The following are some frequently asked questions the Consumer Services section receives on insurance matters. Please feel free to contact the Consumer Services Division with general questions you have about insurance or if you have problems or complaints by email, or call 1-800-282-8611 in Delaware or (302) 674-7310.
Q. What kind of insurance do I need for a condominium?
Condo insurance is similar to a renter or tenant policy. The policy covers contents that you own within the four walls of the unit. Everything else is owned by the condo association. Generally, there are two types of policies. A bare wall policy covers only the basics from the wallboard to standard cabinets, fixtures, and flooring. The second type of policy provides all-in coverage for improvements and up-grades. If you do any remodeling, this is the policy you should purchase. It is best to give your agent copies of the association’s master policy and by-laws so that he or she can recommend the coverage suited to your needs. These documents should be given to you at the time of purchase.
Q. Should I purchase a cash value policy or a replacement value policy?
A cash value policy is based on the depreciation of the stolen or destroyed item. Payment is based on age and condition at the time of loss. This is a very limited coverage. A replacement cost policy allows for the value of the item at the current market price for the like, kind and quality of the item. This policy requires that you actually replace the item. If you do not, you would be paid the depreciated value until you do replace it.
Q. My Short-Term or Long-Term Disability claim has been denied and I’m no longer receiving my payment checks. What do I do?
First, you will need to find out what the company’s denial reason is and what the appeal guidelines are. To file a complaint to the department, and an appeal is available, you will need to submit:
- A written appeal request
- Letters of continued disability from ALL your treating providers
- Any new/not previously reviewed medical records, notes, test results to include: proof of continued care, course of treatment plan, and final prognosis.
**Please note, the department has limited authority or jurisdiction under Delaware Title 18 Insurance Laws regarding disability policies. WE CANNOT MAKE MEDICAL DECISIONS. The member has the right to bring a civil action under Section 502(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
Q. I was told the Department sells insurance. Can you tell me which carrier would be best?
As a regulatory agency, we enforce the current insurance laws for insurance carriers and agents/producers licensed in the state of Delaware. We do not sell insurance and as a regulatory agency, we have to remain impartial and cannot recommend or suggest one carrier over another.
Q. Where can I get homeowner’s insurance?
There are many resources to assist you in obtaining homeowners insurance.
- You may access the Department’s website to utilize our online rate comparison tool that provides a list of insurers, contact information and sample premiums
- Contact insurance agents/producers in the yellow pages of the phone book
- Contact insurance companies directly
- If you are not able to obtain homeowners insurance through a standard voluntary market, you may contact the Delaware FAIR Plan by phone at (800) 462-4972 or www.defairplan.com
Q. When can an insurance company cancel a homeowner policy after the coverage has been in effect for more than 60 days?
The policy may be cancelled when:
- The premium payment is not paid by the due date.
- There is fraud or material misrepresentation made by the policyholder.
- Willful or reckless acts or omissions by the policyholder increases property hazards.
- A change in the risk increases property hazard.
- A violation of fire, health, safety, building or construction regulation or ordinance increases any hazard.
- The continuation of the policy would place the insurance company in violation of state insurance laws.
- Taxes owed on the property have been delinquent for 2 or more years.
Q. When can an insurance company non-renew a homeowner policy?
A policy can be non-renewed when:
- 3 or more weather related claims have been made during the 36 months immediately preceding the expiration of the current policy period.
- 2 or more non-weather related claims have been made.
- A combination of weather related and non-weather related claims have been made during the 36 months immediately preceding the expiration of the current policy period.
- There has been a substantial change or increase in the hazard or risk.
- The policyholder has refused or failed to make necessary changes or repairs that change or increase the hazard or risk.
Q. My loved one has passed away and I think they had a life insurance policy but can’t find it. How do I find out if they had a life insurance policy?
The Delaware Department of Insurance (the “Department”) provides a missing policy search service to Delaware residents and their families to help them identify Delaware in force individual life insurance policies on the life of a deceased family member or Delaware individual annuity contracts where the deceased family member is an annuitant. This search applies only to companies who currently sell these products in Delaware. This a consumer service provided to Delawareans in an attempt to assist consumers and the Department does not guarantee that a policy will be located.
Who can submit a request: An executor, beneficiary or legal representative of:
- a deceased resident of Delaware; or
- a deceased, former resident of Delaware, who resided in Delaware at the time a policy was issued or an annuity purchased
Q. Is a 16 year old required to be placed on their parents’ auto policy when they first get their license/permit or can they wait until the license graduates at 17 years old?
The decision is totally up to the Insurance Company underwriting guidelines. Delaware does not have a law that requires a 16 year old with a permit to be placed on their parents’ policy, the insurance company underwriting department can make that decision.
If the 16 year old gets into an accident and the insurance company previously decided not to place them on the policy until the license graduates; the 16 year old will be force-placed on the policy and rated as well.