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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina homeowner insurance rates will go up 4% on average next spring as part of an agreement between the Insurance Department and an entity representing the industry.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey said the settlement announced Friday means an administrative fight between his office and the North Carolina Rate Bureau ends. A hearing had been set for next week.

Causey’s news release says the Rate Bureau — composed of the state’s property insurance writers— initially sought an overall increase of more than 17%.

Causey’s office says the highest rate increases would occur in coastal counties as well as in Duplin and Lenoir counties, where lots of flooding occurred during recent hurricanes. Far-western counties like Cherokee and Clay will see a slight decrease.

The rate changes begin in May.

Copyright 2019, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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