House Panel Unveils Bid To Fix Beach Insurance

North Carolina lawmakers have started grappling with how the underfunded Beach Plan would keep its insurance promises after a bad hurricane season.

The House Insurance Committee on Thursday began considering a proposal to cap insurers' risks from a catastrophe, and shift remaining rebuilding costs to all North Carolina policyholders.

The bill would allow every property insurance policy to rise by up to 10 percent if the Beach Plan's payouts surpass about $2.4 billion. The insurance industry says that's almost double what the Beach Plan would have had to pay if 1996's Hurricane Fran came ashore now.

The Insurance Department estimates the average $600 homeowners policy could rise up to $60 a year to pay Beach Plan claims.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by fed up Location: aurora on Jun 27, 2009 at 07:15 AM
    How can the a company to take your money and promise you if anything happens to your home they will pay to repair or replace it. Then when it happens they declare bankruptcy and go home with your money,like they did with hurricane andrew. They have no intention of paying you a dime for any damage done to your home. Used to be your homeowners ins. covered everything.Now you have to get flood ins.wind ins.hail ins.act of God ins. Oh yes,only the flood ins. When Huricane Floyd came in 1999 my step daughter had flood ins. There home was under water for 10 days up to the peak of the roof. Flood ins people offered them a third of what the policy was,they were told they could salvage and rebuild. There water heater was torn lose,crashed through there front window,and was found 200 yards away from the house. Pitt co. condemed any home with water damage over 2 ft above floor level. They have yet to settle. PETA gave her $600.00, she lost everything she had but her dog
  • by elvisneedsatan on Jun 25, 2009 at 04:49 PM
    Here we go with the nanny staters stealing and extorting money for their ignorant and unconstitutional programs. I defy them to tell me that it is not theft and robbery of hard working peoples' fruits of their labor. Give us a break and stay out of our wallets for once in your money grubbing lives.
  • by Pete Location: Nags Head on Jun 25, 2009 at 02:12 PM
    One reason the gov't should stay out of things like this. Private insurance would be paid by the property owner only, and the necessary rates would tend to discourage coastal building, which would be a good thing for the beaches (the natural beaches, not giant-house/hotel owners near the beaches, which include many a Dare Co. politician).
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Jun 25, 2009 at 01:44 PM
    Caren, I think what is the damaging part of any storm in NC is wind and water. As I posted, most houses are code for flooding but wind. Who knows.
  • by Caren Location: Ayden on Jun 25, 2009 at 01:30 PM
    If you can afford to buy a place at the beach, you should be able to afford the insurance for it. I live inland and mine is high enough as it is. I do not need to subsidize coastal properties.
  • by unk Location: enc on Jun 25, 2009 at 12:35 PM
    Welfare for the rich. Only in America. If we have to pay for the rich people's beach property, then I want my federal tax dollars back from when the Gov. declares a state of emergency, releasing federal funds for clean up. I have heart disease, diabetes type II and had cancer. I want all the healthy people in NC to help pay for my medical insurance premiums. Thank you.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 25, 2009 at 11:55 AM
    Here is another tax. I just got hit with a 19% increase on HO insurance now they want to go up another 10%. I can see a lot of people cancelling their insurance. Way to got NC is out to put insurance companies out of business. Why should I have to pay for someone that wants to build right on the water, they are not paying for me inland. Oh, that's right share the wealth until there is none.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Jun 25, 2009 at 11:40 AM
    Edwin, I am pretty sure they are doing what you suggest, spreading back to a Pool as it was intended. I think they battled the Hugo/Charlotte dilema. Everyone in this state, not just the coastal waterfront, is subject to damage from either flood, wind, erosion or all. Most houses code on the beach puts them up high enough for flood problem. Wind is the no one issue no mater where you live. Charlotte lost more than eighty thousand trees to the storm, many of which were more than seventy years old. Ninety-eight percent of the city's residents lost power, and for some, repairs were not made for more than two weeks. Power outages caused large amounts of raw sewage to bypass treatment plants and flow into streams throughout Mecklenburg County. North Carolina's largest metropolitan area was brought to its knees by the storm. They lost 250 million dollars in trees alone. So, its hard to make an argument that people east of 95 are in higher peril.
  • by EDWIN VARGAS Location: NEW BERN NC on Jun 25, 2009 at 11:14 AM
    Hello Everyone, Once again we will be hit with higher homeowner's insurance rates. The rates should be higher right at the beach. I urge everyone to visit nc-20.comm to get the real facts on this overcharging of insurance rates to the 20 coastal counties in NC. It needs to be a flat percentage across every county in NC to spread the risk evenly unless you are right on the water. 26% of storms since records have been kept effect the coast; 74% effect inland areas ie. Hurricaine Hugo. On nc-20 you can write your elected officials and tell them to fix the problem of higher rates. Start from Bev Perdue and work your way to the NC Insurance Commissioner's Office. We can all make a difference. Edwin Vargas, New Bern, NC
  • by hardworker on Jun 25, 2009 at 11:07 AM
    I think raising insureance premiums for all NC residents is not fair. I should not have to pay for someone elses desire to live or own property on the beaches. I work hard for my money to pay MY insurance premiums. People who live or own beach property know the risks, let them pay their own premiums or get rid of the property. Why ask working class people to pay someone else's premium (for their luxuries) when most people can't even afford to put food on the table

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