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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
2/16/2021
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Craig Ey, 410-468-2488 (O)
443-604-9599 (C)

CONSUMER ADVISORY:

PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST MAIL DELIVERY DELAYS

 
The Maryland Insurance Administration is aware that mail delivery delays have resulted in the cancellation or non-renewal of insurance policies for non-payment of premium. Sometimes this is because bills are not being delivered on time and sometimes it is because payment is not being delivered on time. While insurers are often willing to work with consumers to address late payments resulting from mail delays, there are a few easy steps that you can take to protect yourself.
  1. Know when your payments are due. If you have not received your bill or are not sure when your premium is due or how much you are required to pay, call your insurer or insurance producer (agent or broker) NOW to find out when payments are due, how much you must pay, and where/how payments can be made. Make sure that you write down the date and time of the call, the information you are given, and the person you spoke with.
  2. Sign up for electronic notices and billing if you can.  Contact your insurer to sign up for electronic receipt of notices and bills so that you do not have to depend on the mail. If you are uncomfortable with email, a family member or trusted advisor may be able to help. Some insurers will provide both paper and electronic notices and bills if you ask them to.
  3. Pay electronically, by phone, or in person if you can.  There are many electronic payment methods that may be available to you. Insurers and agencies may accept payment by credit card or by an authorized debit of your bank account either by providing that information by phone or by accessing a web-site or an app. If you have access to the internet or smartphone technology, go on-line to review your payment options or contact your insurer or insurance producer for guidance. Remember, never give out personal information, including policy information or financial/banking/credit card information to someone who calls you! When you make electronic payments, make sure that you write down confirmation numbers, print receipts and/or take screen shots of the payment confirmation as evidence of your payment.
  4. Consider automatic withdrawals from your bank account.  If you pay your insurance premium using recurring payments, talk to your bank and your insurer about how to set up automatic transfers from your account.
  5. Make sure you have proof of payment/mailing. If you must use the United States Postal Service (USPS) to pay your premium, allow significant additional lead time in mailing and protect yourself by using the priority mail service or by securing a proof of mailing receipt. Both options can be obtained at any USPS kiosk or at the service counter. At this time, a proof of mailing certificate costs $1.50. Information regarding certificates of mailing can be found here: https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Certificate-of-Mailing-The-Basics.

If you have experienced an insurance problem due to delays in USPS mail delivery, contact the Maryland Insurance Administration for assistance at 1-800- 492-6116.