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N.C. auto insurance rates rolled back

Posted July 15, 2009

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— Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin on Wednesday signed a settlement with the North Carolina Rate Bureau that will roll back private passenger auto insurance rates to just under 2006 levels, his office announced.

The changes will go into effect on Nov. 1 and are retroactive to Jan. 1. The North Carolina Rate Bureau (NCRB) is an independent organization that represents all auto insurance companies in the state.

The settlement does away with the NCRB’s implemented 9.4 percent 2008 rate increase, denies their 2009 request for an additional 1.4 percent rate increase and includes an additional .5 percent decrease, according to the news release. 

Under the settlement, the NCRB may not file changes to auto rates until 2011, which means that the maximum allowable auto rates are locked in until Oct. 1, 2011 at the earliest.

“Drivers will not only see lower rates, but many will also receive refund checks beginning in mid-2010 that may together total more than $50 million," Goodwin said in the news release.

The refunds stem from a dispute between the Department and the NCRB over rates ordered in 2008. During the appeals process, the NCRB implemented an interim 9.4 percent rate increase that went into effect on Jan.1 of this year.

In cases where insurance companies charged policyholders more than the rates determined by this settlement, insurance companies are required by statute to refund the difference between the rates charged and the settled rates, with interest.

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