North Carolina’s Insurance Commissioner Challenges Proposed Rate Hikes Amid Rising Inflation (ABC11)

North Carolina’s Insurance Commissioner Challenges Proposed Rate Hikes Amid Rising Inflation

  Monday, February 19th, 2024 Source: ABC11

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey has taken a stand against the insurance industry’s request for substantial rate increases for homeowners across the state. Early this month, Causey rejected a proposal that sought a 42% statewide rate hike and a staggering 99% increase for property owners in coastal areas of eastern North Carolina. The decision comes amidst rising inflation rates, which have seen a 3.4% increase from the previous year, further straining homeowners already grappling with higher costs for essentials like groceries and fuel.

The proposed increases, which would affect areas from the mountains to the coast, have sparked widespread concern among property owners. Causey’s rejection of the proposal underscores a commitment to ensuring fairness and avoiding discrimination based on geographical location. The insurance industry, represented by the North Carolina Rate Bureau, argues that the hikes are necessary to account for inflation, the rising cost of building materials, and the increasing frequency and severity of major storms. However, Causey calls for the industry to reassess its expenses, including executive salaries, and to take a tougher stance on insurance fraud.

With more than 25,000 public comments opposing the increases, Causey’s stance has garnered support from political figures, including Congressman Richard Hudson, who praised the commissioner for listening to the concerns of North Carolinians. As the evidentiary hearing approaches on Oct. 7, Causey remains open to more reasonable proposals from the insurance industry, aiming to balance the needs of homeowners with the financial realities of providing insurance in a state prone to natural disasters.

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