Insurance firms dumping NC homeowners if they don't bundle cover - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Insurance firms dumping NC homeowners if they don't bundle coverage

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Several major insurance companies are dropping coverage for homeowners if residents don't choose to bundle car insurance together with their homeowner policies.

Allstate, which insures 400,000 households in North Carolina, recently decided to drop 46,000 homeowner insurance plans.

"By and large, the biggest thing is that we want to make sure we are able to protect all of our customers," said Tracy Owens, a spokesman for Allstate.

Owens said the company decided to cancel plans that did not include car insurance.  Customers were given 60 days notice and were offered quotes from other companies as alternatives.

"There's nothing the customer has done wrong," said Mike McGee, a broker with Charlotte Insurance. "Frankly, there's a lot of companies doing it. It's not a single decision by one company."

McGee said more companies are choosing not to renew homeowners insurance unless you also have car insurance with them.

He said the decision is about money. Homeowners insurance has become less profitable to sell. In North Carolina, floods, hail, hurricanes, and tornadoes have hit the insurance industry hard.

"Over the last few years the losses have been very heavy, so the companies are trying to create reserves to make up for the losses they've suffered," said McGee.

While Allstate may be the most recent company to ditch thousands of homeowner insurance plans, it's certainly not the only one.  Farm Bureau, another major insurance provider in the state, is making similar moves.  A Farm Bureau executive recently told a state legislative committee his company would have to drastically cut back on its homeowner insurance policy writing if changes aren't made in the insurance industry.

Depending on the company, homeowners who receive cancellation notices may have the option to add car insurance and stick with the same company.  Otherwise, they must find another insurance agency.

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