Insurance premiums likely to rise in North Carolina on top of already increasing rates

A new report shows that insurance premiums could be going up across the Cape Fear region—in some cases by 100%.
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 11:23 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - It’s no secret that homeowner’s insurance has gotten more expensive in recent years—especially if you live on or near the coast. Now there’s word that premiums could go up even more.

“I’m a community member and I’m paying triple now what I was, you know, three, four years ago. So, it’s a big problem. And we hear it every day,” Jerod Cranford with Wells Insurance said.

Tim Vliet with East Coast Agency says the reason rates are going up extends beyond the Cape Fear region. He says hurricanes and other natural disasters that happen in other parts of the country can impact what you pay here in southeastern North Carolina.

“And a lot of people don’t understand that, even though we haven’t had a—knock on wood—storm hit us directly in a couple of years. Now, the storms that hit anywhere in the United States impact everybody, because again, it goes into that reinsurance market that we talked about in the capacity for those insurance carriers that are affected by those storms, to you know, to be able to keep their rates down as well. So, it gets passed on to the consumer,” Vliet explained. “We’ve had a significant increase in population, which has driven up home prices, along with the inflationary issues of the building materials, the cost of labor, all of those things. And unfortunately, it’s hurting the homeowner, because the rates are going up.”

A new report shows that insurance premiums could be going up across the Cape Fear region—in some cases by 100%.

“I had a carrier this week with one of our insurers that had almost 100% increase, but we were able to get them into another carrier and we can only have a 20% increase.”

Mike Causey, North Carolina’s Insurance Commissioner, says he’s worked to keep rates down.

“People really need to talk to their insurance agent and look at the different options. And you know, the best way to hold down premiums for everybody is to avoid having claims or to avoid filing claims. If somebody files multiple claims, and they’re frequent claim filers, many times the insurance companies will not renew those policies or want to drop that policyholder. I certainly encourage the policyholders to talk to their agent to make sure you know what’s covered and what’s not covered,” Causey said.

He says before you file a claim, see what you might be able to pay out-of-pocket first to avoid any changes to your premium—especially if the cost is lower than your deductible.

Cranford says it’s a conversation they have often nowadays and offers some tips for what you can do to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

“We encourage homeowners to explore independent agencies, who will have broader selection of tools at hand, broader selections of markets to choose from more options, more choices. And basically, you need to sit down with whoever your agent is and review your coverages. Make sure you’re not underinsured,” Cranford said. “Recent years have really culminated in large underwriting losses to the tune of $35 billion dollars, at least in 2022, tripling the previous year. And then those things, along with a 34% rise in the price of home construction costs and materials have really come together for the perfect storm. So, this is this is really created a problem for insurers.”