Insurance Commissioner Causey rejects 42.2% proposed home insurance increase

By on February 6, 2024

Mike Causey

On Tuesday, Feb. 6, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey stated that he was rejecting the North Carolina Rate Bureau’s proposed average statewide increase of 42.2% in homeowner insurance rates, indicating that he was “shocked” by the size of the requested increase.

The proposed increase for beach areas in Dare, Currituck and Hyde Counties was 45.1% and it generated strong protests from numerous organizations from the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce to the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS. From the numbers cited in the release below, it is clear many others raised their voices in opposition. Here is the release from Causey’s office.

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today said “No” to the insurance companies’ average 42.2% proposed increase in homeowners’ insurance rates.

“I haven’t seen the evidence to justify such a drastic rate increase on North Carolina consumers,” Commissioner Causey said. “The Department of Insurance has received more than 24,000 emailed comments on this proposal, with hundreds more policyholders commenting by mail. Scores more consumers spoke during a public comment forum. North Carolina consumers deserve a more thorough review of this proposal. I intend to make sure they get that review.”

Proposed rates by the North Carolina Rate Bureau on behalf of the insurance companies writing policies in the state range from 4.3% in some of the mountain counties to 99.4% in some of the beach areas.

“Homeowners were shocked with the high amount requested by the insurance companies, and so was I,” Commissioner Causey said.

In the notice for hearing, Commissioner Causey called the insurance companies’ proposed increase “excessive and unfairly discriminatory.”

The N.C. Rate Bureau, which represents companies that write insurance policies in the state, is not a part of the Department of Insurance. The Rate Bureau was created by the General Assembly in 1977. Any insurance companies writing homeowners’ insurance or personal automobile insurance policies in North Carolina must be a member of the Rate Bureau.

Commissioner Causey has set a hearing date for Oct. 7 at 10 a.m. State law gives the Insurance Commissioner 45 days to issue an order once the hearing concludes.

 



Comments

  • Martelvonc

    Of course he did. It all part of the Kabuki dance. 1)The insurance industry wants a HUGE increase. Which they know they will never get, 2) The state says no, and rejects the HUGE request but realizes that the rates will need to increase by certain amounts due to property risks. No one ends up happy but the dance must go on.

    Tuesday, Feb 6 @ 2:42 pm
  • Jake

    My insurance company decided to try to slip in a “conscent to rate” provision into my most recent insurance renewal. Raised my rate 46% this year. All totally legal by nc g.s 50-36-30 (b1). Shopping for a new insurance company now. Beware if you use USAA.

    Tuesday, Feb 6 @ 3:17 pm
  • Charles

    Can’t homeowners’ insurance payments be increased by recognizing appraisals showing insured value increases without necessarily also increasing rates?

    Tuesday, Feb 6 @ 4:29 pm
  • surf123

    It is the same story every time the insurance companies submit new rates. Luckily the insurance commissioner is looking out for the citizens of the states and not the companies. @Jake…consent to rate is completely evil. Should not be allowed under any circumstances if a company wants to participate in a state’s insurance. For those who do not know…signing the consent to rate form gives the insurance company a way to set your rate outside of the rates the state insurance commissioner negotiates. Once signed the right is granted so long as you are with that insurance company. You most likely should sign it to give you time to find another insurance company as you do not want to go without.

    Tuesday, Feb 6 @ 5:17 pm
  • Travis

    Of course he did. Like @Martelvonc said, it’s a Kabuki dance. The insurance companies pull a number out of their collective sass (minus the first s). Good ole Mike is shocked, shocked I say, at such a ridiculous figure. There is more theatrical back and forth until a lower figure is settled upon, with the insured breathing a great sigh of relief and the insurance companies rubbing their collective hands together like Snidely Whiplash relishing the success a particularly fiendish plot.

    @Jake’s warning is useful. Maybe if anyone finds that unicorn insurance company that attempts to set fair rates they can mention it in the comments.

    Tuesday, Feb 6 @ 6:51 pm
  • OBX Ron

    What needs to be done is an audit of the companies profits and losses for distict areas. If beachfront properties are a particular risk AS SHOWN BY CLAIMS, then those properties should be increased but not others further away from the beach that have shown no claims for many, many years. Are homes in the mountains truly lower risk vs. a house in Manteo? Show us the numbers Nationwide/USAA etc. etc.
    Rather than continue the rate increase “dance”, perhaps fines for misrepresenting risks vs. profits needs to be proposed and enforced.

    Tuesday, Feb 6 @ 8:25 pm
  • Ray

    Thank you “Voice” for providing us with the sample letter, which was easy to modify, to send/forward to Mr. Causey. Seems like it was effective.

    Wednesday, Feb 7 @ 8:05 am
  • surf123

    USAA did themselves in when they lowered the bar from officers and family only. They followed that up with stadium naming rights, commercials, and other advertisements. Companies are never satisfied and must grow, grow, grow which in USAA’s case makes no sense…there are no shareholders to answer to.

    Wednesday, Feb 7 @ 8:33 am
  • Rydaldude

    Like in Florida and California, insurance companies will stop writing policies for homeowners in NC. This rate increase is just the beginning. Just watch what happened in other states where insurance companies wanted to raise rates. Writing letters to politicans and bureaucrats does not solve anything. Wall Street ALWAYS screws Main Street.

    Wednesday, Feb 7 @ 9:17 am
  • Bev

    @Jake, thank you for the Heads UP. @OBX Ron, the Western part of the states has more claims than we do in the OBX.
    Insurance Companies are being allowed to run our live. Healthcare, Home, and Car. They are the true definition of GREED. We need legislation changed to protect the consumer.

    Thursday, Feb 8 @ 3:41 pm
  • Chris

    We’ve had USAA for all of our insurances since 1983. They still have great auto coverage and rates (for our age group, at least), but we had to move away from them for our HO and W&H as the rates went up 40% this year. I remember getting an email from them several years ago after a hurricane in FL where they stated that they’d never abandon their customers regardless of the circumstances. Instead, they quietly ‘quit’ the customer’s by jacking up the rates. They won’t ‘abandon’ the customer, they’ll just make economically impossible to keep insurance with them.

    Sunday, Feb 11 @ 1:20 pm