There is a fairly unique system in place regarding auto insurance rates in North Carolina. The Daily Reflector published an article by Gary D. Robertson of the Associated Press entitled, “NC lawmakers look at auto insurance risks, costs.” This article explains the current debate in North Carolina over whether it is more important for overall auto insurance rates to be low or for individual drivers to pay more based on their risk.
About 20% of North Carolina’s 7 million insured car owners are in a high risk insurance pool. Called the North Carolina Reinsurance Facility, the high risk pool is for drivers that cannot otherwise get insurance from companies because of their past history of riskier driving. Rates are around 30% higher for those in the high risk pool, but 70% of those in the pool haven’t had any type of risky driving is over three years. These drivers don’t pay the extra 30% premium, so their premiums fall flat of covering their expenses and losses.
There is a clear divide in the state as to whether this pool needs to be altered or dismantled. Insurers like State Farm, Geico, and Progressive agree with trade associations that want the ability to better match rates with driver risk. This would call for the elimination of the North Carolina Rate Pool, which sets the rates that North Carolina insurers are allowed to charge. But Nationwide and other insurance companies think the system works well and point out that North Carolina has the 7th lowest insurance rates in the nation. North Carolina’s insurance market is competitive, their insurers make profits, and their overall rates are low. But many believe that their huge high risk pool needs some changes.
Written by Sara Smart
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