FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
1/17/2017
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Joseph Sviatko, 410-468-2458

Time for an insurance checkup as we ring in 2017

Consumers should take advantage of Maryland’s competitive insurance markets

BALTIMORE - The Maryland Insurance Administration encourages Marylanders to include financial goals in their new year’s resolutions. The Administration recommends that you set aside enough time to review your insurance policies, prepare for potential disasters and develop a plan to comparison shop the insurance marketplace.

"The start of a new year is a time when we all tend to look ahead,” said Al Redmer, Jr., Maryland Insurance Commissioner. “It is the perfect time to review your insurance coverage needs with a trusted advisor. Maryland’s competitive insurance market ensures consumers can and should shop around to get the most from their premiums.”

In the last 18 months Maryland’s robust insurance marketplace added a total of 19 new companies offering a variety of products.   “When insurance companies decide to increase their footprint in Maryland that is a sign of a healthy marketplace and it provides our consumers with additional choices,” Redmer said.
 
Review your insurance policies and shop your coverage needs

Auto

Maryland has close to 700 companies offering auto insurance. Maryland consumers should take advantage of the competitive nature of this market by shopping around to find the best deal. It is important to keep in mind that finding the best deal means more than finding the cheapest premium—it means finding the best coverage at the best price. The Administration created this webpage http://insurance.maryland.gov/Consumer/Pages/AutomobileInsurance.aspx to aid consumers in their search for auto insurance by explaining the different coverages that are available. It also provides tips to reduce insurance premiums, a worksheet to help compare coverage and rates, and a list of helpful questions to ask an insurance producer (also known as an insurance agent or broker) or company throughout the shopping process.

Homeowners

Policy limits on homes and belongings can quickly become outdated. The new year is a great time to reach out to your agent to find out how the changes made over the previous year affect your coverage needs. These changes may include additions to your home, such as a new deck, sunroom or a newly finished basement, or it may include new purchases, such as jewelry, firearms or electronics.  It only takes a few minutes to ensure that your home and belongings are properly insured, and those few minutes could save you a great deal of financial heartache in the event of a loss.
 
Living arrangements can, and often change. Young adults move back home with their parents. Aging parents move in with their grown children. Consumers need to understand how changes to family structures and living arrangements impact their insurance needs.
The Insurance Administration created this web page http://insurance.maryland.gov/Consumer/Pages/HomeownersAndRentersInsurance.aspx to assist homeowners with important information about homeowners insurance, including shopping tips, possible discounts, factors that determine rates, overview of coverage requirements and options, commonly asked questions and information on filing an insurance complaint.

Create a Home Inventory

The Insurance Administration also encourages all Marylanders to complete a home inventory, which is an itemized checklist of all their possessions. A home inventory can make the process of filing a claim much more efficient in the event of fire, storm damage or theft. There’s an App for that! Click the following link to see how easy it is to create an inventory using your smart phone: http://www.insureuonline.org/myhome_scrappbook_guide_both.pdf.

Locate lost life insurance policies

According to Consumer Reports, an estimated $1 billion in life insurance benefits are unclaimed. In order to connect Marylanders with the benefits they are entitled to, the department wants to issue a reminder that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Life Insurance Police Locator https://eapps.naic.org/life-policy-locator/#/welcome is available to provide assistance finding life insurance policies and annuities nationwide. Participating insurers will compare submitted requests with available policyholder information and report all matches to state insurance departments through the locator. Companies will then contact beneficiaries or their authorized representatives. All consumer requests are encrypted and secured to maintain confidentiality.

About the Maryland Insurance Administration

The Maryland Insurance Administration is an independent State agency charged with regulating Maryland’s $28.5 billion insurance industry. For more information about the Insurance Administration, please visit www.insurance.maryland.gov or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MDInsuranceAdmin or Twitter at @MD_Insurance.

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