Insurance commissioner and companies to fight over price-setting bill
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/08/2013 -- A new bill that has given North Carolina automobile insurance writers the capability to seek individual rate changes has now been introduced to the General Assembly members. The move was immediately applauded by the coalition of over 12 major policy writers, as is to be expected with such a bill.
The bill was introduced to the Senate through Fayetteville Republican Wesley Meredith, and the measure gives insurers the right to opt out of current ratemaking process that is currently administered by the North Carolina Rate Bureau. That agency is set up under the statute that creates and formulates a single request on behalf of the industry of submission to regulators for the state.
Under the section 154, firms are capable of submitting their personal changes of Insurance Commissioner Way Goodwin's office. The Commissioner would still hold the ability to reject the proposed hikes that he deemed as specifically excessive.
“North Carolina drivers will benefit from a more competitive, free-market system that reduces bureaucracy and eliminates unnecessary costs,” Meredith said in a statement on the bill.
The reaction from the Department of Insurance was both pointed and strong in opposition.
“It takes away the commissioner’s authority to stop huge increases,” said Kerry Hall, who was Goodwin's spokesperson. She continued “[the increases] would permit the rates of some individual drivers to skyrocket, and would allow the companies to discriminate by age and gender.”
The battle over the new measure will now pit the commissioner against the group that identifies itself as Fair N.C. The group represents a majority of the large names within the auto insurance industry, including AllState Corporation, Geico, Progressive, State Farm, and more than a handful of other insurers.
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