Insurance customers in North Carolina irked by policy linking

Gary Puffpaff was irritated when he got a letter from Allstate Insurance telling him his homeowners' policy wouldn't be renewed because he had his auto insurance with another company.

Not only did Puffpaff question whether the insurer's action was legal - which, it turns out, it is - but he also was upset because Allstate canceled his auto policies a half-dozen years ago after he filed three large claims.

"Every time I see their commercial I laugh about what they say, because I don't believe a word ... about (how) they take care of you and all that," said Puffpaff, 61, a repair technician who lives in Charlotte. "They only want your money."

This year, two of the most popular underwriters of homeowners insurance policies in North Carolina - Allstate and N.C. Farm Bureau - have adopted underwriting guidelines that link homeowners policies with auto policies across the state.

Both companies cite economics as the reason for their stance.

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