Having served insurance consumers for 11 years, I felt compelled to respond to your May 5 editorial “ Foxes gather.”
While N.C.’s rates are among the lowest in the country, good drivers still pay more than they should for car insurance, and recently it was reported that our state’s drivers who make one mistake pay the fourth-highest penalties in the country. That means if someone has been an excellent driver for 30 years in N.C. and commits a violation in another state that isn’t even an N.C. violation, he is subject to some of the most punitive mandatory rate increases in the country. The proposed changes eliminate this by not requiring companies to be part of the Safe Driver Incentive Program, which significantly penalizes consumers who receive tickets by requiring insurance companies to raise rates for certain violations and accidents regardless of whether a claim is filed!
Furthermore, this proposal doesn’t change the insurance commissioner’s authority one bit. All rate requests will have to be reviewed and approved by the insurance commissioner. Despite Commissioner Wayne Goodwin’s assertion, he loses none of his authority to protect consumers from rate increases that he believes are unfair.