N.C. Lawmakers’ Goal: A Public Peek Into Insurers’ Crystal Ball
|By Molly Parker, Star-News, Wilmington, N.C.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
During last year's long session, the bill passed the House 106-0 but stalled in the
Here's what it addresses: Insurance companies use catastrophe modeling systems to project potential future storm damage in geographic areas to support their calls for rate changes, which almost always means an increase.
That system has been referred to as "black box" because it's shrouded in secrecy. Its calculations used are private proprietary information of the modeler.
The bill would require at least two models. In addition, it would require insurance companies to include and identify certain information plugged into the models, such as the simulation year of a storm, as well as the projected state and county of first landfall and wind speed, while protecting proprietary information related to the modeling system.
The measure also would ask for historical data for losses so "we all start from the same position," said Tine. All models use historical data to try to project future impacts, beginning with a similar starting point but showing different end projections because they use different methods of calculating potential future risk.
"Once rates are set by the commissioner, DOI (the
Coastal lawmakers who have had residents bend their ears about rapidly upward moving insurance rates are eager for the bill to move.
"Not only does it add transparency, it uses actual figures, historical data," said Rep.
Hamilton said that wind and hail claims are far more frequent west of
But coastal territories have been socked with rate increases.
Most recently, homeowner insurance rates in
The requested changes would range from a reduction of 2.7 percent to an increase of 35 percent, depending on the area of the state. The insurance companies also requested revisions to the current geographic rating territories.
The filing will now be reviewed by the state to determine what, if any, rate adjustments are warranted.
That hearing is scheduled for
"These two problems are still very significant as the gap is getting wider and wider in relation to the overall availability of insurance and the price ... a consumer must pay for coverage," Moore said.
"Rep. Tine's bill (HB 519) as it passed the House certainly allows for more clarity and transparency as it relates to the rate-making process," Moore said.
Metro desk: 343-2389
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