Insurance increase brings howls from coastal lawmaker

Posted March 6, 2013

— News that homeowners insurance rates would go up in July prompted a protest on the Senate floor Wednesday from a coastal lawmaker.

Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, said the General Assembly needs to address the inequity in insurance rates faced by residents along the North Carolina coast.

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin negotiated an average 7 percent increase with the North Carolina Rate Bureau, which represents insurance companies. The rate bureau had sought a 17.7 percent average increase.

Even with the lower statewide average, homes along the beach in Brunswick, Carteret, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender counties could be hit by a premium of as much 19.8 percent. Beach homes in Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties could see a 17 percent rate increase.

That compares with increases of less than 3 percent in Raleigh and about 8 percent in Charlotte.

Coastal residents have always paid higher homeowners insurance rates because of the higher risk of hurricane damage, but Brown said it's no longer fair, especially for senior citizens on fixed incomes.

"You can't live on the coast any longer. If you're a senior, you definitely can't live on the coast because you can't afford to pay your insurance," he said during a point of personal privilege at the end of Wednesday's session.

Brown hasn't yet introduced any legislation to address the matter.

"We've got a serious, serious problem. I don't know how to fix it. I wish I did," he said.


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  • commonsensenc Mar 7, 2013

    These are the same people who put their hands out after every major storm, if you looked at how much money the coast has gotten over the years from state and federal, I would expect government not individuals would would own much of the coast.

  • Nancy Mar 7, 2013

    What brings howls to the rest of the citizens is having to be exposed to the higher rate of claims from the coast through our rates.

    It's no different than having to fund, through federal monies (our taxes and borrowed monies we have to pay for), flood insurance where no one in their right mind would offer for such high exposure annually and at such cheap rates.

  • HeadsUp Mar 7, 2013

    When you choose to live and make money in a high-risk zone, don't try to shift the costs of your decision onto those of us with better sense.

  • nerdlywehunt Mar 7, 2013

    Hey, what about all this "free enterprise" stuff you republicans always talk about???????

  • fedora Mar 6, 2013

    Coastal living comes with a higher price, homeowners in some states in New England have to pay for beach re nourishment, it doesn't come from tax dollars.

  • wildpig777 Mar 6, 2013

    abolish hi way 12

  • jlp Mar 6, 2013

    Sorry Senator, if I chip in to pay your insurance that would be socialism. Pay your own way. If I pay your insurance am I going to get to come stay at your house for a couple of weeks each summer? Don't want high insurance, don't live on the coast.

  • bcde Mar 6, 2013

    It also isn't 'fair' for people that don't live in high risk areas like the coastline, to pay for others desire to live at the beach. My area may be affected by a hurricane, but isn't nearly as likely and probably won't be as severe as the damage that happens at the beach. By what you are saying a 16 year old inexperienced driver of a 2013 Porshe should pay the same rate as a 45 year old driver with no tickets in their life on driving a 10 year old vehicle. There is always going to be 'inequality' in the system, based on risk factors and that is just the way 'life is'.

  • pchuck88 Mar 6, 2013

    a lot of beach properties are secondary residences and should not even be allowed to deduct interest on mortgages on secondary homes in my opionion

  • pchuck88 Mar 6, 2013

    coastal people should pay higher rates more risk