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State Government
Home Insurance Rates To Go Up 4.8 Percent PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 28 June 2018 11:04

Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced the N.C. Department of Insurance has ended its legal dispute with the North Carolina Rate Bureau on its proposal for an 18.9 percent dwelling insurance rate increase.  Commissioner Causey has negotiated an almost 14 percent lower rate for an overall statewide average increase of 4.8 percent.

“This settlement means consumers will save approximately $41 million a year compared to what they would have paid had the Rate Bureau’s request been approved,” said Commissioner Causey “The agreement also keeps insurance companies on firm financial footing, which is good for North Carolina’s economy,” the Commissioner added.

Dwelling insurance policies are not homeowner’s insurance policies. Dwelling policies are offered to non-owner-occupied residences of no more than four units, including rental properties, investment properties, and other properties that are not occupied full-time by the property owner.

The NCRB is not a state agency and is made up of insurance industry representatives. It filed for the proposed 18.9 percent rate increase Feb. 7. A public comment period was held from Feb. 7 to March 23, culminating in a public comment forum held at the N.C. Department of Insurance on March 23.

On March 12, Commissioner Causey issued a notice of hearing on the filing and set a hearing date for Aug. 20. The settlement means that the Aug. 20 hearing will no longer be necessary.

The new rates will take effect Feb. 1, 2019.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2018 11:06
 
Banking Commission Settles With Equifax PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 28 June 2018 11:00
 State financial regulatory agencies entered into a consent order with Equifax Inc., requiring the company to take specific action to protect confidential consumer information in the wake of an extensive security breach last year. 
 
“Consumers need to be able to trust financial service providers with their personal information and know that these companies are making reasonable efforts to protect that information,” said N.C. Commissioner of Banks Ray Grace. “In this matter, my counterparts in other states and I are working together to ensure that Equifax is held accountable and will strengthen its cybersecurity controls to prevent future breaches.”    
 
Equifax, one of the country’s three major credit reporting agencies, disclosed on September 7, 2017, that a vulnerability in one of its websites was exploited by criminal hackers in May 2017 to gain access to the personal information of an estimated 146 million U.S. consumers. Data accessed through this cybercrime event included individual customer names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and related personally identifiable information.
 
In response to this breach, the North Carolina Office of the Commissioner of Banks, along with Alabama, California, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Texas state financial regulators commenced a multi-state examination of the company in November 2017 to evaluate the company’s information security and cybersecurity controls.
 
As a result of the findings of the examination, Equifax agreed to the consent order which requires the company’s board to remediate the deficiencies and unsafe practices that contributed to the breach. Equifax is also required to report to the multi-state regulatory agencies regarding remediation efforts.
 
As the lead state of the examination team, Texas Banking Commissioner Charles G. Cooper stated:
“After the breach was announced, my state counterparts and I believed strongly that a targeted regulatory response was required. We took action and established a special multi-state examination team. My thanks to all the state regulators that participated in this action. This demonstrates the flexibility and responsiveness of the state financial regulatory system as we work together to protect all of our citizens.”
 
The multi-state examination team will conduct subsequent on-site regulatory reviews to validate remedial actions reported by the company.
 
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2018 11:02
 
Public Comment Solicited For $103 Million Low Income Energy Assistance Grant PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 28 June 2018 10:32
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is seeking public comment on the proposed Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program block grant plan, which outlines how approximately $103 million in federal LIHEAP block grant funds will be spent in North Carolina in the coming state fiscal year.
 
LIHEAP provides heating, crisis and weatherization assistance. States are given broad latitude under block grant funding to design and operate their own programs, under certain restrictions. Last year, more than 181,000 North Carolina households were assisted using funds from this grant.
 
DHHS will finalize the plan after the General Assembly approves allocation of the funds for state fiscal year 2018-19. Use of the funds for allowable services may vary each year, depending on the plan approved by the legislature.
 
The plan may be reviewed June 25-29 at the following locations: 
Any of the 100 county departments of social services
Online on the Division of Social Services website
Division of Social Services Central Office, Hargrove Building, Dorothea Dix Campus, 820 S. Boylan Ave., Raleigh, NC, 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday through Friday
A public hearing will be held on Friday, noon–1 p.m. at 820 S. Boylan Ave., McBryde Building, room 151, Dorothea Dix Campus, Raleigh, NC.
 
Written comments will be accepted in writing no later than Friday via: 
Any agency where the plan was displayed 
Mail, postmarked no later than Friday, to:
             RE: LIHEAP Plan Comments
             Wayne Black
             Director, DHHS Division of Social Services
             2420 Mail Service Center
             Raleigh, NC 27699-2420 
 
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2018 10:35
 
DHHS, Carolinas Poison Center Investigating Second Case of Severe Bleeding Related to Synthetic Cannabinoids PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 28 June 2018 10:27
State health officials are warning the public about the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids after a second case of severe bleeding following synthetic cannabinoid use was identified in North Carolina last week. This latest case, like the first one reported a little over two weeks ago, involves a resident of Durham County.
 
“This second case of severe bleeding in Durham County is evidence that these dangerous products are still out there,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore. “The best way to protect yourself is by not using any synthetic cannabinoids.”
 
Synthetic cannabinoids, also known as fake weed, K2 or Spice, are drugs that are made to act on the same part of the brain as the active ingredient in marijuana. Since March 2018, more than 200 people in Illinois and multiple other states have suffered the same bleeding condition following use of synthetic cannabinoids contaminated with brodifacoum, a poison that has been used to kill rats and mice.
 
In one of the two cases identified in North Carolina, use of a product named Blue Giant was reported, but products with many different names have been linked to severe bleeding in other states and no synthetic cannabinoid products should be considered safe.
 
Anyone experiencing signs of unexplained bleeding should seek medical attention and call 911 if immediate assistance is needed. Signs and symptoms of a bleeding condition can include unexplained bleeding gums, coughing up or vomiting of blood, blood in urine, severe bloody nose and unexplained bruising.
 
To report symptoms of unexplained bleeding or get answers to questions about synthetic cannabinoids, call the Carolinas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. 
 
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