Mold Problems May Cause Insurance Rates To Rise In N.C.
Posted October 3, 2003 4:55 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Catastrophes, construction costs and mold can all add up to higher homeowners' insurance. Next year, it may cost you more money.
Natural disasters are expensive, which is one reason why homeowners' insurance rates are on the rise nationwide. The problems that land in Emerson Teer's office are also playing a role in the insurance game. He works for a company that cleans up toxic mold.
Teer said companies like his are busy all over the country.
"I think it's the hype. It's been on 60 Minutes, in the newspaper, [and the] attention at
North Carolina Central
," he said.
Officials said mold crippled the insurance business in Texas.
"We pretty much assumed that what happened in Texas was likely to occur in North Carolina," said Raymond Evans of the
North Carolina Rate Bureau
North Carolina was able to forecast for the mold phenomenon with a cap. You can only claim $5,000, but that does not mean your homeowners insurance rates will not rise in the state.
Mold may be under control, but rising building costs and more sporadic storm damage have the insurance industry asking the state for a 14 percent increase next year.
"Setting rates in homeowner's insurance is like looking into a rear-view mirror," Evans said.
The North Carolina Rate Bureau expects to ask the state for a 14 percent increase in the next three weeks. Last year the bureau asked for a 20 percent raise, but it only rose five percent.