Homeowners insurance rates on the rise statewide

KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — An increase in claims in North Carolina is causing a jump in homeowners insurance rates statewide.

“We went from almost $800 paying to almost $1,100 paying,” said Johnette Schultz, who lives in Kernersville.

Johnette is not alone.

“This is an industry problem,” said Dan Loggins, an insurance agent with State Farm. “It’s not any company specific problem. It’s a North Carolina problem that we just have to deal with.”

In July 2013, the average rate of homeowners insurance jumped from 4 to 7 percent and even higher in rural and coastal areas.

“We’re seeing anywhere from 20 to 40 to 60 percent increases,” Loggins said.

He and other agents say the jump in rates is caused by a jump in claims.

“Claims are the big driver in it though,” said Matthew Young, an insurance agent for Geico. “Large losses such as liability payouts can influence premiums across the board.”

The recent increases are expected to continue after last winter’s ice storm where thousands of homes were damaged across the state.

In January, the state rate bureau requested to increase rates again to more than 25 percent.

It is a jump people like Johnette, who’ve never even filed a claim, can’t afford.

“It’s kind of disheartening,” she said. “It’s not really fair.”

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