Motorcycle Insurance Law Started October 1, 2012

Maryland Moped LawPost Date October 4, 2012 –  Maryland State Motorcycle Insurance and motor vehicle law now requires both moped and motor scooter operators to purchase motorcycle insurance.  In addition to motorcycle insurance; Maryland State Law will also require moped and scooter owners and passengers to wear both helmets and eye protection while operating  on Maryland’s Streets and Roadways.  As I mentioned in the title of today’s Blog, these laws became effective yesterday October 1, 2012.  The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) announced any Maryland  Drivers which want to operate any type of vehicle on a Maryland Roadway must maintain a valid US Driver’s license.  Of course if you drive a car in the state of Maryland, you must maintain an operators license.  In the past, all you needed to operate a moped or motor scooter was a automobile operators license.  Effective yesterday, you will be required to obtain a motorcycle permit and license before you can legally operate any motorized two wheel vehicle. Any Maryland Resident or Non-recent with a suspended driver’s license  in a any US State will  be permitted to drive any motor vehicles on Maryland’s streets and highways. Moped, Motorcycle and Scooter owners caught operating without a helmet, eye protection or a windshield will be levied a fine from $50.00 to $500.

Motorcycle Insurance Laws Now Include Mopeds & Scooters

The last but most important issue the new law mandates is the purchase of Financial Responsibility.  If you operate any motorized vehicle in the state of Maryland;   Motorcycle liability insurance and uninsured motorists insurance coverage must be purchased and renewed as long as you have a registered motor vehicle  A Motorcycle Insurance Policy with a minimum coverage limit of $30,000 for bodily injury person, $60,000 limit for bodily injury per accident, and $15,000 limit for property damage.  You must be also maintain uninsured and underinsured coverage limits motorists coverage.  The Maryland Department of Insurance has disclosed all  Auto insurance and Motorcycle Insurance companies do not extend insurance coverage for smaller moped and scooters. InsureDirect.com has always offered motorcycle insurance and insurance coverage for Mopeds and Scooters in the state of Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio and the other 45 other US States.

–Mike 

Michael E. Dortch
President &  Managing Agent
InsureDirect.com
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania  19446
(800) 807-0762  ext. 206

Connecticut To Waive Storm Deductibles Resulting From Irene

Many InsureDirect.com customers throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland and parts of Ohio experienced losses from Hurricane Irene. It seems like no one was immune regardless if you lost your car, home, motorcycle or boat to wind or flooding.  My family home I lost its power for four days and many of my neighbors in the Bucks County Area of Pennsylvania experienced severe flooding and extensive property damage. I also have many  other customers in Wilkes Barre, PA  whom suffered much more since that area was evacuated as a result of the severe storms.

Connecticut Governor Daniel P. Malloy has indicated  Connecticut has entered into negotiations with some a number of Homeowners Insurance Companies in the state to ask them to waive  Homeowners Insurance,  Auto Insurance and Commercial Insurance deductibles for their hurricane policy that have come about as a result of damages to coastal properties arising from Hurricane/Tropical storm Irene.  Auto, homeowners and business owners in the area who happened to have their property destroyed or damaged are set to benefit from the waiver.

Irene’s drenching resulted in the destruction of some 244 homes according to Malloy. The total damage to public property has been pegged at some $16 million according to state officials with the figure being expected to rise as the storm subsides. By the time of filing this report, estimations of damages arising from the storm to private property had not yet been accurately calculated. This damage is however expected to be substantial.  Insurance analysts have even hinted that federal disaster aid could be required for at least seven of the eight counties in the state.  

President Barrack Obama had assented to a disaster declaration for the state of Connecticut which had effectively availed disaster relief  by FEMA for five of the eight counties. However, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was quick to allay fears that other counties would be left out of the disaster relief efforts by indicating that assessments of the damage in the other counties was already underway and help would be on the way soon.

Five reputable insurance companies involved in writing insurance policies and who are major players in the industry had already agreed to have the deductibles waived according to governor Malloy. This was however specific to policies of coastal homeowners that covered hurricanes. The deductibles are usually a percentage of the total cost of the home which means that homeowners are eventually required to fork out thousands of dollar before the coverage for the hurricane can be deemed to have begun.

Without these waivers, the joint figure for all homeowners could have been as high as $ 100 million. This is according to a review carried out by the state insurance department. Irene has caused extensive damage to cars, trucks, boats,  infrastructure such as road and power lines and left two people dead in its wake. Heavy flooding has also been reported as far north as New England.  

– Mike

Michael E. Dortch
President &  Managing Agent
InsureDirect.com
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania  19446
(800) 807-0762  ext. 602 

 

InsureDirect.com offices Shake From Earthquake

On Tuesday August 30, 2011,  a strong earthquake rattled the East Coast of the US starting in the State of Virginia. The earthquake was so strong that it could be felt as far as Pennsylvania and inside the corporate offices of InsureDirect.com in Lansdale, PA which is 35 miles northeast of Philadelphia and all the way to Canada. The earthquake has shaken buildings, delayed flights and trains, and sent confounded workers inside buildings into the streets. Despite its severity, the 5.9 magnitude earthquake had not  injured or taken anyone’s life. Despite this, the Pentagon and the US Capitol, in Washington DC, were briefly evacuated. The states effected were Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

Spokesman; Larry Beach said that the quake could still be felt 83 miles from the epicenter. Larry works at the US Agency for International Development in Washington. 5.5 to 6-magnitude earthquakes have the ability to shake, and bring forth damage to the building; especially when the quake is shallower. Amtrak, in line with the destruction caused by the earthquake, commenced a reduced speed policy between Washington and Baltimore. In addition, track crews are busy checking rails for damage. Two nuclear reactors in Virginia were shut off for safety’s sake; traffic lights, too, have been shut down for a short time after the tremors gradually ended. A spokesman says that three pinnacles from the center tower of the Washington National Cathedral have broken due to the quake.

Due to the intensity of the earthquake, some people living in high-rise building experienced sea sickness during the earthquake due to the shaking motion of the building. The earthquake grounded all flights in John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty Airport for a brief period of time due to the evacuation of Tower Controllers. “I thought I was dizzy and I needed to drink more water,” said the manager of Sportello, Heather Kennaway. He was at first unaware that it was an earthquake which sent him off his feet. Vacationers at Hamptons, one of the highest-rating islands, also felt the tremors. Many grabbed their cell phones to contact loved ones while other began inquiring whether a tsunami was on its way or not.

If you have Homeowners insurance, you should understand your coverage may not cover earthquake damage.  Under normal circumstances you will need to purchase an additional coverage or seperate rider to provide coverage for such perils.  If you have homeowners insurance through another company or broker and you have not been contacted lately to review your coverage – give us a call.  The agents at InsureDirect.com will be happy to review your current Home or Auto Insurance Policy and see if we can save you some money and even increase your coverage.

– Mike

 

Consumer Labels on Health Insurance Plans

Regardless if your business is located in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio or anyplace in the US starting next year in 2012, Insurers and employers will have to clearly state the costs and benefits of the health and insurance plans that they are giving out. The U.S. health officials announced this rule only this Wednesday. This is made to better inform the public about the health insurance options with a qualifying standard label, as the Department of Health and Human Services compare it to the ingredients on a box of cereal.

 The label should clearly lay down everything to the customers from their premium, deductible and out-of-pocket costs, and even the costs associated with medical treatments and events such as regular doctor check-ups and medical visits. This rule is part of President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care overhaul, as consumer groups complain that pages of fine print accompanying the insurance plans are often misunderstood and are totally confusing.

“As of Today, many consumers have a hard time understanding the information in plain English to enlighten them about the differences in the coverage and benefits covered by these distinct health insurance options,” exclaimed by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Consumer Union Senior Health Policy Analyst Lynn Quincy adds that “Consumers are less likely to find themselves in health plans that don’t meet their needs by simply making the terms of health insurance plans plainly understandable.”

 The executive director of state affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Kim Holland states that insurers are supporting people other than knowing what they are getting, but still echoed that concern. Insurers are highly concerned that the price of the plans will raise as the administrative costs associated with these labels will also raise. Holland also said before the rules were released that “The concern here is we already have a body of law that tells us what need to have.” 

Recommendations from a group formed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that includes insurance companies, consumer groups and academics would be followed by the six-page labels of the newly-build rule for insurance plans.

“NAIC’s recommendations was not what everybody wanted, but still, it is comparable to having a recommendation from a consensus,” quoted by Sabrina Corlette, NAIC consumer representative and Georgetown University Research Professor. “You wouldn’t be comparing apples to oranges anymore, so it would make it much clear for families who need insurance plans to make those decisions,” she added.

-Mike

 

Loophole on Health Insurance Exchanges: Authorities to Act

Although InsureDirect.com primarily focuses it’s marketing efforts on Online/Direct Car Insurance, Commercial Auto Insurance and Homeowners/Renters Insurance Products; as it’s company’s President and Managing Agent, I feel it’s vital I discuss topics which would be of interest to a broader base of insurance buyers.  This article is a perfect example of this. 

In the latest updates released by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the  NAIC urged the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to avoid the loophole giving chances to some nation’s largest insurance companies a regulatory advantage over smaller industry player or competitors. The NAIC further expressed concerns about possible potential consumer implications of the new Multi – State Plans offered through the insurance Exchanges if held to different type of standards. 

Beginning in 2014, OPM is charged with contracting with at least two health plans to be automatically sold on every state’s Exchange as “Multi – State Plans.”  It is very clear that the law clearly intend to have these plans operates on a standard level playing field  where language within the law could allow two sets of rules to cater to large Multi – State plans and to everyone else. However, NAIC is concerned with the provision’s identity that it may unintentionally upset state insurance markets that will take away consumer protections. 

In a letter to OPM signed by NAIC President and Iowa Insurance Commissioner Susan Voss stating “Authorities must take every single serious concern about the potential for market disruption and unfavorable selection that would result negative impact on most consumers and health insurance markets which would arise if Multi – State Plans are allowed to operate under different rules than their competitors.” The letter was co – signed by NAIC President – Elect, Vice President and the Secretary – Treasurer. 

All of the concerns raised by the NAIC are in response to OPM’s request for certain details about the guidelines being develop for Multi – State Plans. The remarks/comments provides further details of potential market disruption on Multi – State Plans to cater exemption on the rules governing other plans offered through an Exchange or the over-all insurance market as a whole. 

They noted that separate rules could threaten plan solvency which may lead to market segmentation, consumer confusion and a loss of consumer protections. Thus, NAIC urged OPM to require Multi – State plans to meet all state laws and regulatory requirements to avoid uncertainties over it. Also, the comments being submitted will explain about the second provisions of the rules on the intentions attached in ensuring a level playing field, that could in contradiction overturned state consumer protection laws if Multi – State plans are being exempt from state regulations. Example if there are plans existing plans in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia or any of the other 44 states in the United States, they are exempted.

Furthermore, the Congress intended for Multi – State plans to adhere on applicable  regulations as the law is written, if OPM want to exempts a plan from applicable state regulations and by extending it will also exempts all other plans both in and out of an Exchange from those same regulations, thus leaving a regulatory vacuüm.

Keep in mind InsureDirect.com represents all 30 major carriers auto and homeowners insurance carriers in the United States.  Regardless if you have a perfect, preferred driving record or if you have accidents, tickets, violation even a DUI/DWI, my agents can help you with one 10 minute call.

-Mike

Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) To Conduct Insurance Rate Review

The Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) which review and approve the insurance company rate filings for Auto Insurance Rate Quotes,and Homeowners Insurance Rate Quotes is set to review the increase of the health insurance rates in line with the new federal regulations spelled out in the Affordable Care Act. The review will be conducted in accordance to the Effective Rate Review Program. The decision to review was arrived at by The Center of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), a faction of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

 CCIIO will adopt MIA’s findings and recommendations regarding the small-business and individual health insurance within the region wholesale, and will not carry out an independent study on the proposed insurance rates hike in Maryland.  Therese M. Goldsmith, who is the Insurance Commissioner, said “The MIA is committed to protecting consumers against unreasonable increases in health insurance rates,” she further stated “We are pleased with the federal government’s assessment of the effectiveness of our rate review process, and will continue to improve that process and to make it more transparent to consumers.” 

The MIA hired Oliver Wyman Actuarial Consulting Inc., using grant monies from HHS, to come up with suggestions on how the agency could better carry out its health insurance rates review. The MIA is thought to be reviewing the recommendations together with suggestions from the public which were received during a recently held public hearing, a public brain storming session that sort ways of making the process more transparent, improve accountability, and give it oversight. 

Maryland’s $26 billion insurance industry is regulated by the MIA, an independent state organization founded in 1872 as the Maryland Insurance Division. From its offices in downtown Baltimore, it exerts control over 110,000 producers and about 1,500 insurance carriers. Other than licensing the producers, it serves as a consumer watchdog, sets the insurance rates, audit and oversees the operations of the carriers including determining the solvency of an insurance firm and educates the public across the states on insurance matters.

In the State of Pennsylvania, InsureDirect.com’s home state and location of their Corporate Office; has a similar regulatory body as the Maryland Insurance Administration.  The Pennsylvania Department of Insurance also watches over all the Insurance Carriers doing business is PA and is responsible for reviewing and approving all types of insurance products and rate quotes.  Regardless of the state you live; there is a similar insurance regulatory body which insures the auto insurance rate quote you pay is reasonable and fair.  InsureDirect.com maintains an insurance license in every state we market and has been approved by your state’s regulatory body to legally offer you all types of insurance products including auto insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance, motorcycle insurance and commercial truck Insurance.  You can also instantly bind Health Insurance for both families and individuals through our website www.insuredirect.com or call us nationwide (800) 807-0762.

InsureDirect Offers It’s Car Insurance Customers “Snap Shot”

Progressive Auto Insurance is available at InsureDirect.com.  Both myself and my InsureDirect.com Car Insurance Agents have represented the Mayfield Heights, Ohio Insurance carrier since 1993.  Their Pennsylvania based management team has always been very supportive of our PA Independent Agent channel and we consider Progressive Insurance Company one of the most important Property & Casualty carriers in our auto insurance carrier inventory.

Starting in 1993, we started marketing Progressive auto insurance products in the state of Pennsylvania, over the next few years we opened Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. Progressive has always been innovative in their thinking and has shared those innovations with their agent’s. A recent Progressive Insurance Company innovation is the introduction of their money-saving program called, “Snapshot”.

Snapshot is a small device which is place installed is your car.  InsureDirect.com customers could save as much as 30 % off their auto insurance monthly payment if they show a consistancy of good driving habits. Those InsureDirect.com customers whom enroll in this program will automatically saving about $150 per year just for qualifying for the Progressive Program.

So Mike; how does Snap Shot work?

After an InsureDirect.com client enrolls in the Progressive Snapshot program, their Cleveland, Ohio office will mail the the ‘Snap Shot” device which fits in the palm of your hand.  It plugs into the on-board diagnostic (OBD) port of  your car, truck or SUV. “Snap Shot” then records and sends your daily driving information to a receiver located in Progressive’s Home Office in Cleveland, Ohio.

After the data is reviewed in approximately 30 days, customers will find out if they’re eligible for a discount – up to 30 percent – based on their driving habits and will see that discount applied to their Car Insurance Policy. People who drive less, in safer ways and during safer times of day are more likely to get a discount. At the end of the six-month policy term we determine the renewal discount and the customer returns the device to us. We may periodically check in with customers to get an updated picture of their driving by asking them to plug-in the device again.

Other Facts

The Snapshot program is available to all Pennsylvania drivers who buy  their auto insurance policies from Progressive.

Customers can log in to their Auto Insurance policy on progressive.com during the 6 month period the device is plugged in to see how their driving habits affect their premium, and, if they want, make changes that could lead to much bigger savings. Progressive Customers will also see if they are on elegible for a portion of the discount after 30 days.

Progressive Snapshot is a voluntary program and customers can opt out when ever the want. Removing the Snapshot unit will not cause your auto insurance premium to increase.

Snapshot is yet another Progressive “first,” reflecting the company’s long standing culture of innovation and superior customer service. Among its long list of industry breakthroughs, Progressive was the first to offer claims service at the scene of an accident, the first to offer online auto insurance purchasing, and the first to offer Name Your Price ®, an innovative, easy-to-use online tool that helps customers choose the coverage package they want at a price that fits their budget.

 

4 Factors To Bear In Mind When Switching Insurers

Maintaining Auto insurance in the state of Maryland is a valuable investment for any person who owns and registers a car in the Bay State. It provides you with reassurance that in case of an auto accident, you will not incur or be responsible for the bulk of the financial damages. In fact, when you buy a new automobile in Maryland, one of the first steps is usually to immediately obtain Maryland car insurance coverage including Comprehensive and Coverage. This insurance coverage ensures that your vehicle remains protected right from the time you leave the new car showroom.

Nevertheless, if you are a resident in the state of Maryland; sometimes it becomes necessary to switch vehicle insurance companies. You might feel that your current insurer is no longer ideal for your personal financial needs. Before you take this step, there are a number of points to keep in mind:

1. What is the background of  an insurance company?

In order to find out the background of a online auto insurance company you wish to sign up with, you need to do the following. Read customer reviews and check for client testimonials about the insurer. The history of a direct auto insurance company determines the level of services you can expect to receive. Obviously you do not wish to end up with a more expensive insurer than your current one. Hence, stick with your current insurer or research on the potential benefits of other companies.

2. How does the insurance company treat its customers?

Customer care is an important feature among direct auto insurance companies. In case of an auto accident, no one wishes for the claims process to go on for eternity. When you have an auto insurance claim, you need to make sure your car is fixed and returned to its former pre-accident condition. Some carriers would prefer to use after markets parts and less than reputable auto body shops. Check online for complaints and or recommendations. Lastly, kind and courteous customer representatives is a vital service provided by reputable direct car insurance companies to clients.

3. What types of coverage are offered by the insurance company?

Basic vehicle insurance coverage is normally stipulated by the Maryland State Motor Vehicle Department. Apart from Maryland’s statutory coverage, online car insurance companies should be flexible and offer their customers with other options. Most customers prefer to buy auto insurance according to their personal needs and not legal requirements. Their needs Hence, an ideal car insurance company should accommodate the specific needs of their customers.

4. How do you know you are getting a good Maryland insurance rate?

Money is always an issue when it comes to vehicle insurance. You can compare auto insurance quotes online to find a cheap auto insurance company. Remember though price should not be the only criteria when you choose direct auto insurance, the premium should be commensurate with the type of coverage and other benefits of the policy obtained. Do not sacrifice the best direct auto insurance coverage simply because you feel the price is steep. The more coverage you acquire, the more protection  you will have to protect your assets. 

So, is your current insurer up to standard? If you feel that the insurer does not offer satisfactory services, perhaps its time to ditch them. There are many auto  insurance companies in the marketplace. Each Maryland company offering a particular range of services to its clients. You can use the guidelines outlined above to choose a suitable Maryland car insurance carrier for your needs.

Special Requirements And Considerations When Insuring A New Automobile

Experienced drivers are fully aware of the requirements to obtain car insurance at their particular states of residence. The procedures to insure a new car differ from insuring an older one. There are particular needs and requirements for newer cars that do not apply for older ones. Some of the special considerations that relate to insurance coverage for a new car include:

Lender Demands

Many new car owners have probably taken a loan to aid in purchase of the car. Lenders usually demand that new car owners acquire sufficient auto insurance coverage for new vehicles in order to protect their investment. You have to abide to the lenders vehicle insurance demands if your loan is to be approved.

Gap Insurance For New Drivers

New car owners who obtain loans to purchase a vehicle are often required to get gap insurance coverage. Gap insurance is meant to protect the lender from financial loss in case of an auto accident. In the unfortunate case that an accident takes place, the auto insurance company will pay the difference between the real value of your car and the outstanding balance owed to the lender. Some forms of Gap Insurance also protect the deductible value for new cars.

Typically, when you are involved in an auto accident and the vehicle is written off, you are compensated for an estimated cash value of your automobile. This amount can be considerably lower than the retail value of your car, and is normally less than the money owed to the lender. To avoid this technical loss of value for your vehicle, it is vital to fill this gap. Hence, gap insurance is the difference between your auto insurance deductible and the loss incurred during an accident.

Best Insurance For New Drivers

New drivers encounter a multitude of options when they embark on a search for direct auto insurance. However, there are creative means you can employ to get the best insurance for your new automobile. Do not settle for the first deal you come across. There are numerous online auto insurance companies and the competition for clients is stiff. Hence, there is always a company which is willing and ready to give you a better deal for direct auto coverage.

One of the best means to obtain ideal car insurance for your car is to compare auto insurance quotes online. Assess various policies according to their rates and your state of residence.  Another tip when you are in search of insurance coverage for a new car is complete honesty. The principle of utmost good faith is fundamental in the insurance business. Direct auto insurance companies are able to confirm all the information you provide quite easily. Consequently, do not be tempted to conceal any blotches in your driving history since it will come to haunt you later.

– Mike

 

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