NC panel to study hurricanes' impact on insurance

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- As hurricane season heats up, North Carolina lawmakers are looking at how the storms are affecting homeowners insurance.

Legislative leaders said Friday they formed a special panel to study how Category 3, 4 and 5 hurricanes can impact the cost and availability of property insurance for North Carolina residents.

House Speaker Joe Hackney said the committee's work will help lawmakers improve the state's current system.

In August, Farmers Insurance announced it's dropping 40,000 North Carolina homeowners' plans because it was concerned the company would be overexposed to financial risk if a hurricane caused significant property damage.

The group of insurance industry officials and lawmakers is expected to make recommendations to the General Assembly by February.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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