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Live By The Coast? Insurers Want Permission To Raise Rates Dramatically

Calabash is a small fishing town in Brunswick County, North Carolina
Town of Calabash

Aaah, the coast. Those salt breezes. The tasty fresh seafood. The high insurance rates? Not if some mayors and business owners across North Carolina's coastal region have their say. The groups are banding together to contest a proposal to increase home insurance rates in counties that line the coast of North Carolina.

The industry group for insurance companies in North Carolina has requested the state's permission to increase rates up to 35 percent in coastal counties. In other parts of the state, the rise in rates would average 25 percent.

Mary Knight is the mayor of the town of Calabash, a tiny community that would feel the rise in rates. She says many of the people in coastal communities like hers are retirees on fixed incomes, and that increased rates would be an undue hardship:

The groceries, the doctor, even the vet bill. They have to really curtail their spending, set a new budget and decide if they can't make it. If they can't, the option is, either you don't pay it, or consequentially the possibility may exist for many that they move back with their children.]

One insurance group says current rates are substantially inadequate. State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin has called for the increase request to be withdrawn.

Carol Jackson has been with WUNC since 2006. As Digital News Editor, she writes stories for, and helps reporters and hosts make digital versions of their radio stories. She is also responsible for sharing stories on social media. Previously, Carol spent eight years with WUNC's nationally syndicated show The Story with Dick Gordon, serving as Managing Editor and Interim Senior Producer.
Jorge Valencia has been with North Carolina Public Radio since 2012. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Jorge studied journalism at the University of Maryland and reported for four years for the Roanoke Times in Virginia before joining the station. His reporting has also been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, and the Baltimore Sun.
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