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Triangle homeowners bracing for insurance hikes after recent filing | NC Home Insurance Rate Hike

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — On Friday, Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced that the North Carolina Rate Bureau had filed a rate filing with the Department of Insurance asking for an average statewide increase in homeowners insurance rates of 42.2%. The proposed increase for Wake and Durham counties was slightly lower, at 39.8%.

The effective date for the proposed hikes was August 1, 2024.

Typically, the Rate Bureau — which represents insurance companies — and the Department of Insurance will negotiate new rates after a filing like the one announced on Friday. In November 2020, the Rate Bureau filed for a 24.5% average increase before the two sides settled on a more modest 7.9% average increase statewide.

Still, homeowners in Raleigh were frustrated to hear some of the new figures being proposed.

“I realize there’s inflation in the economy, but 45% is way beyond — even in an inflationary economy, it’s way, way high,” said John Seibert, a homeowner in Raleigh’s Forest Park.

Seibert says he’s left wondering what’s changed in Raleigh to justify insurance companies asking for such a steep hike — which he contends is out of step with inflation.

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“We really haven’t had a large risk like the coast where they have hurricanes, or some other type of event that would justify that kind of increase,” he said. “So I’m always asking why they are justifying this type of high increase?”

If you own a house near the coast or on the beach, it could be even worse. The Rate Bureau’s proposed increases include a 99.4% price hike for beachfront homes in places like Brunswick, Carteret, and New Hanover counties.

Cody and Danielle Leach bought in Raleigh about four years ago, and say their home insurance rates have historically been affordable — but they were bracing for Friday’s announcement.

“That’s the most lagging effect of inflation,” Cody said. “If it costs more to repair things, then they’re going to charge more for premiums. It makes sense. It’s not ideal, no one likes paying more, but I kind of expected it.”

Cody said he’s not bullish about there being much recourse in terms of price-shopping once a settlement is reached.

“At the end of the day if it’s truly because it costs more, then you’re not going to find a ton of savings elsewhere,” he said. “It’s just the cost of doing business.”

Per state law, there will be a public comment session for feedback on the proposed hikes. There will be an in-person session on January 22 at 10 a.m. at the Albemarle Building in Raleigh, and a virtual comment session held at the same time.

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