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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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