Homeowners insurance increases for Wilmington residents

Reported by Joe Keiley - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The risk of a major hurricane is a fact of life along the coast.

And that factor is forcing the state insurance commissioner to okay a rate hike along the coast.

Homeowners living in the mainland areas of the coastal counties could see rates increase as much as 30%.

Those directly on the beach and barrier islands face rate hikes of 17.5%.  For homeowners like Kathy Larson, the increase is a shock in a tough economy.

This is the third rate increase since 2005.

The problem stems from the state sanctioned insurance that covers most of the coast, but doesn't have the resources to cover losses in the event of a major storm.

Homeowners are cringing over the inevitable hike whether it's hurricane season or not.

While they may not like it, bills will come with higher rates on May 1, 2009.

An $150,000 home would have a premium of $1,600 with the new rates.

The insurance companies have also divided up North Carolina's coast based on risk of a hurricane hitting, which could help some homeowners who live along the coast, but are in a spot less likely to be hit.