Read our Consumer Publications. These materials provide information about most types of insurance from auto, homeowners, health and life policies to annuities, title insurance and coverage for boats.

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For Consumers

Learn More About These Insurance Topics​

Annuities

Automobile, Motorcycle, ATV and RV Insurance

 
General Information
Lists of companies that offer specialty auto insurance policies

Rates
 
Claims
 
Teen Drivers
 
Required Insurance
 
Cancellation/Nonrenewal
 
Miscellaneous

Videos

  • NEW Umbrella Insurance: Video
  • COVID-19 and auto insurance: Video
  • Shopping for Auto or Homeowners Insurance: Video
  • NEW Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Automobile Insurance: Video
  • Questions about Auto Insurance: Video
  • Tips about Auto Insurance: Video
  • NEW Storm damaged vehicles and comprehensive coverage: Video
  • Sharing Economy: Video
  • NEW What is GAP insurance? Video
  • GAP Insurance: Video
  • Navigating the Automobile Claims Process after a Weather Related Loss: Webinar
  • Tips on Umbrella Insurance Policies: Video 
  • How Does an Auto Insurer Determine your Premium?: Video
  • Credit History and Auto Insurance: Video
  • Personal Injury Protection Tips: Video
    NEW Consejos sobre Protección contra Lesiones Personales: Video
  • What happens if you don't have auto insurance: Video
    NEW Qué sucede si no tiene seguro de automóvil: Video
  • Steps to take if an insurance company tells you that your vehicle is a total loss: Video
  • Automobile insurance tips from the MIA: Video
  • Severe Weather and flash flooding: Video
  • How to Protest an Auto Insurance Cancellation: Video
  • How to Protest an Auto Insurance Rate Increase notice: Video
  • How the MIA's Property and Casualty Unit can help you: Video
  • NEW Have a complaint about your auto or homeowners insurance policy? The MIA is here to help. Video

Boat/personal watercraft insurance

COBRA coverage

 
  • Click HERE for information on Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

Commercial

 
INSURANCE FOR BUSINESSES AND MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS

General Information
  • Small businesses (those with between 2 and 50 employees) may purchase health insurance for their employees by going to Maryland Health Connection. Small businesses are not required to purchase insurance for their employees, but if they choose to do so they may qualify for a tax credit. For more information regarding your options, go to: https://www.marylandhealthconnection.gov/small-business/
  • Information on approved small group premium rates for small-group plans sold through Maryland Health Connection. View 2020 proposed health insurance rates by clicking HERE.
  • Consumer Alert from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
     

Videos

  • Commercial Business Message: Video
     

Credit Insurance

 
What You Should Know Before You Purchase Credit Insurance

Many consumers purchase items using credit. In the case of some of the larger items, including, for example, automobiles, furniture or major appliances, the consumer may obtain a loan. For smaller items, such as clothing, televisions, etc., the consumer may use a credit card. With either of these types of “loans/debts,” you may be asked whether you want to purchase an insurance policy to cover the debt in the event of death, disability or involuntary loss of employment. Before you decide to purchase this type of insurance, it is important that you understand what it covers and whether the policy is right for you.
 
What is Credit Insurance?

Credit insurance is an insurance policy that is directly connected to a loan, credit card, retail purchase that is financed, or other debt.  This insurance policy pays all or a portion (i.e. monthly payment) of the outstanding debt if an event that is named in the policy occurs (i.e. death, disability or involuntary unemployment of the insured).  The insurance company usually pays the money directly to the creditor or lender.
 
Types of Credit Insurance
 
Credit Life Insurance – This policy will pay off all or a portion of the loan if the insured dies during the term of coverage.   The amount paid depends upon the policy’s limits. Some of these policies have a maximum amount that they will pay, which may be less than the amount of the loan.

Credit Disability/Credit Health Insurance – This policy will pay all or part of the insured’s monthly payment amount in the event that the insured becomes disabled, as defined by the policy, during the term of coverage.  Typically credit disability policies require that you be disabled for a period of time (generally 7, 14 or 30 days) before you are entitled to receive benefits under the policy.  Some policies will retroactively pay you for the waiting period and some will not.  The policy must clearly indicate whether it will retroactively pay for this waiting period.
 
Credit Involuntary Unemployment Benefit Insurance – This policy will pay all or part of the monthly bill if the insured becomes involuntarily unemployed due to a cause defined (or specified) in the policy during the term of coverage.  The policies usually require that you be unemployed for a specific amount of time (usually 30 days) before the benefit is paid.  Some policies are retroactive and will pay for the waiting period.
 
How Much Will The Policy Cost?
 
The price of the policy is dependent upon a number of factors including the amount of the loan or debt, the type of credit and the type of policy.  Companies will charge premiums by either using a single premium method or a monthly outstanding balance method.
 
Single Premium Method – The insurance premium is calculated at the time of the loan, and added to the amount of your loan.  Therefore, you become responsible for the entire premium at the time you purchase the policy.  Your monthly loan payment includes a portion of the initial loan, a portion of the insurance premium, and the interest charge for the month.
 
Monthly Outstanding Balance Method – This method is generally used for credit cards, revolving home equity loans or other similar debts.
  • For open end accounts, such as credit cards where the amount of the debt may increase over time, the amount of insurance may vary from month to month.  As a result, the premium is charged to the insured monthly and is based on the monthly debt either by using the end of the month balance or the average daily balance depending upon the terms of the policy.  This amount will appear as a separate charge on the statement from the lender.  The monthly insurance premium is part of each month’s required minimum payment.
  • The closed end account method has fixed terms at the time of the original debt.  The amount of the debt may not change and the insured has a fixed amount that is due every month.  It is important to note that failure to pay this amount on time every month could result in cancellation of the policy or that an additional balance will be due at the loan maturity date.  Read the details of your payment agreement carefully so that you understand the terms of repayment.
 
May I Cancel My Policy?

Yes, you can cancel your credit insurance policy.  You should check the terms of your policy to find out how to cancel it.  If you have a single premium method policy, you will be entitled to a refund for the unused months of insurance.  Your policy should explain how the refund is calculated. It is important to understand that the single premium method refund will be paid to your lender to reduce your loan balance.  The amount of your monthly payment will not change; however, your loan will be paid off earlier than the loan maturity date if your monthly loan payments are paid as scheduled.  If you have a monthly outstanding balance method policy you may not be entitled to a refund.  Since the insurance premium is charged to you just one month at a time, generally there will not be any months of unused insurance coverage.  Also, you should be aware that many policies give the insured a “free look” period, typically 10 days, during which they can cancel the policy without penalty.  Remember, it is important that you read the terms of your policy so that you understand how to cancel your policy.
 
Where Can I Purchase Credit Insurance?
 
Credit insurance is underwritten by insurance companies and is available through lenders and financing companies (i.e. banks, finance companies, credit unions, credit card companies) as well as retail outlets (automobile dealers, appliance stores, furniture stores, etc.)  You may also receive information in the mail or along with your credit card bills offering you this coverage.  Before you sign any agreement to purchase a credit insurance policy, make certain that you fully understand the terms and the cost of the policy.  Credit insurance policies must be approved by the Maryland Insurance Administration before they are sold.  If you have questions, contact us at (800) 492-6116 or (410) 468-2000.
 
May I Be Turned Down For Credit Insurance?
 
Although most policies are guaranteed issue, some may deny coverage based on the applicant’s health, age or employment status and history.
 
Things You Should Consider BEFORE Buying Credit Insurance
  1. Do you have another insurance policy, savings, investment or other funds to pay this debt in the event of your death, disability or loss of job?
  2. How much will the policy cost?
  3. Would it be preferable to buy a term life insurance or disability insurance policy?
  4. Do you pay the premium monthly or will it be financed and added to the total amount of the loan?
  5. Will the credit insurance cover the entire amount of the loan?
  6. If you are purchasing either credit disability or credit involuntary unemployment insurance, you should determine the length of the waiting period before you are entitled to the benefit and whether the benefit is retroactive.
  7. What are the limits or exclusions?
  8. Are there limits on the amount the policy pays?
  9. What if you have a co-borrower?  Does that impact payment?  If so, how?
  10. If I cancel, what type of refund will I receive?

Contact the Maryland Insurance Administration at (410) 468-2000 or (800) 492-6116 if you have questions regarding an insurance policy or insurance company.

Cybersecurity

Dental Plans

 

Disaster Preparedness including flood insurance

 

Videos

Farm Insurance

 

General Information - How the MIA Can Help

 

Videos

  • Tips About How We Can Help You: Video
  • Meet the MIA: Whiteboard video
  • Questions about Insurance? MIA Can Help: :30 Video or :60 Video 
  • How the MIA can help: Video
  • How the MIA's Property and Casualty Unit can help you: video
  • How the MIA's Compliance and Enforcement Unit can help you: video
  • NEW Have a complaint about your auto or homeowners insurance policy? The MIA is here to help. Video

Glossary of Insurance Terms

Health Insurance

 
  • Click HERE for Health Insurance Information

Videos

  • Understanding Your Rights - Health Insurance Claims Process: Video
  • Living in Baltimore Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board Radio Show Heatlth Insurance and Access Study - Interview
  • Understanding Your Health Insurance Coverage: Webinar
  • Healthcare: Video
  • Medicare Supplement Insurance in Maryland: Webinar
  • Understanding your Health Insurance Costs and terms used in policy: Video
  • Simplifying Disability Insurance: Video
  • Understanding Provider Networks: Video
  • Understanding the Explanation of Benefits summary from your provider: Video
  • Understanding how to appeal a health care service denial: Video
  • The LIfe and Health unit is here to help: Video
  • The Life and Health Complaints Unit May be Able to Help: Video

Homeowners/Renters Insurance

 
General Information about homeowners insurance
General information about renters insurance 
 
List of companies that offer specialty manufactured home insurance policies

 


Earthquake Insurance
  • While a homeowner’s policy typically does not cover damages from an earthquake, consumers may be able to purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy or endorsement. The terms, conditions and exclusions in an earthquake insurance policy or endorsement will vary from one insurer to the next. Read the policy or endorsement, and talk to your insurance producer when considering your purchase of earthquake insurance.
  • For more general information about such policies, see the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s brochure "A Consumer's Guide to Earthquake Insurance."

Rates

Claims

 
Cancellation/Nonrenewal
 
Rebuilding after your claim
 
Miscellaneous

Videos

Insurance Fraud

 
  • Click HERE for more information on insurance fraud

Videos

  • Tips on Fraud: Fraud: Video
  • Insurance fraud is a costly crime and one the the Maryland Insurance Administration takes seriously: Video
  • Get to know the Insurance Fraud Unit: Video
  • The cost of insurance fraud: Video

Below are links to short videos on insurance fraud produced by the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud

Life Insurance

 

General Information

Miscellaneous

Videos

  • Don't let life insurance policy benefits go unclaimed: Video
  • How to find a missing life insurance policy: Video
  • How to Purchase life insurance: Video
  • Universal Life Insurance tips: Video
  • The LIfe and Health unit is here to help: Video
  • The Life and Health Complaints Unit May be Able to Help: Video

Long-Term Care

 
  • Click HERE for more information on Long-Term Care

Medical Liability

 

Medicare Supplement Information

Pet Insurance Information

 

Videos

  • Learning the basics of Pet Insurance: Video

Premium Finance

Sharing Economy

Title Insurance

Travel Insurance

Helping Consumers, Businesses 
and Providers
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