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In the News

Insurance Proposal Hardly a 'Reform'

Published: Mar. 8, 2013
The complete article can be found here: The Pilot 

Former state Sen. Patrick Ballantine says he just wants to give the drivers of North Carolina "the benefits of competition." Bless his heart. But before you get too carried away in praising Mr. Ballantine's generosity, remember who he works for now. He's one of 27 lobbyists in Raleigh who represent 14 insurance companies and associations that are seeking a fundamental change in the way North Carolina regulates, or doesn't regulate, auto insurance. And you can be pretty sure that those companies - which include Allstate, State Farm, Progressive and GEICO - may have more than public spirit in their hearts. They're looking after their own bottom lines. There's nothing at all wrong with that, but state government should have other priorities.

Rates Could Soar

North Carolina's current system works just fine, giving us the lowest auto insurance rates in the South and the seventh-lowest in the United States. That distinction wouldn't last long under the proposed change. Here's how North Carolina's car insurance system has worked for decades now: Insurers are required to get together and jointly propose industry-wide rate changes. The insurance commissioner, a public official elected by the voters, then reviews that group request and determines whether it is justified by existing economic realities. If it's not, he can seek a reduction.

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