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NC residents concerned about proposed increase in homeowner’s insurance

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If you live in North Carolina, you might have to shell out more money for your homeowners insurance next year because of hurricanes.

And here's the thing— it doesn't matter if you live along the coast or not, and a lot of people aren't happy about it.

Elizabeth City is known for its hospitality, but people who live there aren't very happy these days. This is because of a proposed increase in their homeowner's insurance.

It's not set in stone yet, but if the North Carolina Rate Bureau gets approval from the Department of Insurance, some areas in the state could see their insurance go up as much as 30 percent next year, partly due to loss during hurricanes.

“I have yet to see someone make a case as to why we should be targeted because we happen to live in a particular location that somebody thinks may be hit someday with a very, very costly storm," says  Holly Koerber, a homeowner.

Holly Koerber has owned her home there for nearly 15 years.

She says while Elizabeth City is a waterfront community, it's not the beach.

Still, rates could go up.

“Anytime you have to go before a governmental institution and ask for a rate increase, you should absolutely have to justify it based on some kind of reasonable evidence,” says Koerber.

A lot of the people we talked to today say they just can't afford to pay more money for their homeowner's insurance, just another case of more money going out than money going in.

Insurance companies have reportedly said they need the increase because of more claims, higher costs per claim plus the potential for losses from a severe hurricane.

“You could understand if they're asking for this rate increase because they suffered huge losses with Irene last year or some other, but it just looks like they're trying to pad the coffers before the next big hurricane, if there's another big hurricane, whenever that may be,” says Dave Simpson.

A public hearing was held today about the issue in Raleigh. If you would like to weigh in, you still have time to do so.

Do you want to take action and give your 3 cents about the proposed home insurance rate increase in North Carolina?

Written public comments can be mailed to: NCDOI, Attn: Bob Mack, Property & Casualty Division, 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1201; or emailed to 2012homeowners@ncdoi.gov.

The deadline for submitting written comments is Oct. 19.