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Report from MIA Hearings

On December 13-14, 2011, the Maryland Insurance Administration held hearings concerning the availability and affordability of coverage in Maryland’s coastal regions. The Administration invited any interested groups or individuals to provide testimony. Accordingly, the hearings attracted a great deal of interest from industry groups and carriers. Those who testified were nearly unanimous in the belief that there is no coverage availability crisis in Maryland’s coastal region. Indeed, the vast majority of witnesses testified that there is a vibrant and strong free market, in which numerous admitted and surplus lines carriers compete for business. The general consensus was that, while rates tended to be a bit higher in coastal regions than elsewhere, this is due to the enhanced risk associated with coastal properties and businesses, and is not out of line with other similarly situated states.  Read more

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MIA Public Hearings: December 13-14, 2011

The Maryland Insurance Administration will be holding public hearings regarding the availability and affordability of personal and commecial property and casulaty insurance in costal areas on December 13th and 14th 2011, starting at 10:00 a.m.  As surplus lines insurers tend to be heavily involved in providing such coverage in Maryland, these hearing are of significant import to the surplus lines market.  Niles Barton Partner Jason Fetterman will attend the hearings to monitor the MIA’s position regarding these issues.  Craig Roswell, Niles Barton Partner and counsel to the Joint Insurance Association [JIA], will be testifying on December 14th on behalf of the JIA.

MIA To Hold Hearing on Insurance Affordability for Coastal Areas

On December 13 and 14, the Maryland Insurance Administration will hold a public hearing.  The purpose of this hearing is to discuss the availability and affordability for personal and commercial insurance in coastal areas.

According to the Insurance Journal, “several insurance carriers have limited — or stopped altogether — writing new or renewed personal and commercial P/C insurance policies in various coastal areas in the state”.

Niles Barton will be attending these hearings, and providing information on this blog as they proceed.

Maryland Insurance Administration Asserts Jurisdiction Over Surplus Lines Carriers

On September 8, 2011, the Maryland Insurance Administration (“MIA”) issued Bulletin 11-27, in which it advised that surplus lines carriers are “expected to comply” with the Insurance Article’s Percentage Deductable Requirements for homeowner’s policies.

Section 19-209 of the Insurance Article prohibits “insurers” from adopting a deductable that exceeds 5% of the “Coverage A – Dwelling Limit” in cases involving storm or hurricane damage unless the insurer obtained approval from the Insurance Commissioner.  The MIA has now taken the position that this provision applies to surplus lines carriers as well as admitted carriers. Read more