RALEIGH — Officials at the North Carolina Department of Insurance late last week released a notice of hearing in the 2017 auto insurance rate case, in which the North Carolina Rate Bureau requested a 13.8 percent average statewide increase in auto rates. The notice schedules a hearing beginning Sept. 11, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. at the Department of Insurance, located now in the Albemarle Building in downtown Raleigh.
The 2017 rate filing was submitted on Feb. 1, 2017, by the North Carolina Rate Bureau, an independent organization representing all auto insurance companies doing business in the state. Since then, Commissioner Mike Causey and Department experts have reviewed the filing thoroughly and determined that a rate increase is not justified based on the data submitted.
When the Department of Insurance makes this determination, the next step in the process is to take the issue to a hearing where a hearing officer will listen to testimony from experts on both sides of the issue and decide what rate change, if any, is warranted.
If the Rate Bureau wishes to appeal that decision, it can do so through the court system, and companies can raise rates while awaiting a decision from the courts. The difference in the ordered rate and the implemented rate must be held in escrow. If the Bureau loses its appeal, the escrowed money must be refunded to policyholders who paid too much.