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Insurance Rates Likely to Rise After Fran

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

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

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

Fran has also created the need for more repairs than body shops canhandle. One body shop in Holly Springs is working almostexclusively on hurricane damaged vehicles, and is now scheduling clientappointments in November.

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

Insurance agent Steve Lipstone says claims are way up.

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

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

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

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