The North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) has reached an agreement with the North Carolina Rate Bureau (NCRB) over a proposed dwelling rate increase.

NC Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey said in a press release that his office negotiated an average statewide increase of 8%, which is 42.6 percentage points lower than the 50.6% increase requested by NCRB.

The Rate Bureau filed its proposed increase on July 13.

The settlement means that a July 22 hearing on the dispute has been canceled.

“I am happy that we were able to save North Carolina consumers more than $151.7 million per year in this rate case over what the insurance companies requested,” Causey said. “I’m also glad that we were able to avert a potentially lengthy and costly hearing on this case. Our top-notch legal, actuarial, and property and casualty experts at the Department worked diligently to help protect the consumers’ pocketbooks by limiting this increase to 8%.”

Dwelling insurance is different from homeowners’ insurance. Dwelling policies are primarily offered to non-owner-occupied residences of no more than four units, including rental properties, investment properties, and other properties that are not the property owner’s primary residence. 

The negotiated 8% increase is an average statewide figure, which varies by territory. The new rates will take effect on Nov. 1.

Earlier this year, the NCRB requested a rate increase of 42.2% in homeowners’ insurance rates effective August 1. A few weeks later, property owners filled a public comment forum, opposing the North Carolina Rate Bureau’s request for an average increase of 42%. The hearing was both online and in person at the NC Department of Insurance.

As expected, no one was in favor of that increase, which could see rates in coastal areas, like Swansboro, in Onslow County, jump by as much as 71.4% and even 99%spikes in places like Emerald Isle.

Causey rejected the hike in February and set an Oct. 7 court hearing.

In April, the NCRB made a request to raise mobile home fire policies (MH-F) by an average of 83%, and another 50% increase for casualty policies (MH-C). Both proposed rate hikes would be spread out over a three-year period, according to a press release from the NCDOI.

The proposed increases would affect approximately 148,000 policyholders in North Carolina.