What Is the Auto Claim Process in Maryland?

Although no one gets into his car expecting to become involved in an automobile accident, it can happen at any time. You need to be informed about the steps involved in an auto claim when living in Maryland. Of course the first thing you need to do if you are involved in an accident is to make sure there are no injuries. If there are injuries, make sure someone contacts emergency personnel immediately. If there are no injuries, the next step is to contact the police. In Laurel, MD, if you are planning to involve your insurance company, you need to make a report with the police department.

The third step is to contact your insurance agent. You can usually find this information on the back of your insurance card. Your insurance agent will be able to take the appropriate information and begin the claims process. You will not only need all of the details about the accident, you will also need information from the other party involved. It is best if you exchange telephone numbers and insurance information as soon as reasonably possible. There are a lot of details that will need to be worked out and the more information you can give your insurance agent in Laurel, Maryland, the easier the claim process will be.

Finally, you will need to assess the damages. You will need to take your vehicle and obtain quotes to have the car fixed or determine if the automobile is worth fixing at all. Your insurance company may take care of a lot of this work for you. If they determine your car is a complete loss, and you have comprehensive coverage, they should give you what your car is worth. Speak with a local insurance agent who can help you compare quotes and explain the auto claim process.

What Type of Home Insurance Covers Natural Disaster Damage in Maryland?

Although Maryland is not typically thought of as a state that’s subject to severe natural disasters, they are actually not as uncommon as you may expect. Blizzards have been known to dump upwards of 4 feet of snow in Laurel, Maryland in just one week, and in 2011, the state saw Hurricane Irene and a large earthquake hit the area within a week of each other. Having the right homeowners policy for your home will ensure that you have the insurance coverage you need to pay for natural disaster damage that occurs.

A general homeowners insurance policy will cover many types of natural disaster damage. Fire, lighting, hailstorms, and windstorms (including tornadoes) are all included in even the most basic policy. You can also purchase a policy that expands to include damage from snow, ice, and sleet as well. Ask your insurance agent about what is and is not covered in the home insurance policy you are looking at purchasing for your Laurel, Maryland home. It’s very important that you understand the extent of your insurance coverage so you are adequately protected.

The main type of coverage you should consider adding to your basic homeowners insurance policy is flood insurance. This is issued through the National Flood Insurance Program and covers a wide range of damage due to natural disasters that involve flooding. Some common disasters include hurricanes, heavy rain, tidal waves, rising waters, melting snow, and runoff of surface waters. If your home is in a floodplain, your mortgage company may require you to purchase flood insurance. Otherwise, it is up to you whether you want to add this coverage. Your insurance agent can get quotes and purchase the insurance for you through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Why Did My Premium Increase when I Haven’t Had a Claim with My Insurance Carrier?

With your car insurance policy, there can be several reasons why your insurance premiums increase. Even if you have not had a claim, the insurance carrier may increase your rates without any obvious reason. As an insurance agent in Laurel, Maryland, I have seen a number of items that can make a difference in your monthly premiums.

According to The Motley Fool, there are five primary factors that affect auto premiums:

  • Age
  • Driving Record
  • Location
  • Type of Vehicle
  • Discounts

Certainly, some of these factors can be multi-faceted. For instance, daytime running lights, good student, multiple policy, and safety discounts can be found in the final area. Kira Botkin of Money Crashers adds other factors, such as marital status, credit score, profession, and specifics – such as age of car and the likelihood of theft (this is related to location) – as further dynamics within the “type of vehicle.

In other words, there are several potential reasons why your insurance carrier could hike your rates – without the mention of a claim.

The best way to follow-up on such a notice is to contact your insurer. Call your insurance agent or company directly to ask why your premiums have been increased. However, be wary of your company/agent trying to reduce your coverage to make up for the price change.

You have several options. Perhaps there is a discount that is not reflected in your policy. Or, you could consider altering your coverage to make your premiums more affordable.

Inevitably, you may need to consider comparing car insurance to determine what the market looks like. This certainly won’t hurt anything – and could lead you to a better policy. It is advisable that you do this on a regular basis (every six months is a good rule of thumb), to make sure you are receiving fair market price.

How Home Inventory will Help You Know What You Own for Insurance Purposes

Getting robbed or having a fire destroy some of your most cherished possessions is a traumatic event that you hope you will never have to experience. However, even in the very quiet communities of Laurel, Maryland, there are a few people out there who are up to no good. Having home insurance is a good way to protect yourself from an unfortunate loss.

Whether you live in a hundred year old Victorian home in the Laurel Historic District or are raising a family in a modern four bedroom home in Montpelier, Maryland homeowners should take an additional step to protect the contents of their home. Having a home inventory list to go along with your home insurance policy can make the process of filing a claim go smoothly.

If you know what you own, then it is relatively easy to identify what may be missing or destroyed after the interior of your home has been compromised. While a standard home insurance policy will usually provide coverage of the contents in an amount roughly equal to half the total insured value of the structure, you must be able to provide reasonable proof of a loss to collect on a claim.

One of the best ways to do so is to create a home inventory list. You can go room-by-room and make note of your more prominent possessions. Try to be as descriptive as possible of those items. For instance, if you have three televisions, describe each one by screen size and brand. It is also quite helpful to keep receipts for your major purchases.

Don’t get carried away and list every knife and fork in your draw. A simple description such as, a stainless steel service for twelve, would suffice. By providing as much information as possible about your loss, your insurance company can process your claim faster and you can receive your settlement check in a more timely manner.