe and Wilson Counties – 57.8%
  • Cumberland and Sampson Counties – 45.5%
  • Bladen and Robeson Counties – 57.2%
  • Franklin, Halifax, Johnston, Nash, and Northampton Counties – 40.8%
  • Harnett, Hoke, and Scotland Counties – 39.9%
  • Granville, Person, Vance, and Warren Counties – 39.3%
  • Cities of Durham and Raleigh, and Durham and Wake Counties – 39.8%
  • Chatham and Orange Counties – 25.1%
  • Lee and Moore Counties – 28.4%
  • Anson, Montgomery, and Richmond Counties – 26.1%
  • Cities of Greensboro and Winston-Salem. Alamance, Davie, Caswell, Forsyth, Guilford, Rockingham, Stokes, and Surry Counties – 36.6%
  • Cabarrus, Davidson, Randolph and Rowan Counties – 25.1%
  • Yadkin County – 22.3%
  • City of Charlotte along with Alexander, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Stanly, Wilkes and Union Counties – 41.3%
  • Cleveland, Gaston Lincoln, and Rutherford Counties – 27.8%
  • Alleghany, Ashe, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Henderson,
  • McDowell, Polk, Watauga, and Yancey Counties – 20.5%
  • Avery and Mitchell Counties – 7.6%
  • Haywood, Madison, Swain, and Transylvania Counties – 4.3%
  • Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, and Macon Counties – 8.5%

Public comments during the comment period will be considered by the NCDOI and shared with the NCRB. If disagreements persist, Commissioner Mike Causey may call for a hearing after 50 days.

To provide public comments:

1. Attend the in-person public comment forum on January 22 at the Jim Long Hearing Room in Raleigh.

2. Join the virtual public comment forum on January 22 via virtual forum link: https://ncgov.webex.com/webappng/sites/ncgov/meeting/info/787258e6aa734e6ebc44a6949e6a7976?siteurl=ncgov&MTID=mb3fe10c8f69bbedd2aaece485915db7e (Please note – this link will download software on your computer.)

3. Email comments to NCDOI.2024Homeowners@ncdoi.gov by February

4. Send written comments to Kimberly W. Pearce, Paralegal III, 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1201 by February 2.

In related news, the U.S. Health Insurance Industry Analysis Report indicates changes in the health insurance industry’s financials for the first half of 2023. Key figures include a 6% decrease in underwriting gain and a 6% increase in net income to over $18 billion for the first six months of 2023 compared to the same period in the prior year. The industry’s profit margin decreased modestly to 3.3% from 3.4%, while the combined ratio increased by a modest one-half basis point.

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