58-36-10. Method of rate making; factors considered.

The following standards shall apply to the making and use of rates:

(1) Rates or loss costs shall not be excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory.

(2) Due consideration shall be given to actual loss and expense experience within this State for the most recent three-year period for which that information is available; to prospective loss and expense experience within this State; to the hazards of conflagration and catastrophe; to a reasonable margin for underwriting profit and to contingencies; to dividends, savings, or unabsorbed premium deposits allowed or returned by insurers to their policyholders, members, or subscribers; to investment income earned or realized by insurers from their unearned premium, loss, and loss expense reserve funds generated from business within this State; to past and prospective expenses specially applicable to this State; and to all other relevant factors within this State: Provided, however, that countrywide expense and loss experience and other countrywide data may be considered only where credible North Carolina experience or data is not available.

(3) In the case of property insurance rates under this Article, consideration may be given to the experience of property insurance business during the most recent five-year period for which that experience is available. In the case of property insurance rates under this Article, consideration shall be given to the insurance public protection classifications of fire districts established by the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall establish and modify from time to time insurance public protection districts for all rural areas of the State and for cities with populations of 100,000 or fewer, according to the most recent annual population estimates certified by the State Budget Officer. In establishing and modifying these districts, the Commissioner shall use standards at least equivalent to those used by the Insurance Services Office, Inc., or any successor organization, except that fire alarms that are unintentional or the result of malfunction and result in no damage or fire shall not be considered in calculating minimum response requirements for initial rating or classification. The standards developed by the Commissioner are subject to Article 2A of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes. The insurance public protection classifications established by the Commissioner issued pursuant to the provisions of this Article shall be subject to appeal as provided in G.S. 58-2-75, et seq. The exceptions stated in G.S. 58-2-75(a) do not apply. If the Rate Bureau presents any modeled hurricane losses based upon a commercial hurricane simulation computer model with a property insurance rate filing, the Bureau shall present data from more than one such model. The Commissioner shall consider modeled hurricane losses presented by the Rate Bureau.

(4) Risks may be grouped by classifications and lines of insurance for establishment of rates, loss costs, and base premiums. Classification rates may be modified to produce rates for individual risks in accordance with rating plans that establish standards for measuring variations in hazards or expense provisions or both. Those standards may measure any differences among risks that can be demonstrated to have a probable effect upon losses or expenses. The Bureau shall establish and implement a comprehensive classification rating plan for motor vehicle insurance under its jurisdiction. No such classification plans shall base any standard or rating plan for private passenger (nonfleet) motor vehicles, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, upon the age or gender of the persons insured. The Bureau shall at least once every three years make a complete review of the filed classification rates to determine whether they are proper and supported by statistical evidence, and shall at least once every 10 years make a complete review of the territories for nonfleet private passenger motor vehicle insurance to determine whether they are proper and reasonable.

(5) In the case of workers' compensation insurance and employers' liability insurance written in connection therewith, due consideration shall be given to the past and prospective effects of changes in compensation benefits and in legal and medical fees that are provided for in General Statutes Chapter 97.

(6) To ensure that policyholders in the beach and coastal areas of the North Carolina Insurance Underwriting Association whose risks are of the same class and essentially the same hazard are charged premiums that are commensurate with the risk of loss and premiums that are actuarially correct, the North Carolina Rate Bureau shall revise, monitor, and review the existing territorial boundaries used by the Bureau when appropriate to establish geographic territories in the beach and coastal areas of the Association for rating purposes. In revising these territories, the Bureau shall use statistical data sources available to define such territories to represent relative risk factors that are actuarially sound and not unfairly discriminatory. The new territories and any subsequent amendments proposed by the North Carolina Rate Bureau or Association shall be subject to the Commissioner's approval and shall appear on the Bureau's Web site, the Association's Web site, and the Department's Web site once approved.

(7) Property insurance rates established under this Article may include a provision to reflect the cost of reinsurance to protect against catastrophic exposure within this State. Amounts to be paid to reinsurers, ceding commissions paid or to be paid to insurers by reinsurers, expected reinsurance recoveries, North Carolina exposure to catastrophic events relative to other states' exposure, and any other relevant information may be considered when determining the provision to reflect the cost of reinsurance. (1977, c. 828, s. 6; 1979, c. 824, s. 1; 1981, c. 521, s. 5; c. 790; 1987, c. 632, s. 1; 1991, c. 644, s. 39; 1999-132, s. 3.3; 2000-176, s. 1; 2004-203, s. 5(a); 2009-472, s. 2; 2012-162, s. 3; 2016-51, s. 7; 2016-78, s. 1.3(b).)