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NC regulator rejects 'excessive' rate hike proposal, reaches settlement

The North Carolina Rate Bureau reached a settlement with the North Carolina Department of Insurance with regard to insurance rates, resulting in a statewide average rate increase of 0% for fire coverage and 5.3% for extended (wind) coverage.

After the settlement was reached, a Jan. 13 hearing on the North Carolina Rate Bureau's proposal has been cancelled. The new rates will be applied to all new and renewal policies effective on or after July 1.

Previously, Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey rejected the North Carolina Rate Bureau's proposed statewide average rate increase of 19.2%, calling it "excessive." He negotiated a 15-percentage-point cut in the proposed increase to an overall statewide rate of 4%. The state's rate bureau also previously requested a 4.6% increase in fire coverage and a 24.3% increase in extended (wind) coverage.

For dwelling owners who install fortified roofs, the settlement includes provisions for credits that could reduce insurance premiums by an average of 7% in a few territories.