Insurance bureau requests to raise rates

RALEIGH The North Carolina Rate Bureau submitted a request to raise rates by 1.4 percent on Monday.

The request comes despite the Bureau's appeal of a state order in 2008 to decrease rates by 16.1 percent. Then-Commissioner Jim Long issued the order in September.

Current Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin said insurance companies have ignored that decrease and increased their rates 9.4 percent in 2008. It went into effect Jan. 1 but could be overturned by the court system.

Goodwin said he will schedule a hearing for later this year if the Bureau and the department cannot agree on a settlement for the filed rates.

It's up to the Department of Insurance to make the final decision.

Officials say recent rate increases have actually saved North Carolina drivers $6 billion.

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