July 18, 2014

Homeowners insurance rate hearing is rescheduled

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin announced this week that the homeowners insurance rate hearing originally scheduled for Aug. 6 has been rescheduled.

The hearing is now set for Monday, Oct. 20,  at 9 a.m. in the Jim Long Hearing Room on the third floor of the Dobbs Building, 430 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh.

The insurance companies, represented by the North Carolina Rate Bureau, requested an overall statewide average increase of 25.3 percent for homeowners insurance rates, varying by geographic territory, on Jan. 3.

Goodwin ordered that a hearing be held in the matter because the proposed rates appear to the Department of Insurance to be excessive and unfairly discriminatory.

The hearing is open to the public. However, there will be no opportunity for members of the public to speak at the hearing.

A public comment period on the rate filing was held from Jan.3 through Jan. 31 to engage the public in the ratemaking process. During that period, the Department of Insurance received more than 10,000 e-mailed or mailed comments, and approximately 25 people made comments in-person during a public comment session held on Jan. 24.

At the hearing, experts from the N.C. Rate Bureau, on behalf of the insurance companies, and experts from NCDOI, representing the interests of the public, will present their cases for or against rate changes. Goodwin is to serve as the hearing officer and determine what, if any, rate adjustments are warranted.

The hearing has been postponed to give department experts more time to prepare testimony after significant revisions were made to the original rate filing from the N.C. Rate Bureau.

The filing is available for public review on NCDOI’s website. To view the entire filing, go to http://pserff.ncdoi.net/pc.html and enter the Serff Tracking Number NCRI-129361028.

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