Insurance Commissioner Temporarily Lifts Time Restrictions on Prescription Refills

Residents Reminded to Review Insurance Policies

In light of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s emergency declaration following strong wind storms, Insurance Commissioner Therese M. Goldsmith today temporarily lifted insurance restrictions on when Marylanders’ prescription medications can be refilled. Friday's storm knocked out power to more than 1 million people at its peak and caused damage throughout the state. As of Sunday morning, more than 644,000 homes and businesses remained without electricity.

The Maryland Insurance Administration reminds consumers to review their homeowners or renters insurance policies. If it becomes necessary for you to move out of your home because of the damage it sustained, your costs may be covered under Additional Living Expenses (ALE) or Loss of Use (LOU) provisions. With ALE or LOU coverage, your insurance company will reimburse you the costs of additional living arrangements, including meals and other miscellaneous items. You will need to keep the original and submit copies of ALL of your receipts as proof of your claim. Some policies also may cover a portion of the value of food lost if electricity is out for an extended time. Coverage depends on the specific language in your policy. Contact your agent or insurance company for further details.

Some homeowners insurance policies cover up to $500 toward the cost of tree removal. That coverage limit applies to all downed trees on the property, not each tree. That means regardless of whether you have one or 12 trees come down from the storm, you will receive only one payment from your insurance company, usually no more than $500. If a tree falls on your home or other structure, homeowners insurance should cover the cost of removing the tree from the damaged structure.

“While it is important to report claims to your insurance carrier immediately, you should also be aware that most carriers consider your claims history when determining whether to renew your insurance policy,” Commissioner Goldsmith said Sunday. Filing three or more weather-related claims within a three-year period may lead your insurance company to drop your homeowners policy at its next renewal date. “You should review your policy carefully to make certain that you understand coverage limits and what deductible you must pay for your claim.”

For more information, visit the Maryland Insurance Administration’s information on Insurance Preparedness for Natural Disasters.

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