For Immediate Release: September 21, 2016

Insurance Commissioner Opposes $600 Million Rate Increase

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin filed a response to the appeal filed by the Rate Bureau in the North Carolina Supreme Court. The appeal is based on the North Carolina Court of Appeals decision affirming Commissioner Goodwin’s rejection of a 2014 homeowner’s insurance rate increase of approximately $600 million.

“I am disappointed the insurance industry has decided to not only ignore but actively challenge my attempts to protect consumers regarding homeowner’s insurance rates,” said Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. “I rejected the insurance industry’s proposed rate increase because I felt it was unjust and the Court of Appeals upheld my decision.”

In January 2014, the insurance industry requested a 25.6% increase in homeowner’s insurance rates across the state. That request was rejected by the department and a hearing was held on the filing later that year. In December 2014, Commissioner Goodwin ruled that the industry’s proposed rate increase was unsubstantiated by presented facts and ordered that no increase be awarded. That ruling was appealed by the industry to the North Carolina Court of Appeals, who presented their decision upholding Commissioner Goodwin’s ruling on Aug. 2, 2016.

The Court of Appeals concluded their decision with “Upon a full review of the Commissioner’s order, we hold the order reflects a careful, thoughtful, and thorough consideration of the evidence. The evidence in the record supports the Commissioner’s critical findings and ultimate conclusions. This Court will not second guess the Commissioner’s determinations as to the credibility of the witnesses or the weight to be given their testimony. Therefore, the order of the Commissioner is affirmed.”

A full copy of the Court’s ruling can be found here: https://appellate.nccourts.org/opinions/?c=2&pdf=33549

It is up to the North Carolina Supreme Court to decide whether or not to hear the case.

--NCDOI--