- Associated Press - Friday, January 24, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A proposal by North Carolina insurance companies to raise the cost of homeowners coverage by an average of 25 percent is being discussed.

A public hearing will be held Friday. More than 3,000 written comments have been received by the state Insurance Department and more can be submitted through Jan. 31.

State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin would have to approve any premium increase. He says he’s appalled about the size of the request that comes after a 7 percent increase took effect in July.

Companies say the increase is mostly based on claims projections. Experts hired by the Rate Bureau say to ensure an insurance market with price competition, choice and the financial stability needed to pay claims calls for profit margins averaging about 10 percent.

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