Thursday, April 26, 2012

"We must reform property insurance ratemaking," says Insurance Commissioner Goodwin

As indicated in his public press release here, Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin expressed his appreciation to the members of Legislative Research Committee on Property Insurance Rate Making for their diligent study in the area of homeowners insurance. Goodwin addressed the committee on March 21, 2012, and recommended five ways to improve property insurance rate making through greater transparency in rate filings, public comment periods, more flexibility in the insurance commissioner’s authority to set rates and other measures.
"My job, ultimately, is a balancing act,” said Goodwin. “Consumers want to know they’re getting a fair insurance rate, particularly in the coast areas of North Carolina. The insurance industry wants to know it has the opportunity to make a fair and reasonable profit."
But he stressed how imperative it is that the State reform its property insurance ratemaking laws. "Homeowners' insurance is the insurance crisis in North Carolina, not car insurance," he added. Changes should be targeted so that no there are no negative, unintended consequences, the statewide-elected official posited. The committee issued its final recommendations on April 12. The General Assembly will consider the committee's report and is expected to take up some of the suggestions. To read the full text of the Insurance Commissioner’s remarks, click here at this hyperlink.

Barry Goldwater & Other Republicans Support Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin!

To the surprise of some who follow partisan politics in North Carolina, former U.S. Congressman Barry M. Goldwater, Jr., heartily endorsed NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin at two March 2012 events in the Tar Heel state. Goldwater told those gathered that he supported Goodwin, though of a different party, because Goodwin is a stalwart advocate both for State-based insurance regulation and consumer protection, and has a successful record of accomplishment as Insurance Commissioner. The Congressman even reported how his namesake father, the late U.S. Senator from Arizona and 1964 GOP presidential nominee known for being the father of the modern Republican party, crossed party lines himself to support candidates.
"Commissioner Goodwin has my strong personal support because of his unmatched track record of protecting consumers, preserving state-based insurance regulation and helping to bring new insurance companies and jobs to North Carolina," said Goldwater. “Wayne’s work transcends partisan politics. He is trustworthy, hard-working and one of the most accessible public servants I've ever seen."
Goodwin has saved citizens and businesses more than $1 billion in the last four years through rate cuts, rebates, refunds and restitution. His administration has made unprecedented strides in promoting greater transparency and good government initiatives.
"I greatly appreciate Congressman Goldwater's endorsement and the support of so many folks across the political spectrum,” Goodwin said. “Even though I am on the ballot under one party label, my job is not really a partisan job at all. My job is to get remedies for the people North Carolina and to protect them from unscrupulous practices."
It is important to note, however, that having bipartisan support is not a new concept for Insurance Commissioner Goodwin. Not only have Republicans voted for him and will vote for him, a review of his public campaign reports indicates a plethora of Republicans who also believe in him enough to make a personal contribution for the re-election efforts.
"I do not see my job as partisan. My job of protecting consumers from excessive insurance rates, fighting insurance fraud, promoting a competitive and reasonably profitable insurance market, and serving the best interests of the firefighters (as State Fire Marshal) has nothing to do with political parties whatsoever: It is about doing what is right and best and fair for all stakeholders, preserving the appropriate balance among them," said Goodwin.
Goodwin told the Raleigh News & Observer that an endorsement does not mean he agrees with Goldwater on everything. The Council of State member is heartened and humbled by the strong showing he has all across the political spectrum. And he works every day to serve all North Carolinians, just as they expect.