|By David Ranii, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"That's not a rate increase," Smith said of
That's a matter of opinion, but it's beyond dispute that
"Since the premiums we are offering are higher than the (state-approved) rates,"
Once a rarity, in recent years the volume of
The data show that about 22 percent of policyholders outside the state's beach and coastal areas agreed to consent-to-rate requests in 2010, rising to about 26 percent in 2011. In coastal counties, the number was about 30 percent in 2010 and 25 percent in 2011; in beach areas, it was 40 percent both years. (The data do not include homeowners policies in beach and coastal areas that are provided by the state-created Beach Plan.)
Some companies go the consent-to-rate route "with more regularity than others," said
Function of 'inflexibility'
Industry insiders attribute the spread of such requests to the industry's inability to win approval for the rate increases they feel are necessary to make a profit.
"It's a function of the inflexibility of our pricing system in
"We believe ... that the rate we have been able to agree with the (
The last increase in homeowners insurance rates in
In October, the
Companies pull back
But a parade of residents from the state's coastal counties decried the proposed increase as excessive and unfair at a public comment session held in