For Immediate Release: January 4, 2011

N.C. Insurers Request 20.9 Percent Rate Hike for Dwelling Property Policies

Commissioner Goodwin orders public comment session running Jan. 4-31

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced that the Department has received the dwelling fire and extended coverage rate filing from the North Carolina Rate Bureau. The Bureau, which is not affiliated with the Department and represents the property insurance companies writing business in the state, requested an overall statewide average increase of 20.9 percent for 2011.

The filing is available for public review on the Department’s website; to view the entire filing, click here, or click here and enter the Serff Tracking Number NCRI-126940406.

For interested parties who would like to weigh in on the rate requests, there will be a public comment session on Jan. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in Room 3009 in the Dobbs Building, 430 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh. Written public comments may be mailed to: NCDOI, Attn: Bob Mack, Property & Casualty Division, 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1201; or faxed to: 919-733-4264, attn: Bob Mack. The deadline for submitting written comments is Jan. 31.

"Involving North Carolinians in the rate filing process is a priority for me as Commissioner,” said Commissioner Goodwin. “Transparency is paramount to my administration, and by holding a public comment period, we are encouraging the public to learn about the ratemaking process, have access to the rate filings and participate in the workings of state government."

The filing will be reviewed by Department officials to determine what, if any, rate adjustments are warranted. If officials cannot initially agree to the requested rates, Commissioner Goodwin will call for a public hearing in which both parties would present their cases for any rate adjustments.

Dwelling fire policies are different from a traditional homeowners insurance policy in that they offer fewer coverage options and are sold to properties that would not qualify for a standard homeowners policy. Dwelling fire policies are offered to non-owner occupied residences including rental properties, investment properties and other properties that are not occupied full-time by the property owner. A dwelling fire policy does not typically include liability coverage; extended coverages would generally include coverage for damage to the physical dwelling due to wind, hail, fire, smoke, riot, civil commotion, and aircraft and vehicle damage.