Closings, delays and early dismissals

Proposed homeowners’ insurance rate hikes

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ASHEBORO, N.C. – The cost of home insurance could go up dramatically in the next few months if property insurers get their way.

For homeowners in Randolph and Davidson County, like Tommy Smith, home insurance rates could be almost 25 percent higher, effective Aug. 1.

Smith works 10 hours a week at the Randolph County Senior Adult Center, but for the most part he lives off Social Security.

"That Social Security doesn’t go very far," said Smith.

Smith said it gets harder and harder to pay the bills every time insurance rates go up, and the most recent proposal just isn't fair.

"They seem like they're picking on us for some reason to get more money out of us," said Smith.

Insurance providers say they need to raise rates because of projected losses in the future, which is an explanation that has some realtors confused.

"I know the coast with the flood insurance, I can see them. But right here in Randolph County... I don't understand that," said Angela Street, Street Realty.

Even the state Department of Insurance told us they're still trying to understand why insurance providers say such steep increases are necessary in places like Davidson and Randolph County.

"Everything else seems to be increasing but the salaries are not going up, that is going to be an extra bill that's going to affect them each month," said Street.

Street says the Department of Insurance usually ends up approving a rate increase that's much lower than what insurance providers propose.

But even so, she's concerned increasing the cost of owning a home will force people with fixed incomes to sell and rent instead.

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