Greensboro, N.C. (March 27, 2015) – The North Carolina Association of Realtors® President Tony Smith applauded Sen. Mike Lee (New Hanover) for filing legislation to end consent to rate letters from property insurers. Sen. Lee’s bill would close the legal loophole that forces homeowners to pay higher premiums or risk cancellation of their policy.
“Realtors® believe that homeowners insurance must be available and affordable for working families,” said Smith. “We appreciate the efforts of Senators and Representatives who have sponsored bills that bring transparency and fairness to the rate-making process. Sen. Lee’s bill SB 683 would provide another powerful and necessary protection for homeowners.”
Under current law, insurers can bypass Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin’s authority to deny a rate increase by issuing a consent to rate letter. The letter states that the homeowner must agree to a premium increase in order to keep the policy. In 2013, premiums rose by an average of 7 percent. In 2014, insurers requested an average increase of 25 percent. Insurers appealed the Commissioner’s denial of the rate increase.
“The time to protect homeowners is now,” said Smith. “I encourage legislators to join Sen. Lee’s reform efforts and stand up for your constituents on this important matter.”
With over 33,000 members, the North Carolina Association of REALTORS® is the voice of the real estate profession and one of the largest, most influential associations in North Carolina.