Judge: Beach Plan Insurance Surcharge Decision Needs Redo

A North Carolina judge has frozen planned deductible and surcharge increases for coastal homeowners in the state insurance pool called the Beach Plan.

Wake County Superior Judge William Pittman ruled that former Insurance Commissioner Jim Long didn't follow procedures before approving the increases. The judge ordered new Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin to redo the process.

The judge's ruling blocks surcharges the Beach Plan can charge beyond insurance companies' rates from rising from 15 percent to a maximum 25 percent.

The surcharges took effect last month. The ruling doesn't affect higher premiums scheduled for May.

A spokeswoman for the Insurance Department did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Monday.

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

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