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Goodwin the best insurance for NC drivers

Published: Mar. 8, 2013
The complete article can be found here: The News & Observer

When Wayne Goodwin warns that legislators and some in the insurance industry may be up to something, it’s fairly safe to assume that...they may be up to something.
So let’s hope all these pro-business Republicans in the General Assembly understand that if they should act in a way that has North Carolina consumers paying more for auto insurance, and facing more rate increases in a revised system with few checks and balances, the voters may decide to be not so pro-Republican in the next election.

Once again, Republicans are raising suggestions for changes in auto insurance regulation that would take authority away from Goodwin in the name of simplifying regulation. In this case, it appears simplification could come at quite a price. North Carolina has a good system of rate regulation, wherein companies submit their rate requests to the N.C. Rate Bureau, which oversees rate-making on other insurance-related topics, and then requests are reviewed by the commissioner.

But Republicans seem inclined to reduce the commissioner’s authority. Goodwin says he sees in the bill a chance for companies to push through substantial rate increases without facing his authority. Here’s an example of what appears to be a little rhetorical trickery. Bill advocates say the commissioner would have final authority over rates, and could reject proposed increases he believed to be wrong. Goodwin, however, says the wording of the bill indicates companies could push rate increases of up to 12 percent automatically. And, Goodwin says, the bill said rates of less than an aggregated 12 percent “shall be presumed not to be excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory.”

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