Nationwide will not renew homeowners insurance policies for 10,525 households in North Carolina, more than half of them due to hurricane risks, according to Jason Tyson, NCDOI communications director for the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI).
The majority are in the eastern part of the state, however, more than 1,000 of the nonrenewals are on the Outer Banks, with 838 in Dare County, 220 in Currituck County and 52 in Hyde County, according to information provided by Tyson.
Nationwide notified the NCDOI in February 2023 that it would not be renewing 10,525 personal lines policies, which is 4.4% of its 237,652 North Carolina policies and 1.7% of its 621,705 policies across the country, Tyson confirmed WTKR. He said that 5,781 policies will be nonrenewed based on the “hurricane hazard assessment tool,” and 4,744 policies will be nonrenewed for referral to the North Carolina Insurance Underwriting Association, commonly called the Beach Plan.
Nationwide’s statement to NCDOI explained its decision was to "assess and rebalance its portfolio based on risk,” according to Tyson. The company considered climate severity, weather-related losses and the reinsurance market.
“Consequently, underwriting renewal guidelines were refined, and specific actions were necessary for a small percentage of the company’s business,” Tyson confirmed. He noted that policies being nonrenewed could potentially be rewritten with Nationwide “if wind exposure is ceded to the North Carolina Insurance Underwriting Association and current underwriting guidelines are met.
By contract, if a policy is being nonrenewed, 30 days’ notice is required, according to Tyson.
WTKR has reached out to Nationwide for comment, and we will update this article once they respond.
Tyson provided the table below listing the different counties versus the number of properties being affected by the nonrenewal.
Nationwide provided the following response about not renewing policies:
"Nationwide is strong and stable and on path to long-term growth. Like everyone else in our industry, we are taking the necessary actions that ensure long-term viability and allow us to offer protection at a competitive price to customers across all our business lines who represent many types of needs.
Inflation and market disruptions impact insurance just like they do any other business. In many instances, this means we are updating our rates. It also means we are being more selective about where we write certain amounts of business and the amount of overall risk we are willing to write. These are tough decisions, but the right decisions that will enable us to be here long term for our customers.
We’ve been through economic cycles like this many times during the past 97 years. Our company is known for making well-informed decisions that allow us to be here long-term and position us to come out stronger."