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Local rental properties face major hike to insurance rates

Homes along the oceanfront up the beach. Photo published by Outer Banks Voice

Published March 22 in the Outer Banks Voice

The North Carolina Rate Bureau has submitted a filing to the state Department of Insurance to greatly increase insurance rates for fire and wind policies that cover second homes, vacation rental or year-round rental houses.

While the filing reflects decreases in the fire rate, the extended rates to cover wind and hail damage are proposed to jump 58.3 percent in mainland Dare, Currituck and Hyde and 38.5 percent for the Outer Banks sections of the counties.

A public hearing on the proposed increase is set for Friday in Raleigh, the same day the comment period ends.

“Fire rates are typically much lower than wind rates, sometimes as little as seven percent of the total rate,” said Willo Kelly, government affairs representative for the Outer Banks Home Builders Association and Outer Banks Association of Realtors.

“This filing will have tremendous impact on dwelling and dwelling wind-only policies written through the N.C. Insurance Underwriters Association, commonly referred to as the Coastal Property Insurance Pool,” Kelly said.

Written comments on the proposal can be emailed to: 2018DwellingandFire@ncdoi.gov.

After the public comment period which closed on March 23, the Department of Insurance has 50 days to respond to the Rate Bureau. If Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey does not act, the new rates will become effective on October 1.

Causey can negotiate a settlement on the filing, which in years past has resulted in less than the Rate Bureau’s proposed increases. He has the option to deny the filing which would result in a hearing/trial being held.

In early January, Causey denied a request for increases of homeowners’ policy rates reaching 25 percent along the coast and scheduled a hearing for July 23.

 

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