Court Rejects Appeal Of Coastal Insurance Jump

A North Carolina appeals court is rejecting a bid to freeze or even reverse homeowners' insurance premiums that soared by nearly 30 percent on the coast while falling in a third of the state's counties farthest from the shore.

A three-judge Court of Appeals panel ruled Tuesday in a lawsuit by coastal communities trying to overturn a 2008 deal struck between former Insurance Commissioner Jim Long and the North Carolina Rate Bureau, which represents insurers.

The municipalities argued Long made the deal before coastal residents knew insurers sought increases, which the cities said were then set at unreasonably high levels.

The court says it can't overturn the deal because the agreement didn't meet the legal standard of being excessive or unreasonable.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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