North Carolina Increases Home Insurance Discounts for Stormproofing

June 25, 2010

North Carolina coastal homeowners will soon be entitled to bigger breaks on their insurance premiums for taking steps to protect their homes against storms.

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin has ordered a schedule of mitigation credits that will be effective May 1, 2011 and apply to policies written in the voluntary market and the state-backed Beach Plan within the 18 coastal counties.

The dollar credits on wind and hail coverages range from about $50 to more than $450, depending on the house, its location and the fortification level, type of roof and shutters.

The largest credits are for homes that are built in compliance with the Institute for Business and Home Safety Fortified New category. IBHS has three additional levels for which a home can be certified for mitigation credits: gold, silver and bronze. Within each of these three levels, credits will depend upon certain roofing standards.

In addition to IBHS standards, there will be credits for homes built or retrofitted with certain mitigation features including engineered window shutters, a hip roof or a combination of both.

The credits stem from a filing by the insurers’ N.C. Rate Bureau that was required by the 2009 enactment of H.B. 1305, which sought to reform coastal property insurance. The final credits are larger than the insurers initially filed.

“I’m proud that the department’s review of the initial filing resulted in larger credits for coastal homeowners than those originally requested,” said Goodwin. “Every dollar is important in today’s economic climate, and we wanted to make sure that homeowners will see discounts for the upgrades they have in place to protect their homes.”

The N.C. Rate Bureau will be establishing standards for certifying homes in accordance with the mitigation credit schedule over the next several months and communicating with insurance carriers and agents, according to Goodwin.

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