Insurance company requests could raise Ashe homeowner rates by 21.1 percent

Wil Petty

January 28, 2014

North Carolina homeowners could see higher rates following requests by insurance companies to increase rates by territory.

“New homeowners insurance rates went into effect in July 2013,” said Wayne Goodwin, N.C. State Insurance Commissioner in a release. “I am appalled that the insurance companies would request another increase just six months later.”

In Ashe County, the proposed rates would increase by 21.1 percent. Other High Country areas, including Avery and Mitchell counties, the rate would increase by 33.3 percent.

According to the Jan. 3 press release, some county rates would increase by as much as 35 percent while other areas could decrease by 2.7 percent

“I believe the insurance companies should withdraw this rate filing immediately,” Goodwin said. “If they do not, the insurance companies should expect a full hearing on this matter; I will not entertain any settlement negotiations.”

A public hearing would present arguments for or against a rate increase in the state by both parties.

Goodwin encourages homeowners to take advantage of the public comment period, letting insurance companies know their concerns of more rate increases.

“I urge North Carolina homeowners to take advantage of the public comment period and let their insurance companies know what they think about the notion of another homeowners insurance rate increase,” he said.

Statewide, the requests would average a state homeowner rate increase by 25.3 percent.

A public hearing was held in Raleigh for comment about the proposed increases. For those who still want their voices heard, the state is accepting comments mailed or emailed through Jan. 31.

Written public comments concerning the changes will be accepted by the state through the end of January. Those comments can be mailed to NCDOI, Attn: Bob Mack, Property & Casualty Division, 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699, or emailed to:

Wil Petty can be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @wilpetty