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News | News Release Contact: Katha Treanor, (804) 371-9141
For Immediate Release: January 15, 2013
Listen SCC’S BUREAU OF INSURANCE OFFERS TIPS FOR GETTING YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE IN ORDER FOR 2013

RICHMOND — With the arrival of the new year, the State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) Bureau of Insurance reminds Virginians that now is a good time to evaluate your insurance coverage. Whether you are insuring your home, auto or health, it is important to make sure your insurance is up-to-date and will provide the coverage you need in the event you have to file a claim.

“Resolve to review your insurance policy and make sure you understand what it does and does not cover. If you have questions, contact your insurance agent or company,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jacqueline K. Cunningham.

The Bureau of Insurance offers the following tips and reminders to help with your review:

Homeowners/Renters Insurance

Now is a great time to review your home inventory and make sure your homeowners or renters policy is up-to-date. Make sure your holiday decorations and any big-ticket items you received during the holidays such as jewelry, antiques or electronics are included in the home inventory. Include as many details as you can and take a photo of each item. Ask your insurance agent or company if additional coverage is needed for any of these items.

If you are starting a home inventory from scratch, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers a free smartphone app – myHomeScr.APP.book – that can facilitate the process. Download the app from iTunesExternal Link logo or Google PlayExternal Link logo. For more information about creating a home inventory or to download a paper home inventory checklist, visit the NAIC website at www.insureuonline.org/home_inventory_page.htmExternal Link logo.

Auto Insurance

Winter can be a challenge for all drivers. One step toward becoming winter-ready is to check your auto insurance policy.

Make sure you have adequate coverage. Liability is part of the policy that pays for any injury or damage if you cause an accident. If your liability insurance is too low, it is possible that you could be sued for any damages above your liability limits.

Also review your deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverage. Raising or lowering this amount can affect your premium.

Be sure to take advantage of any available discounts for such things as good driving, good student, multiple vehicles or multiple policies.

Keep a copy of your insurance card and your insurance agent or company’s phone number in the car. It is also a good idea to have a way to record details of an accident if you are in one. The NAIC smartphone application WreckCheck walks you through the process of gathering information following an accident. You can then email your notes directly to your agent. Download the free app from iTunesExternal Link logo or Google PlayExternal Link logo.

Health Insurance

Many Virginians recently went through the open enrollment process for their health insurance at work or Medicare Open Enrollment, which means you may have new insurance cards and paperwork coming in the mail. The Bureau of Insurance suggests getting all of this information together before winter illness or accidents happen.

Check your provider lists to verify that visits to your doctor and any specialists are still covered by your policy, as in-network or preferred provider lists change from year to year. Also read through your documents and make note of your co-pays for in-network and out-of-network providers so you are not surprised later.

If you plan a vacation away from home, check with your insurance carrier to identify urgent care centers and hospitals that accept your insurance coverage near your destination and along the way.

If you have questions about your insurance options or your insurance coverage, contact the Virginia Bureau of Insurance in Richmond at (804) 371-9741 or toll-free in Virginia at 1-800-552-7945 or visit its website at www.scc.virginia.gov/boi. Additional information may also be found on the InsureU portion of the NAIC website at www.insureuonline.orgExternal Link logo.

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