In this just-released study by the Heartland Institute and Competitive Enterprise Institute (pdf), the property and casualty insurance environment (think auto and home insurance) of all 50 states are evaluated and graded. The primary criteria as outlined in the study was centered on the regulatory environment for each state, focusing largely on consumer choice and provider flexibility:
"Our ranking focuses on two key questions:
1) How free are consumers to decide what insurance products will meet their needs?
2) How free are insurers to provide products that meet consumers’ real or perceived needs?"
How does North Carolina rate? Not so good:
"Five states earned the lowest grade of F: California, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina, and Massachusetts. Their regulatory climates are hostile to insurers as well as consumers."
Why the failing grade?
"Three states—Florida, Massachusetts, and North Carolina—establish rates through the political process … North Carolina has imposed a de facto price cap that makes it impossible for insurers to write actuarially sound policies for about one-quarter of the state’s residents. In all these cases, state regulators—rather than market forces—directly determine rates."
So if you are frustrated with your auto and/or homeowners insurance rates or coverage – you know who to thank.