WILMINGTON, N.C. - (WECT) - If you're thinking about buying homeowner's insurance or changing your existing policy because of Hurricane Earl---don't.
It's too late.
Most insurance companies in states along the coast stopped writing new policies Wednesday morning.
The restrictions became effective at 12:01 a.m.
According to the North Carolina Insurance Underwriting Association, when the center of a designated named storm is located within Longitudes 65º West and 85º West, and Latitudes 20º North and 37º North, no new policies or upgrades to old ones can be written.
Harmon Mishoe of Nationwide Insurance in Wilmington said Wednesday night that his company typically sees an increase in calls right before a storm.
"A lot of people don't feel like they need coverage until something happens," Mishoe says.
The same holds true for commercial and automobile coverage.
Mishoe says, by law, insurance companies are required to continue selling liability insurance for automobiles, but not collision.
The restrictions will remain in effect until Hurricane Earl has passed.