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North Carolina is steeped in national history. It is the place where Pepsi was born. The place where baseball legend, Babe Ruth, hit his first home run in Fayetteville March 1914. The state also has the largest home in America, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. This home includes a 255-room chateau and award-winning winery with extensive gardens.
Some of the factors and conditions affecting homeowners insurance rates faced by North Carolina homeowners are shared by neighboring states such as the size and age of your home. There are some factors that are specific to North Carolina due to its coastline and weather conditions. The triple threat of hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding as seen in recent storms has insurance providers itching to raise rates. The North Carolina Rate Bureau has filed notice with the N.C. Department of Insurance to request an 18.7% hike for 2018, according to Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey.
In a recent move the North Carolina Department of Insurance has reached a settlement with the North Carolina Rate Bureau on homeowner insurance rates that will only increase rates statewide by an average of 4.8 percent according to Insurance Journal.
Average home listing prices: A higher average listing price generally means a higher insurance premium in that state. For North Carolina, the average listing price of homes for sale in 2018 is $260,000 up 8.0% from previous year.
Hurricanes: From 2016 to 2018 North Carolina has been hit by 9 hurricanes. The worst 2 were Hurricane Matthew 2016 killing 28 people and Hurricane Florence 2018 killing 39 people.
Tornadoes: Based on data from 1991-2015, North Carolina is hit by an average of 29.1 tornadoes per year. Tornadoes can travel for miles ripping buildings from their foundations and causing damage to vehicles and property assets.
Discounts: Comparing available discounts for your circumstances such as multi-policy, safe home/security devices, marital status and weather or going claim free can also shave hundreds off your premiums.
Consent to rate forms: North Carolina is one of only two states to use the oldest ratemaking system in the country. This allows insurance companies to charge rates higher than those established by the NCRB. In 2014, 40 percent of homeowner policies in North Carolina were “Consent To Rate” policies. If you receive a Consent To Rate form from your provider it may be time to shop around. If you live in a high risk area or have filed a claim, a firm may decide to label you high risk.
There are only three states Florida, Texas and Louisiana that have suffered hits from more hurricanes and tornadoes, according to National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration . The good news for North Carolina homeowners is that the average homeowners premium in the state isn’t as high as those top three hurricane-prone states. In 2015, the average annual price of homeowners insurance in North Carolina was $1075 which is about $100 less than the 2015 national average of $1,173. Perhaps not a bargain however, it is $800 less than the other three hurricane prone states Florida, Texas and Louisiana.
How many homeowners have insurance policies in North Carolina? To get an estimate, let's take the total number of households in North Carolina according to be 3,815,392. Then according to Insurance Information Institute (III), 64 percent of those are owner occupied. Further to this according to III, 95 percent of all those polled in an ORC international poll said they owned a home and had homeowners insurance. So applying this 95 percent stat to North Carolina we can estimate about 2.3 million total homeowner insurance policies in North Carolina.
|National annual average||$1,096||$1,132||$1,173|
From State Farms humble beginnings in 1922 it has grown to employ 65,000 people. State Farm has several subsidiary companies, some were created for selling in a particular state or a certain risk segment. If you consider using State Farm be sure to check the Financial Strength Rating of the subsidiary insuring you. State Farm recently ranked in the top three of a J.D. Power study with a score of 840. For homeowners insurance specifically State Farm has an A++ ranking from AM Best which is an indication of long term stability and reassurance that the firm is able to pay your claims. It’s easy to see why the majority of homeowners in North Carolina insure with State Farm with ratings in the five areas of customer satisfaction as follows.
|Policy offerings||0 0 0 0 (Better than most)|
|Price||0 0 0 (About average)|
|Contacting the insurer||0 0 0 0 (Better than most)|
|Claims||0 0 0 (about average)|
|Overall homeowner satisfaction||0 0 0 (about average)|
Although some of the other firms outperform State Farm in the discounts and claims management departments, State Farm remains a well balanced provider with positive customer experiences and long term stability as seen in its A++ FSR rating. With over 100 products, 60 percent of State Farm households carry more than one State Farm product.
North Carolina Farm Bureau
North Carolina Farm Bureau is part of the Farm Bureau family of companies established in 1953. A membership is required for access to any of the company’s services, including insurance coverage. This membership also provides access to savings on hotels, vision plans and more. NC Farm Bureau offers discounts for newly built homes and a Home Safety Discount if your home has safety equipment like smoke detectors and security alarms.
According to Clearsurance.com customer reviews 62.8 percent gave a review of Excellent. 23.5 percent rated Great making over 70 percent of reviews very positive. 85% rated their claims experience positively. AM Best has issued a credit rating of A Excellent for NC Farm Bureau Insurance and has done so for over 50 years. Recognizing the groups strong risk management practices and market leadership position as an insurer of farm-related business in North Carolina. North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance uses a disciplined underwriting approach and conservative investment strategy to offset the firm’s geographic concentration of risk which exposes it to weather-related events such as hurricanes and tornadoes.
North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance wrote over $1 billion in premiums in 2016 and now carries a wide range of homeowners insurance products. Over all outstanding for a single state operation. The accessibility of their agents via phone far outweigh their lack of web savvy or mobile app offerings.
Nationwide Mutual Group
Nationwide is a strong all round insurance provider with highly rated customer service and claims processing. A user friendly website and mobile app provide technically minded clients with all the tools they have come to expect. Nationwide has a history of strength and stability dating back more than 90 years.
|Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company||A+||A+||A1|
|Nationwide Life Insurance Company||A+||A+||A1|
|Nationwide Life & Annuity Insurance Company||A+||A+||A1|
|Rank||Insurer||Market share %||AM Best||S&P||JD Power|
|2||North Carolina Farm Bureau||12.5||A||NR||NR|
The volatility that stems from an outdated turbulent ratemaking system, plus legal and political battles over rate increases, means North Carolinians need strong insurance providers they can rely on. We have highlighted three of the most dependable providers to give North Carolina homeowners some peace of mind, and security in a state that historically struggles with geographically defined weather-related risks. Some digging to find which of these three provide the discounts and policy coverage elements best suited to your situation may eventually pay off big if you need to file a claim.
Home insurance is something that one shouldn't avoid to pay. It helps protect the home from costly damages. Home insurance always put a huge dent in the pocket, especially when the your area experiences inclement weather. The cost of homeowner insurance in North Carolina slightly increased from 2014 to 2015 (latest available data). However, there are things that one can do to bring costs down. Here are tips on how one can save on homeowners insurance.
Most of the home insurance companies provide homeowners with discounts in one way or another. Therefore, it is important to call and ask if they provide offer discounts. Multi policy discount is one of the discounts one could get. A homeowner will get the discount when they get auto insurance from the same insurance provider. Additionally, homeowners can also get discounts if an alarm is in place. One should ensure that they get discounts for safety/security alarm installation.
Another important tip on how to save on homeowners insurance is to shop around. Insurance rates are competitive. Getting different quotes from as many different companies is a vital step. It's important to get a company that displays financial strength while maintaining a clean customer complaint record. It is advisable to talk to several insurance providers to find out if they have exceptional service.
Home security is one of the ways to save on the home insurance. Homeowners can get discounts on a burglar alarm, smoke detector, and even deadbolt locks. There are insurance companies that can give a discount of 20% for the sprinkler system and fire alarm. The systems are not too costly to install if it will reduce the premium you have to pay. However, before installing any system, it is advisable to check how much one would save.
The insurance company can adjust the dwelling value because of inflation. The cost can go higher especially when the market is in a downturn. One should ensure that there is enough coverage for rebuilding the home.
Insurance companies offer credits for policies with high deductibles. A deductible refers to the money a person pays towards a loss before the insurance company begins to make payment. Therefore, by increasing the deductible, there is a high chance of reducing the cost of homeowners insurance. The savings might be worth the risk. Don't forget to assess your own situation and check to see if raising the deductible is affordable for you or not, before making any changes to your current policy.
One can easily save on home insurance premium by considering the above tips. They are simple tips that one can do. There is no doubt that there will be a lot of savings from following the above tips. Home insurance should not be a headache when it comes to making payments.
For more assistance, please contact your local state department of insurance:
NC Department of Insurance