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How far back do insurance companies go when checking driving & insurance records?
In Maryland, the underwriting look back for eligibility is 3 years. Qualifying for discount programs the carrier can review up to 5 years. Other states vary.
How is credit used in rating my auto policy?
The majority of companies in MD use credit as a rating factor. Your insurance score includes a “light touch” of you credit record as one of several factors used to determine your rating tier. Actuarial statistics show that folks with better credit scores make fewer claims.
Will my rates be raised if I make even one claim?
Typically, no. In most cases, a policyholder may lose a Claims Free or Safe Driver discount when a loss is experienced. That will make the premium go up, however, the discount can be earned back over time. Larger losses may result in a temporary surcharge, but again, your base rates remain the same. The surcharge is removed with future claims free experience.
Will my insurance be cancelled if I have more than one claim?
Again, most of the time, no. Insurance companies consider frequency and severity. At renewal, your insurance company will review the driving record and loss experience of all drivers on your auto policy. If a driver or the entire household shows a pattern of violations or claims within a 3 year policy period, adverse action may be taken. That can range from loss of discounts, to surcharges, to driver exclusions, to policy cancellation.
My homeowner’s policy covers everything, right?
No. While many home policies offer comprehensive coverage for various perils, none cover everything. Every policy has a section that specifies what is EXCLUDED from coverage. Flood is not covered, but may be purchased separately. Damage to foundations is also excluded, but some carriers offer Earthquake coverage for bonafide seismic events. Understandably, intentional and criminal acts (arson, etc), acts of war or terrorism, and nuclear accidents are also excluded. For a clearer understanding of coverages, speak with one of our agents.
Policy limits are all a claimant can get from me, right?
Not exactly. Whether auto, home or business, policy limits are all a claimant can get from your insurance company. Of course, your insurance carrier will defend the policy as best they can, but if the judgement or settlement exceeds your policy limits, you will likely have to make arrangements to make up the difference. This is why serious consideration should be given to purchasing solid limits and an Umbrella policy to best protect your interests.