Maryland, named for Queen Henrietta Maria and nicknamed the Old Line State, is a small but undeniably mighty part of the Union. Consider that Maryland is the ninth smallest state (by area), yet numbers nineteenth in terms of population, and has the distinction of being the wealthiest state in the country, with residents enjoying the highest median household income in the U.S. Surrounded by so many neighbors and with so much in their homes to protect, purchasing insurance in Maryland should be a priority for responsible residents.
Thousands of professionals are open for business
Apparently most Maryland residents are heeding the call for coverage; the state boasts a thriving $27 billion insurance industry, and lists more than 47,000 professional insurance agents and more than 1,400 insurance companies serving policyholders in the state. No doubt the agents and insurers alike will have their hands full in dealing with claims resulting from Sandy, the super-storm that battered the Eastern seaboard recently. Hurricanes and tropical storms have historically presented danger to Maryland residents, swelling streams, rivers, bays, and tributaries to the point of flooding.
Since 1872, Maryland residents have had the Maryland Insurance Administration in their corner. The agency serves as a regulating body for the state’s insurance industry, monitors the solvency of insurance companies, provides materials for consumers to learn more about insurance, and investigates complaints filed by consumers. The Administration is responsible for settling nearly $17 million in life, health, property, and casualty-related disputes in 2009.
Also solidly in their clients’ corner are professional insurance agents, who offer a wealth of insurance products and advice. Insurance agents (or producers, as they are known within the industry), help consumers understand the intricacies of insurance-life and health insurance, and/or property and casualty insurance–explaining features and benefits, comparing products from different insurance companies, and offering advice based on an analysis of the customer’s particular needs. Independent agents offer insurance policies from a variety of companies, while so-called “captive” agents represent a single insurance company and offer only that company’s insurance products for sale.
Turn to a professional agent for assessment and guidance
Of course, a professional insurance agent does much more than sell insurance policies. He or she is a vital resource for detailed information about coverage that is specific to the policyholder-information that may not be readily available on the Internet, if at all, and certainly not tailored to fit the specific risk and financial profile of the reader. An agent is there to answer complex questions about coverage details, provide contextual valuable risk management advice, and lead the way to a successful resolution if and when the time comes that a claim must be filed. A professional insurance agent is a trusted advisor, particularly in the aftermath of an extreme weather event-so one can be sure that insurance agents’ phones will be ringing off the hook these days with calls from consumers concerned about insurance in Maryland.