North Carolina Home Insurance

North Carolina is well known for its coastal plains and climate, but few people realize that the state is also home to Mount Mitchell, the highest point in the Eastern U.S. The Atlantic winds and the wide ranging elevations can make for some unpredictable and extreme weather patterns. Severe tornadoes, hurricanes and thunderstorms are a constant worry; and for North Carolina property owners in particularly high-risk areas, finding adequate and affordable home insurance can be a challenge.

That’s why The Simple Dollar has assembled this page. Whether you’re shopping for a new policy or assessing your current coverage, we think the following resources will help you get a handle on your policyholder rights and options as a homeowner in North Carolina.

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Stats in Your State

While North Carolina is one of the most popular destinations for both budding careerists and retirees, home prices and insurance rates in the state remain reasonably low. Below you’ll find all the data you need to compare your current home coverage costs state and national averages.

Homeowner Insurance Premiums

Compared to the U.S. as a whole, the cost of homeowners insurance in North Carolina is relatively low. And compared to national increases, the average annual premium for homeowners insurance has risen modestly in recent years. In 1999, North Carolinians paid $449 for coverage, within $50 of the national average. Ten years later, the average homeowner in the state was paying an annual premium of $683 — still under the national average of $791.

Renter Insurance Premiums

North Carolina’s rates for renters insurance have also remained just below the national average. In 1999, residents of the state paid $133 in annual renters insurance fees, under the $171 national average. Ten years later, when the national average had risen slightly to $176 while the average North Carolina renters insurance payment was $139.

Existing Home Sales

North Carolina’s home sales have rebounded faster than in other states since the 2008 recession. In 2010, roughly 135,000 houses, condos, co-ops and other residences were sold in the state; only ten states recorded more sales.

Flood Insurance in Region

North Carolina’s severe weather trends worsened in 2011 when multiple counties were struck with tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and hailstorms. More than 9,800 flood insurance claims were filed during this period to cover more than $176 million in property damage.

Homes Built

The rise of Raleigh and Charlotte as two of the fastest growing U.S. metropolitan areas is a recent development, so it’s no surprise that many of the homes in this state were built after 1980. Nearly 50% percent of the residences in New York were built after 1980, while less than 6 percent were erected before 1939.

Rules in Your State

The following rules and regulations apply across the board to the insurance industry as a whole, and serve to protect the rights of policyholders and define the terms of the underwriting process. Use the following links to learn more about the specific regulations and how they might affect your home insurance coverage.

North Carolina Rate Bureau

Created by the General Assembly of North Carolina in 1977, the Rate Bureau is responsible for setting reasonable and fair insurance rates throughout the state market. This process of leaving rate determination up to a single third party is considered to be a little antiquated compared to other states in which the consumers and insurance commissioner play a larger role. The North Carolina state legislature has said that it will update its rate review policies, but for now, the Rate Bureau is the

North Carolina General Statute 58-39-65

This law mandates that no insurer can refuse to underwrite a policy based in whole or in part on the fact that an individual has been insured by a residual market provider in the past. This means that if you were previously unable to get your home insured in the open market and were covered by a special high-risk policy, you can’t be declined coverage on that basis in the state of North Carolina.

Representatives & Resources in Your State

NC Department of Insurance Consumer’s Guide to Homeowners Insurance
Prepared by the office of the NC insurance commissioner, this guide to homeowners insurance covers types of policies, add-ons, underwriting guidelines, insurance for high-risk locations, loss prevention and aftermath, and consumer services and complaints.

NC Department of Insurance HurriClaims Center
The HurriClaims Center can help NC residents understand their property insurance rights before and after a hurricane. Weather advisories, preparedness guides and disaster mediation are just a few of the resources you’ll find on their site.