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Maryland Insurance Administration reports strong 2019

BALTIMORE - As we enter 2020, the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) is gearing up for another successful year of providing protection for insurance consumers and securing a fair, competitive market for the insurance industry.

In reviewing 2019, Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr. said MIA continued to fulfill its mission and deliver on Governor Larry Hogan’s statewide Customer Service Promise: “The dedicated staff of the Maryland Insurance Administration worked hard throughout 2019 to help ensure that our state has a healthy, compliant insurance industry. We are proud of our customer service focus, and we are constantly striving to serve consumers and the industry in the most effective, efficient way.”

Here are some key 2019 highlights:

  • In fiscal 2019, MIA, which does not receive money from the state’s General Fund, contributed $540.5 million to the General Fund, $192.4 million to the Maryland Health Care Stabilization Fund and $16.3 million to the state’s Insurance Regulation Fund. The source of the funding was taxes, fees and fines.
  • MIA received a total of 10,891 complaints against insurance providers with 7,205 complaints in the property and casualty sector and 2,746 in the life and health insurance sector. Another 940 complaints came to the agency under the state’s Appeals and Grievances statute, which gives Maryland consumers the right to appeal an insurance company’s decision that denies coverage for medically necessary treatment.
  • A customer service initiative, MIA’s Rapid Response Program is designed to help consumers resolve property and casualty claim disputes quickly, if possible, without having to file a formal written complaint. Through the Rapid Response Program, MIA specialists handled 1,662 inquiries in fiscal 2019.
  • Maryland's "Open for Business" philosophy continues to foster a competitive insurance market. In calendar 2019, the MIA’s company licensing team added 38 new carriers and additional lines of coverage.
  • With a primary mission to protect consumers from deceptive marketing, unfair claim settlement practices, misrepresentation of insurance coverage and underwriting and premium abuses, MIA’s Compliance and Enforcement Unit was able to get about $924,000 returned to harmed Maryland consumers in fiscal 2019. In addition, the unit’s activities were responsible for the assessment of about $1.6 million in penalties for Maryland insurance law violations by insurers, producers and other regulated entities.
  • Licensing of insurance professionals is another key mission for the Compliance and Enforcement Unit, which issued 34,605 new licenses and renewed 59,944 during the fiscal year. MIA received 100,314 license applications in fiscal 2019.
  • MIA’s Consumer Education and Advocacy Unit gets the word out to the public about insurance topics and Maryland insurance law through the use of videos, brochures, social media and public appearances. In fiscal 2019, the unit’s employees participated in 601 fairs, tradeshows, speaking engagements and other events across the state.
  • In September 2019, Governor Hogan announced the second consecutive decrease in health insurance premiums in the state, with a 10.3 percent average decrease for the individual market in 2020. To assist the administration in making its rate decision, MIA actuaries reviewed the data, methodologies, and assumptions companies used to develop their proposed premium rates. The MIA also considered public comments, along with other relevant factors, in determining whether to approve, modify or deny requested rates.

The Maryland Insurance Administration’s full Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report is available on the MIA website at insurance.maryland.gov. 

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 MIA, please visit www.insurance.maryland.gov, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MDInsuranceAdmin, follow us on Twitter at @MD_Insurance or find us on Instagram at @MarylandInsuranceAdmin.