Are you paying too much for your wind insurance? You probably think so. In fact, I would guess that almost everyone reading this article thinks so. The surprising thing might be that an insurance professional agrees with you.
As a member of the insurance profession in North Carolina for 43 years and a former board member of the North Carolina Joint Underwriting Association, “The NC Wind Insurance Pool,” I have a better opportunity than most to see and understand how our state is handling the problem of making wind insurance available to the citizens of our coastal counties.
To help you understand what I see, consider the following: If the North Carolina Wind Pool were required to pay out the same percentage of its premiums for losses as health insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act, we would be paying less than 20 percent of what we are currently paying in premiums for wind insurance.
Conversely, if the Affordable Care Act allowed health insurance companies to pay out in losses the same percentage that the North Carolina wind pool pays, our health insurance premiums would be approximately 400 percent higher than they currently are. This is obviously not an apples-to-apples comparison, but it should still get your attention.
I do not blame the administrators of the North Carolina Wind Insurance Pool or its board members for what is happening. I blame our state legislators who created a structure for our Wind Insurance Pool that encourages the admitted insurance companies doing business in our state to direct their representatives on the North Carolina Wind Insurance Pool board of directors to push for higher deductibles, higher premiums and more reinsurance.
As evidence that something is drastically wrong, I offer the fact that approximately 85 percent of the premiums collected by the North Carolina Wind Pool for wind insurance during the past half century have gone for other than claims payments and, in addition, relatively little has been held in reserve.
This is unacceptable to me, it should be unacceptable to you, and we need to educate our legislators and push them to make some changes.
Jim Moore is the president of James E. Moore Insurance Agency. Established in 1954, it has become one of the most trusted independent insurance agencies in North Carolina. The James E. Moore Insurance Agency is a family owned business and offers homeowners, automobile, life and health, employee benefits, and commercial insurance products. For more information, call 910.256.5333 or visit the agency’s website at www.jamesemoore.com.