Local News

N.C. auto insurance companies ask for rate hike

Posted February 9, 2009 12:26 p.m. EST

— Auto insurance companies have requested an overall statewide increase of 1.4 percent for 2009, the state Department of Insurance said Monday.

The filing is on top of a 9.4 percent increase that the department and the auto insurance industry are debating.

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Godwin said if the department and the North Carolina Rate Bureau, which represents auto insurance companies in the state, cannot reach an agreement, he will call for a hearing on the matter.

Last September, former Insurance Commissioner Jim Long ordered a 16.1 percent decrease, which the auto insurance industry is appealing.  Until the courts rule, insurance companies are charging an increased rate of 9.4 percent.

The difference between what was ordered and what companies charge will remain in escrow until the courts reach a decision. If the courts rule in the department’s favor, the escrowed monies will be refunded to policyholders.