NC legislature evaluating state's car insurance program
The Associated Press recently reported on efforts by the General Assembly to re-evaluate regulations involving car insurance permiums in the state. Among the sources cited in the article is Dr. David Marlett, Walker College professor and chair Finance, Banking and Insurance department.
The article describes the North Carolina Reinsurance Facility, which is a "pool for drivers that insurers aren't willing to insure at the rates worked out through the Rate Bureau." Legislators are looking at ways to decrease the number of drivers in that pool, while also keeping overall rates low. It's a delicate balancing act.
Marlett suggested lawmakers could consider granting flexible rates to encourage insurers to take on more bad risks currently in the pool. The change would lower the facility size, and the surcharge for everyone could fall.
That, however, doesn't resolve the huge number of clean risks in the pool. Some argue allowing insurers to charge higher rates for clean risk could raise the percentage of drivers who avoid insurance altogether.
There are good things about North Carolina's market, Marlett said. It's competitive, average premiums are low and auto insurers make profits. But the size of the facility should raise flags, Marlett said.
"We have the largest one in the nation by far, and that's the sign of an unhealthy market," he said.
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