Higher beach plan rates debate

February 23, 2009 1:51:47 PM PST
A line is being drawn in the sand over higher insurance rates for beach property.State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin was fighting efforts inside the General Assembly Monday.

He says lawmakers who want to freeze insurance rate increases for beach homeowners could wind up forcing all North Carolinians to pay more for home insurance.

Two legislative measures would hold off increased surcharges of up to 25 percent for homeowner's coverage and up to 15 percent for wind damage that the beach plan charges above what regular insurers can offer. The increased surcharges took effect with new policies written since Feb. 1.

Goodwin says he understands the implications for coastal property owners, but he says increases there led insurers to keep premiums down in other parts of the state.