Will My Premiums Increase if I File a Claim Under my Insurance in Maryland?

One of the biggest concerns that many people have regarding their insurance situation is what happens if they file a claim. While you purchase an insurance policy so that you are protected in case of an accident, you do not look forward to the day you have to file a claim. Learn about more about what happens when you deal with this situation, just in case you are faced with it in the future.

When you have an accident, the first thing you need to do after you are safe is to contact your independent agent or the customer service line with the company. Make sure you provide the agent with all of the information about the accident. If you are able to take photographs, or you have a police report, this will help too.

After the claim goes through, you will either have your car repaired, or you will receive money from the insurance company. This is where things get complicated. You are probably wondering if your premiums will increase after the fact. Well, the answer to this question is not at all simple. If the accident was your fault, then you quite likely may face an increase in premiums.

However, there are other considerations too. Some policies have a stipulation in place called accident forgiveness. Accident forgiveness can save you money in the long run if you wind up getting into an accident. If your policy has accident forgiveness, you will not face an increase in premiums after an accident.

Before you get into an accident, talking to your independent agent , either by phone or by visiting the office in Laurel, Maryland, will help you understand what situation you may face in case of an accident. A bit of preparation can make life much easier if you do have to deal with an accident in the future.

If I Share my Apartment With a Roommate Do we Both Need to Have Renters Insurance in Maryland?

As a Maryland resident who rents your apartment, you are aware that you need to have some sort of coverage for your possessions, but when you share your place with a roommate the rules can get a little confusing. To put it simply, you always need to make sure that you have a renters insurance policy because you will not get any coverage from your roommate’s policy, or vice versa.

Your independent agent in Laurel can help you to identify the type of renters policy and level of coverage that works best for you. The most important thing is just to make sure that you have a policy that will cover you. It may seem strange that two people living in the same space would not be able to share coverage, but you should think of a renters policy rather like you look at a car insurance policy: Everyone who drives needs to have car insurance, and everyone who lives in an apartment needs to have a renters policy.

Your own personal possessions are completely separate from the personal possessions of your roommate, and so you need to draw a distinction between these in your policy. Some people pose the question "What if it’s my boyfriend who is my roommate?" In this case, you will still need to have your own policies because you still have your own property.

If you have a change in your living situation or if you get married you should contact your Laurel independent agent as soon as possible because you may need to make a change to your renters policy as a result of this. Renters insurance is typically very inexpensive, so it is a smart investment and an easy one to make today!

Is weather-related damage covered by my insurance policy in Maryland?

Maryland homeowners often face the problem of dealing with weather-related damages to their home and property. But… which insurance policies cover these damages? How can you be sure that you are covered against unforseeable storms or natural disasters?

Different insurance policies actually cover different types of weather. When you’re looking for a policy in Laurel, Maryland, it’s best to talk to an independent agent about the many options available. Here’s a quick overview to help you understand your coverage in case of weather-related damage.

Auto Insurance

If your car is damaged by hail, winds, or other weather, it will be covered–if you have a comprehensive policy. The term "comprehensive" means your vehicle is covered for damages it sustains in accidents or weather events; minimum coverage policies usually just provide liability coverage for damages you cause to other vehicles.

Homeowner’s Insurance

  • Flood Damage: Most homeowner’s insurance policies do NOT cover flood damage. You need to purchase a separate type of coverage if you want your property to be covered in case of a flood. You don’t have to live near a lake or river to be at risk for a flood, though some areas are more prone to flooding than others. Talk to an agent about the best kind of insurance to purchase for your home’s location.
  • Tornado Damage: Because tornadoes are considered "wind storms" under most homeowner’s policies, damages caused by this type of storm are generally covered. They may, however, be subject to a different deductible than other types of storms.
  • Fire Damage: Most homeowner’s policies cover fire damage, but it’s important to check with your agent before a disaster happens to make sure you have sufficient coverage to cover your belongings within the walls of your home. Keeping a home inventory is tedius but can be invaluable in case of emergency; it speeds the insurance claims process and could elminate significant confusion in the future.

These are general guidelines about damages that Maryland insurance policies cover, but the most accurate information will come from your own agent about your specific policy.

Is Accident Forgiveness Worth it in Laurel, Maryland?

Navigating the realm of insurance is a tricky thing. It seems like there are so many different things you have to consider when you are deciding which company or independent agent to use. Many of the insurance companies have started offering benefits such as accident forgiveness in an effort to boost their client base. You may wonder if this is something that could benefit you now or down the road. Learn more about what accident forgiveness really is, so you can decide if it is something that would benefit you when you go to renew or redo your auto insurance coverage.

For the most part, insurance companies use a star rating system to determine what you pay for your car insurance. The rating goes from 0 to 6 stars. A person with a 6 star rating will pay the least amount, while those with a 0 star rating will pay the most, if they are even able to purchase insurance.

When you have an at-fault car accident, you will likely lose a certain number of stars. This would normally make the cost of your insurance go up, possibly considerably. However, a policy that offers accident forgiveness would “forgive” a first accident, essentially making it where your rate didn’t go up despite the accident.

This may or may not be a good deal for you. The problem is that most policies that offer accident forgiveness come at an added cost. If you never have an accident, you are paying extra for no good reason. It’s a matter of weighing the risk versus reward. Talk with your agent, and if you do not have one, perhaps finding a local agent in Laurel, Maryland is the way to go. An agent will better be able to tell you if this would be a major benefit for you.