Proposed homeowner insurance rate increase raises concerns - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Proposed homeowner insurance rate increase raises concerns

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A proposed 35 percent increase in homeowner insurance rates has many concerned in coastal areas, including Carolina Beach. A proposed 35 percent increase in homeowner insurance rates has many concerned in coastal areas, including Carolina Beach.

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WECT) – A proposed 35 percent increase in homeowner insurance rates has many concerned in coastal areas, including Carolina Beach.

The Department of Insurance has broken down the proposed rate increase request by zip codes. It shows that inside coastal counties like New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick, neighborhoods that border one another could see dramatically different results when it comes to homeowners insurance rates.

The department is seeking public comment until January 31, 2014 to gather feedback on how rates will impact homeowners.

The Town of Carolina Beach is urging the community to give their public comment in an effort to stop or change the Biggert-Waters flood insurance reform act that will increase flood insurance rates for coastal communities later in the year.

"This means we will be hit double as hard," says Carolina Beach Town Manager Michael Cramer, "I don't know how much science goes into planning for our rates but we seem to be taking a big hit."

Cramer and the Carolina Beach town administrator are reaching out through digital platforms and word of mouth to tell the community about the proposed changes.

"It's our job to educate Carolina Beach so they're not surprised," says Cramer. "The best outcome is the DOI goes back and adjusts the rates."

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin says new homeowners insurance rates went into effect in July 2013 and he's appalled more increases would be sought so soon.

Opportunity for public comment

For people who would like to weigh in on the rate requests in person, there will be a public comment session on Friday, Jan. 24, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Jim Long Hearing Room of the Dobbs Building, 430 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh.

Written public comments will be accepted from Jan. 3 through Jan. 31. Written comments should be mailed to: NCDOI, Attn: Bob Mack, Property & Casualty Division, 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1201; or emailed to 2014homeowners@ncdoi.gov.

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved. The AP contributed to this report.

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