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Rent might go up this fall: North Carolina’s rate bureau proposes another hike

With a homeowners insurance rate hike still in the air, the N.C. Rate Bureau has now also submitted a dwelling insurance increase

North Carolina Rate Bureau's proposed dwelling insurance rate increase territories, with areas in New Hanover, Pender, Onslow and Brunswick Counties incurring an increase of up to 35 percent. (Port City Daily photo / COURTESY NC DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE)
North Carolina Rate Bureau’s proposed dwelling insurance rate increase territories, with areas in New Hanover, Pender, Onslow and Brunswick Counties incurring an increase of up to 35 percent. (Port City Daily photo / COURTESY NC DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE)

SOUTHEASTERN, N.C. — Due to the possibility of dwelling policy insurance hikes, owners may choose to pass increasing costs on to local tenants.

The North Carolina Rate Bureau has proposed a dwelling insurance hike of up to 35 percent in areas included in the Cape Fear region.

RELATED: Insurance commissioner rejects proposed homeowners insurance rate increase, public hearing set

The request covers fire and extended, or wind coverage insurance policies available to non-owner occupied residences.

It’s been seven years since the North Carolina Department of Insurance has settled with the N.C. Rate Bureau over an increase in dwelling insurance rates.

The bureau’s dwelling insurance rate hike proposal was filed just months after its homeowners insurance request.

Sherri Hubbard, special counsel for the N.C. Department of Insurance, was not surprised by the filing.

“Were we expecting it this year? Not necessarily. But were we surprised? No,” Hubbard said.

The N.C. Rate Bureau requested that fire coverage policies decrease in territory areas New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender County are included in, while extended coverage policies would increase considerably.

The total average of all dwelling insurance increases was capped at 35 percent.

With southeastern counties included in the proposal to increase 35 percent, Barry Smith, spokesman for the N.C. Department of Insurance, said it would ultimately be up to owners of properties to determine future costs to rent.

“That would be up to the owner to absorb the cost or pass it along to the tenant or to shop around and get a better policy,” Smith said.

  • In person during a public comment forum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, March 23, 2018, in the Second Floor Hearing Room at the Albemarle Building, 325 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh.
  • By email sent to: 2018DwellingandFire@ncdoi.gov. Comments will be accepted through March 23, 2018.
  • By mail sent to: N.C. Department of Insurance, Attn. Tricia Ford, Legal Division, 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1201.

Johanna Ferebee can be reached at johanna@localvoicemedia.com or @j__ferebee on Twitter

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