58-40-25. Rating methods.

In determining whether rates comply with the standards under G.S. 58-40-20, the following criteria shall be applied:

(1) Due consideration shall be given to past and prospective loss and expense experience within this State, to catastrophe hazards, to a reasonable margin for underwriting profit and contingencies, to trends within this State, to dividends or savings to be allowed or returned by insurers to their policyholders, members, or subscribers, and to all other relevant factors, including judgment factors; however, regional or countrywide expense or loss experience and other regional or countrywide data may be considered only when credible North Carolina expense or loss experience or other data is not available.

(2) Risks may be grouped by classifications for the establishment of rates and minimum premiums. Classification rates may be modified to produce rates for individual risks in accordance with rating plans which establish standards for measuring variations in hazards or expense provisions, or both. Those standards may measure any differences among risks that have probable effect upon losses or expenses. Classifications or modifications of classifications of risks may be established based upon size, expense, management, individual experience, location or dispersion of hazard, or any other reasonable considerations. Those classifications and modifications shall apply to all risks under the same or substantially the same circumstances or conditions.

(3) The expense provisions included in the rates to be used by an insurer may reflect the operating methods of the insurer and, as far as it is credible, its own expense experience.

(4) 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. 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. (1977, c. 828, s. 2; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 1027, s. 16; 1991, c. 644, s. 40; 2000-176, s. 2; 2004-203, s. 5(b).)