NewsDetails
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
9/8/2017
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Tracy Imm, 410-468-2206

The Maryland Insurance Administration Supports National Preparedness Month

BALTIMORE - September is National Preparedness Month. In light of the recent devastation in Houston, Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey and the threat of more damage from Hurricane Irma, now is a good time to prepare for the unexpected. In addition to double checking that your emergency kit contains flashlights with fresh batteries, bottled water and non-perishable food items, it may also be a good idea to review your insurance policies to ensure you have adequate coverage for your property before a disaster hits.
 
"The Maryland Insurance Administration’s primary responsibility is to protect Maryland consumers and a part of that is providing education and letting them know we are here to help," says Al Redmer, Jr., Maryland Insurance Commissioner.
 
Flooding is generally not covered under a homeowner’s policy so you might want to consider purchasing flood insurance. This must be done in a timely manner to allow for the 30-day waiting period before the policy becomes effective. You may purchase flood coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Flood insurance is available to renters, business owners and homeowners.  More information on the importance of flood insurance and the National Flood Insurance Program can be found at: www.floodsmart.gov.
 
You should also review your homeowners’ policy to be sure that your home is insured to value. You can review your coverage with your insurance agent or provider or visit the Maryland Insurance Administration’s (MIA) website and use the links to the various sites that help you determine the replacement cost of your home. You will need to take into consideration not only the square footage of your home, but also the materials used in the construction of your home and any improvements you may have made. Do you have a deck, hardwood floors, and granite countertops? Be certain to include all the amenities and upgrades when calculating the replacement cost of your home.
 
If you are a renter, you should consider purchasing renter’s insurance. Your landlord does not provide coverage for your personal property; therefore, it is important to purchase this type of coverage. With a renter’s policy, your personal belongings will be covered in the event that a covered natural disaster hits your apartment and your property is lost or damaged. While renter’s insurance coverage is very affordable, pairing this coverage with other policies, such as an auto insurance policy, may also qualify you for a discount on both policies.
 
Whether you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, you should consider taking an inventory of your property. You can do this several ways. You can simply go through your home and take note of your possessions, you can take photographs of your property or you may use the various tools offered either by your insurance company or online services. Be certain to store this information at an alternate site away from your home or on-line so that the inventory can be accessed in the event that your home is damaged. Also, it is important to retain documents that provide proof of ownership, such as receipts and owners’ manuals.
 
The Maryland Insurance Administration offers “An Insurance Preparedness Guide for Natural Disasters”. This guide also includes emergency numbers for local, state and federal agencies that offer assistance during and after a disaster. You may contact the Maryland Insurance Administration at 1-800-492-6116 to request a copy or you can view this brochure online at www.insurance.maryland.gov.
 
The Administration’s website contains brochures on other types of insurance, as well as additional insurance information to help you make the proper coverage decisions to fit your needs.  We also help you better understand your policies and what they provide. A key aspect of the Maryland Insurance Administration’s mission involves educating the citizens of our state about the choices available to them as consumers of insurance products. The more informed consumers are, the better equipped they are to make purchasing decisions that are right for them.
 
“In order to achieve our goal of consumer education, we need to meet our consumers where they live, work and play. That's why our representatives spend so many hours meeting with residents across Maryland. Each community is different and we learn a great deal through face-to-face communication,” says Commissioner Redmer.
 
During National Preparedness Month, trained staff from the Maryland Insurance Administration will be available to answer questions from consumers at the following Disaster Preparedness Events in Maryland:
 
Montgomery County:
09.20.17 - Community Preparedness Fair
 
Washington County:
09.16.17 - Washington County Citizens' Emergency Preparedness Day
 
Baltimore City:
09.16.17 - Public Safety & Wellness Community Fair
 
Howard County:
09.19.17 - Howard County Insurance Preparedness Presentation
09.26.17 - Mid Atlantic Life Safety Conference
 
Anne Arundel County:
09.23.17 - Anne Arundel Emergency Preparedness Expo
 
Carroll County:
09.23.17 - Carroll County Emergency Preparedness Expo
 
Prince George's County:
09.23.17 - CERT Emergency Preparedness Day Presentation

A schedule of agency outreach activities and consumer materials are available on our website, www.insurance.maryland.gov as well as by request and at various community events. Follow the Maryland Insurance Administration on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MDInsuranceAdmin.
 
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 www.twitter.com/MD_Insurance.com.
 
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