Local News

Insurance Rates Likely to Rise After Fran

Posted September 18, 1996 12:00 a.m. EDT

— One way or another, most Triangle residents will end up paying for Hurricane Fran's destruction in North Carolina.

Right now, home and car owners are looking to insurance companies to pay for much-needed repairs, but it doesn't end there. This trend will probably cause insurance rates across the board to rise over the next two years.

Auto body shop owner Scott Baker says most of his customers are in shock right now.

Fran has also created the need for more repairs than body shops can handle. One body shop in Holly Springs is working almost exclusively on hurricane damaged vehicles, and is now scheduling client appointments in November.

Much of the damage to vehicles is from fallen trees and, although it may take a long time to fix them all, cars are a necessity and people are calling on their insurance companies.

Insurance agent Steve Lipstone says claims are way up.

So far, Nationwide Insurance has received 42,000 claims for home and car repairs because of Hurricane Fran. That's almost double what they took after Hugo in 1989.

Agents say it won't happen overnight, but within two years, you can expect increased insurance rates.

The North Carolina Rate Bureau evaluates insurance rates annually and takes input from insurance companies. The insurance commissioner then has the final word on setting standard rates for the state.