House OKs debt option for extensive NC Beach Plan claims

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Tax-free bonds could be issued in North Carolina to help pay for catastrophic insurance claims caused by hurricanes in a bill given initial approval by the state House.

The legislation unanimously favored Tuesday creates a public authority that could issue debt for what's known as the Beach Plan. The plan offers insurance in coastal counties where companies find it too risky to write policies.

North Carolina taxpayers aren't on the hook for this debt, but it would be repaid by assessments on policyholders statewide that were authorized years ago to help pay for extensive losses. Bonds wouldn't be considered until after about $4 billion in reserves, insurance company funds and reinsurance proceeds are exhausted.

A final House vote could come Wednesday before the bill moves to the Senate.

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