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Commercial Fleets to See Substantial Surcharge

The NC Rate Bureau will implement a one-time auto recoupment surcharge for commercial auto accounts later this year to help replenish the state’s dwindling pool for uninsured motorists. The 16.2 percent surcharge will be in addition to an expected rate increase of 5-15 percent. The surcharge goes into effect October 1.

A Rate Bureau spokesman said the loss recoupment fee will be applied to premiums upon renewal starting October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019.

The surcharge will prove especially painful for companies with large commercial fleets operating in North Carolina, said Jim Holmes, Sentinel’s managing partner.

Holmes said the Sentinel team will be communicating news of the surcharge over the coming months, and working with clients and carriers to keep pending rate increases as low as possible. Still, Holmes said most clients with a commercial fleet will inevitably see some kind of rate hike over the coming year.

“Commercial fleets are going to see an across-the-board rate hike, that much is certain, but Sentinel will be working closely between our clients and our carrier base to keep rate increases in the three-to-eight percent range for those that carry low-to-moderate risks,” Holmes said.

Rising auto rates are largely attributed to technology. Drivers are distracted, and technology is a big part of the problem, not just with regard to the devices that take drivers’ eyes and attention off the road, but also in the way of vehicle advancements that are costly to repair when damaged.