For Immediate Release: April 11, 2011
Insurance Commissioner Warns North Carolina Drivers
Pending legislation would lead to higher auto insurance rates
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced his opposition to proposals to do away with North Carolina's current auto ratemaking system, in which the Insurance Commissioner sets a cap on car insurance rates.
In a press conference, Goodwin warned the public about the serious consequences of bills filed in the General Assembly: Senate Bill 477, Senate Bill 490 and House Bill 834.
"These proposals are pushed by out-of-state insurance companies who want to make more money off of North Carolina drivers. There is no doubt that car insurance rates will go up if any of these proposals becomes a reality," Goodwin said. "The insurance companies are trying to get the legal authority to charge you higher rates even if you have a perfect driving record."
The proposals would:
- Allow insurance companies to charge drivers more regardless of their driving records.
- Allow insurance companies to raise rates with no prior approval from the Department of Insurance.
- Strip the Commissioner of Insurance of the authority to set a cap on rates and the authority to determine if rates are excessive.
- Prevent insurance companies from being ordered to issue refunds to policyholders if drivers are overcharged.
"These bills are about corporate greed. In no way do they benefit or protect our drivers," continued Goodwin. "My staff and I have studied our current system, and it works. Auto insurance is accessible and affordable in North Carolina. In fact, our state has the lowest average auto insurance rates in the South and the eighth lowest in the country. Keeping rates low is a priority of mine."
Goodwin encourages North Carolinians to reach out to their legislators to ask them to oppose these pieces of legislation.