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Property owners sold down river

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

To the editor: My insurance policy for 2010 is part of the North Carolina Homeowner’s Windstorm and Hail Policy Program. I noticed the policy premium increase of 21 percent and the coverage for personal property (contents of the house) has been reduced unilaterally by the issuer to a maximum of 40 percent—in my case, a reduction in coverage of $82,000. Plus, the replacement cost option was dropped, effectively providing zero coverage because most retiree family home furnishings are at least 10 years old and at actual replacement cost, the depreciated value is at or near zero.

I contacted my agent, and we ran through a variety of scenarios for raising my deductible to lower the premium. If I raise my deductible to $15,000 (a 600 percent increase), my premium would be lowered by 6 percent. I then suggested dropping the policy entirely and was told the underwriters will not issue or renew our basic homeowner policy without us having this windstorm and hail policy; therefore, we cannot choose to drop this policy.

Most states-run pools protecting citizens against a common risk offer reasonable premiums and excellent coverage. I think the North Carolina Department of Insurance has sold property owners down the river. I have filed a complaint with them. I think the governor and legislature need to intercede on behalf of citizens they represent. I have sent a copy of this letter to them.