In Maryland, insurance companies and their agents or producers are regulated by the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA). The Insurance Commissioner is required to enforce the insurance laws passed by the Maryland General Assembly. By law, all insurance companies are required to file their rates and policy forms with the MIA and other laws regulate insurance claim settlements, non-renewal or cancelation of a policy and insurance premium. To better understand your rights and the insurance companies' responsibilities, CLICK HERE to view relevant insurance laws. Insurers may not unlawfully discriminate in underwriting including acceptance, renewals, or cancellation of policies.
If you have a problem with your insurance company or agent, you can file a complaint with the MIA and an investigator will determine whether your insurance company violated Maryland's insurance laws. Violations are not found in most complaint matters, and the law gives the complainant the opportunity to request an administrative hearing after receiving the investigator's letter finding that there was no violation.
Introduction to Residential Property Insurance
Residential property insurance is a term that encompasses several different types of insurance:
Homeowner's insurance provides financial protection in event that your home is destroyed or damaged due to an unforeseen or catastrophic event. Homeowner's insurance also covers personal property and can reimburse for medical expenses or liability claims resulting from property damage or personal injury to other people caused by you or members of your family.
Dwelling insurance policies do not require that the insured property to be owner-occupied. Dwelling policies typically include rental properties or structures that do not qualify for homeowner's insurance.
Condominium insurance policies cover alterations and improvements that are part of the interior of the condominium unit. They can also cover your personal property and can reimburse for medical expenses or liability claims resulting from property damage or personal injury to other people caused by you or members of your family.
Tenant or renters insurance covers personal property inside an apartment or other rented structure. Tenant policies will reimburse you for medical expenses and liability claims resulting from property damage and personal injury to other people caused by you or members of your family. A tenant policy will also pay for additional living expenses (ALE).
Flood insurance can be obtained through FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Flood damage is not covered under a typical residential property policy. Flood insurance is limited and typically does not cover damage waterfront piers, docks, wharves, and bulkheads. More information:
FEMAMIA news advisory
MIA news advisory
There are two ways a residential property policy can cover a loss:
All Risk (also called Comprehensive Coverage or open perils coverage) offers broad protection and covers all perils unless they are specifically excluded by the policy. Even the most comprehensive policy will exclude certain types of loss.
Named Perils (also called Specified Perils Coverage) offers narrower protection than an all risk policy and covers only those perils specifically named under the policy. A policy that offers named perils coverage will also contain exclusions to perils named under the policy.
Residential property insurance policies also offer different methods of settling your claim and repairing your property:
Replacement Cost coverage pays for all necessary expenses associated with rebuilding or repairing damaged property, up to the policy limits, less any applicable deductible amount.
Actual Cash Value coverage factors in depreciation costs to your claim and pays you the costs to replace or repair the damaged property, less this depreciation and less any applicable deductible amount.
REQUIRED INSURANCE NOTICES
Maryland requires insurers to provide notices to applicants and/or policy holders about availability of additional coverage, discounts, deductibles, and certain exclusions. For Example: availability of water damage from sewer or drain back up coverage, specific breeds of dogs not covered, notice that flood damage is not covered, and anti-concurrent causation clause. Notices also cover other specified insurance matters. To review relevant Maryland statutes, click HERE.
Maryland Attorney General's
OfficePeople's Insurance Counsel
Division200 St. Paul StreetBaltimore, Maryland,
21202410-576-64321 (888) 743-0023email: PIC@oag.state.md.us
200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202
410-576-6300 / En español 410-230-1712 / 1-888-743-0023 toll-free / TTY: Dial 7-1-1 or 800-735-2258