NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – An increase to home insurance rates will hit beach communities the hardest, according to information from the Department of Insurance.
Homeowners near the beaches of New Hanover, Pender, Brunswick and Onslow counties will pay 19.8% more for insurance starting July 1, 2013. The amount is lower than the 30% initially requested by the industry, but well above the resolved statewide average of 7%.
The nearly 20% increase equals more than $450 for a home valued at $150,000.
Anyone living further inland in those same counties that are considered "coastal" would pay only 8.6% more. That's actually less than the new rate of 9.7% for Columbus, Bladen and Robeson counties.
Local leaders and homeowners spoke up at a public hearing in Raleigh last October in an effort to combat the proposed 30% increase. Since then, the Department of Insurance and the requesting insurance companies settled on the new figures.
A news release from the DOI included a statement from Commissioner Wane Goodwin, who considers homeowners insurance a complex issue.
"We face a great challenge in making sure that it is not only affordable, but available, to consumers across the state," he said. "I feel this settlement helps strike that balance, and I am pleased that the increase will be significantly smaller than what insurers originally requested."
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