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The Maryland Insurance Administration is the latest department to address insurers regarding the theft of certain Hyundai and Kia models due to media announcements that certain carriers are restricting coverage due to a spike in thefts because of instructions in an online video. A bulletin was issued on February 21 reminding insurers that underwriting guidelines may not be unfairly discriminatory and must be reasonably related to the company’s business and economic purposes.

Rates and rules are to be filed with the Administration for approval before use. Likewise, an insurer is required to use the rates it has on file and may not refuse to insure a risk when filed rates exist. The Administration is not aware of any insurer that does not have filed rates for the models in question, and therefore considers any refusal to provide coverage for those models a violation of Maryland law. Also, the Administration has reviewed existing guidelines and has found no insurer exclusions for those particular models. The potential impact of thefts of these models on any insurer does not warrant excluding those vehicles. Any rate or rule filing affecting the models in question should be limited to comprehensive coverage only, and the models may not be excluded from the rating as a whole. Any insurer considering such a change is required to consult the Administration.

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Christine G. Barlow, CPCU

Christine G. Barlow, CPCU, is Executive Editor of FC&S Expert Coverage Interpretation, a division of National Underwriter Company and ALM. Christine has over thirty years’ experience in the insurance industry, beginning as a claims adjuster then working as an underwriter and underwriting supervisor handling personal lines. Christine regularly presents and moderates webinars on a variety of topics and is an experienced presenter.  

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