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During my time in the North Carolina Senate, I’ve been an outspoken champion for people over corporations, for individual freedoms over ideology, and for smart investments in our state’s future. My campaigns are funded by grassroots donors and supporters like you and I’m scandal-free. My mission has always been to stand up against corruption, corporate greed, and bad government.
And now, I’m running to be North Carolina’s next Commissioner of Insurance.
Commissioner of Insurance is a Council of State position that allows me to look out for everyone in North Carolina who needs insurance -- to ensure rates are fair, coverage is as-advertised, and valid claims are paid. The Insurance Commissioner has authority over all insurance companies doing business in our state, the Consumer Protection Fund, the Safe Kids Program, and the Seniors' Health Insurance Information Program. The Dept of Insurance oversees fire safety and building inspections, and is also a main source of information about insurance policies and claims, including worker’s compensation. In other words, the Insurance Commissioner’s work touches almost every North Carolinian -- young and old, workers, motorists, patients, homeowners, firefighters, and business owners -- and should be held by someone who is on the side of the people.
I bring to the job my more than five years of experience as an elected representative in the North Carolina General Assembly, including my service on the Senate Commerce & Insurance Committee, my work as a litigation attorney, and my knowledge of the laws of the state as a graduate of the Duke University School of Law. I understand the impact of climate change on the frequency of weather-related losses and on insurance rates, and I support efforts to mitigate those risks. Most importantly, I care about North Carolinians like you who need affordable, reliable insurance coverage for their homes, vehicles, businesses, and healthcare.
The Republican incumbent, "Rate Hike Mike" Causey, is an insurance industry insider, who forgets that he was elected by the people to be their voice. During his eight years in office, he has approved an unprecedented number of rate hikes and refuses to hold public hearings. Instead of a transparent process where insurance companies are required to provide proof under oath, subject to cross examination, to justify higher rates, Causey skips the public hearings and makes private settlements that allow rates to increase again and again. He says we should just trust that he's getting us a fair deal. Complete lack of transparency!
In January 2024, insurers requested an outrageous jump in homeowners' rates (42% average statewide and 99% on the coast), which is more than many people can afford. Yet when folks traveled from all over the state to speak at the public comment forum in Raleigh, Causey did not even show up to listen! I was there and I heard folks loud and clear.
We need a new Commissioner of Insurance who will do the job right, advocating for the people's best interests and forcing insurance companies to justify their rates at public hearings. I'll be that new leader and I ask for your support this year.
It is expensive to run a statewide campaign challenging an incumbent member of the Council of State. We need resources to flip this seat. Thank you for your help.
For Immediate Release
January 9, 2024
State Senator Natasha Marcus Issues Statement on Homeowners’ Insurance Rate Hike Request: Calls on Current Commissioner of Insurance to Fight for Consumers
Davidson, NC -- Over the weekend, alarming news broke for homeowners in North Carolina: The NC Rate Bureau announced that it is once again seeking a huge increase in homeowners’ insurance rates, this time as much as 99% higher for some. Unfortunately for North Carolina homeowners, the person elected to represent them in these situations, the current NC Insurance Commissioner, has shown time and time again that he’s not on their side.
State Senator Natasha Marcus offered the following statement:
“Insurance industry insider Mike Causey has allowed insurance rates to increase an unprecedented number of times during his eight years in office and all indications are that he’ll do it again now. Commissioner Causey keeps failing to stand up for the people who elected him by shirking his responsibilities to (1) reject outrageous rate hikes, (2) call for and actually hold public hearings that force insurance companies to justify their requests under oath, and (3) preside over those hearings as the NC statutes provide. These failures earned him the nickname “Rate Hike Mike” during his first term in office, when he forgot his campaign promises to fight rate hikes.”
“Using his past behavior as an indicator, I predict Commissioner Causey will call for but not actually hold a public hearing and that he will instead end up agreeing to a private settlement on the latest rake hike request. In other words, our current state Insurance Commissioner will allow rates to go up more than necessary, without a public, transparent presentation and cross-examination of the evidence the insurance companies have to justify their rate increase request within each territorial zone. We should not let that happen again.”
Senator Natasha Marcus is calling on Insurance Commissioner Causey to do his job and fight for the consumers of North Carolina by doing the following:
1) reject this excessive rate increase request from the start;
2) schedule and hold a full public hearing on the request to start by July 1 and end by August 1, 2024 (including no games by him to avoid and delay his secret rate hikes until after election day); and
3) preside over the public hearing himself, as contemplated by the statutory job description.
Senator Marcus continued, “Commissioner Causey’s predecessors held public hearings and presided over them. Why won’t he? Why does he make private settlements to raise rates over and over again? We need an Insurance Commissioner who works for the consumers and fights excessive rates with actual public hearings. We need an Insurance Commissioner who is able to preside over the public hearings and does not rely upon his political appointees to do his job.”
“In 2024 we need to retire ‘Rate Hike Mike.’ The people of North Carolina deserve a Commissioner who will fight for them when it comes to matters of insurance.”
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May 16, 2023