Rate bills opposed by top auto insurer


shutterstock_14744965Nationwide, North Carolina’s top auto insurer has opposed the rate bills and is not in favor of the dismantling the regulatory powers and regulating auto insurance rates. The insurance major believes that the present system in North Carolina is working efficiently and there is no need to bring about any changes, stated Lee Morton, Regional Vice President at Nationwide for North Carolina.

Nationwide made the announcement just a day after Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin addressed a press conference where he denounced the legislation in the Senate and the State House where his role would have limitations with regard to regulating auto insurance rates. Goodwin stated that these changes would push auto insurance premiums even further.

Insurance Department spokeswoman Kerry Hall was quoted as saying that the statement made by Nationwide is proof of whatever has been said all along. The commissioner of insurance as well as the insurance industry had claimed that the system in North Carolina was working perfectly well and didn’t need any further changes.

The insurance industry on the whole has lacked unity and has thereby been unable to convince the legislators to bring about a change in the way the insurance rates are regulated. This has resulted in two measures with conflicting views. One is backed by the Fair Automobile Rates for North Carolina – a coalition that is led by State Farm the second-largest insurer including the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, and the next one has received support from the Insurance Federation of North Carolina.

Both the groups are in agreement over just one thing – that the current system is unfair. There are some motorists who end up subsidizing rates paid by the other drivers. But the approach they are taking to change the system is totally different.

Sen. Bob Rucho, a Republican who had co-sponsored one of these bills admitted that there was a problem and that it needed to be addressed. He also claimed that he was unsure as to which approach would be better.

Executive director of Insurance Federation, Jennifer Cohen also stated that the statement made by Nationwide did not necessarily mean that they were in disagreement with the position taken by IFNC.

Although Nationwide was a founding member of IFNC and was on the board, and had internally supported the legislation, Cohen stated that Nationwide did oppose FAIR NC’s bill.

Elizabeth Stelzer, Nationwide spokeswoman, has confirmed what Cohen has stated but adds that Nationwide will not push for the passage of the bill.