State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin has rejected an insurance industry bid for a 36.1 percent increase in wind-damage rates for small rental properties. The rates apply to one- to four-unit dwellings that are not owner-occupied and are not eligible for a normal homeowners policy. That would include, for instance, single-family homes that are rented out. In addition, rates for fire coverage for such properties were cut 7.3 percent overall, the N.C. Department of Insurance said. The new rates go into effect May 1, 2012. Statewide, the rates apply to about 395,000 dwellings and to the contents of 175,000 dwellings, an Insurance Department spokeswoman said early this year when the increase was proposed.
The N.C. Rate Bureau, which bargains with the state on behalf of the insurance industry, said in January that extended coverage increases would have fallen hard on the coastal counties – already paying higher rates than other parts of the state. But it also said that most rental condominiums would not be affected because their buildings are covered under a general policy taken out by the homeowner association. “After listening to all of the testimony, I found that the requested increase in extended coverage rates for dwelling properties is not warranted,” Goodwin said in a statement.From the Wilimington Star-News, December 12, 2011