Where can I find state by state ins laws for coverage etc?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:16 am   Post subject: Where can I find state by state ins laws for coverage etc?  

After just facing our first total loss, I am beginning to realize the differences that states have in their insurance laws/regs.



My wife and I are both active duty Military. We own property in our home state (MT) and are stationed in another, (AL).



We have insurance with USAA on our house in MT, renter's insurance in AL, and auto insurance in AL.



Both my bikes and our Motorhome are insured in Montana under military second garaging exemption clauses with Progressive. This was offered to us by our Progressive Direct insurance agent, so I'm assuming it's alright. The reality it, the bikes are both dual sport bikes, they rarely see the street but are both fully insured due to their age (2008 models).



We are considering changing our insurance coverage as well if our home state's insurance laws are more friendly to us in the event of a claim.



We own property in other states as well, so if you can recommend the top states for consumer protective insurance regs, I'd like to know how each one stands up to the other.



If we have a claim in a state other than our home of record state, will we be bound to the state we are traveling in, or our policy's regs for our home state?



Things I'm looking for are ACV verses replacement value, personal property extensions to cover contents of the vehicle, after market add-ons to the vehicle that are not a part of the CCC type appraisals.



Any suggestions that can offered to help us be better informed ahead of a claim would be greatly appreciated. Unfortunately, I was ignorant to assume we were fully covered with no need to worry about things like this. Being stupid enough to put myself in this position twice is not going to happen, even if I have to consult an attorney to review any future policies we sign. Knowing what options we have in general is what I'm hoping from here.



Thank you in advance and Merry Christmas



Kleineigel

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 5:02 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
We are considering changing our insurance coverage as well if our home state's insurance laws are more friendly to us in the event of a claim.
Where your policy is based does not change the coverage of your policy. For your 1st party losses (losses to you), the wording of the policy applies. For 3rd party losses (losses you cause to others), the state laws where the loss occurs applies. Your policies need to be written in the appropriate state and this is based on your situation. If it's a home in MT, your homeowners policy will obviously be based in MT. If you own a vehicle and it's registered in AL but your stationed there, your auto policy would probably be based in AL (as the vehicle is registered there) but you might have a MT policy as your in the military. I'm not sure how that works but USAA will know and be able to advise.



So it's usually not a choice, it's whats appropriate.



USAA uses CCC to evaluate total loss vehicles. If you have an auto policy with USAA, there is no way around this.



Your question really needs to be more specific as it's really all over the place. Rather then looking for all the answers here to such a broad reaching question, I'd recommend that you speak to an agent who can review all your needs and let you know what is best.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 5:36 am   Post subject:   

We spoke to an agent, asked specific questions, all of the answers we were given have proven incorrect now that we are dealing with a claim Sad



I'll try to be more specific. Is there any place I can read state by state insurance regs? I am trying to decide where we want to base our coverage from before I start getting insurance quotes. If I have more rights as a policyholder in one state verses another, that is what I'm trying to get out of this thread.



I am not interested in insurance company specific regs such as USAA verses Farmer's Insurance, I am interested in a way to know if a state has more policyholder friendly laws over another, across the board for all underwriter's that write policies within that state.



If there is no benefit from one state to another, are there specific things I need to add to a policy when starting one? I'm willing to pay more coverage, so long as it is truely capable of putting me back to pre-loss financially. ACV as I have come to see it is not what I am willing to take on my remaining vehicles that have substantially more invested in them.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 5:48 am   Post subject:   

"More rights" can cover everything in civil code! If that is really your question, I'd have to say the law section of the local library.



As mentioned, you really don't have a choice in the matter. Liability goes with the location of the loss and the policy from the insurance company for 1st party losses... is... well, the policy. There _might_ be a slight change of the policy language in a certain state but I doubt any slight change is going to make any difference on a 1st party loss. One example I can think of is from recent topics here... GA allowed 1st party Diminishment of Value losses. But this is why I mention that you really don't have much of a choice when it comes to the base state of the policy. At _best_ it's either MT or AL.



As far as a "better then ACV" policy on a vehicle, the only auto policy that I know of that would be any different is a Valued Policy. But usually these are on custom vehicles or truly rare vehicles. But still, it's not a question of "state insurance regulations", its still a matter of policy wording and at best, you'd only be able to choose MT or AL.



If you really want to see the difference, you could ask USAA or Progressive to send you a copy of the standard policy for those states. I'm betting that all the 1st party coverage is going to be the same.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:12 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
If we have a claim in a state other than our home of record state, will we be bound to the state we are traveling in, or our policy's regs for our home state?
It's both, for example say you live a bought a policy in a non-pip state, and have an accident in a pip (no fault) state, well now you have pip...say you have Minn. policy and wreck in MO, your Minn policy which bans use of a/m parts without your consent stays in tact..



It is very confusing...and I've been at this for well...ever!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:07 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
I am trying to decide where we want to base our coverage from before I start getting insurance quotes.




Well, as far I understand you can't actually base your coverage upon your choice, if you're a resident of MT you have to purchase and abide by the insurance laws of the state. It certainly isn't a matter of choice.



Secondly, you're free to shop around for better deals of insurance, the state laws have no bearing with it, but you have required to abide by the state guidelines, like-every state has a state minimum level of auto coverage which you're required maintain on your policy.



Lastly,

Quote:
If I have more rights as a policyholder in one state verses another, that is what I'm trying to get out of this thread.




Every state has placed enough binding laws for the insurers operating in their territory. Hence, as a consumer your rights are actually protected, like- your claim can't be denied wrongfully and such. For more details you can visit the site of the insurance commissioner of the state.



~jeremy


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:52 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
It's both, for example say you live a bought a policy in a non-pip state, and have an accident in a pip (no fault) state, well now you have pip...say you have Minn. policy and wreck in MO, your Minn policy which bans use of a/m parts without your consent stays in tact..



It is very confusing...and I've been at this for well...ever!




These are some of things I'm referring to. Which states ban use of A/M parts without my consent?



Which states have pip, which do not?



These are things that each state has control over within their boundaries, insurance companies have to accept the laws of the state they are providing coverage in, or they simply don't underwrite in that state correct?....



I know the laws in Montana are not friendly to Insurance underwriters for business insurance, since I had 2 underwriters stop providing coverage within Montana for contractor liability in 2003. The Capitol put down new regs and several underwriters pulled out as a result. I'm betting there are similar issues with automotive policies in other states, depending on the consumer protective groups input verses the insurance lobbyists input to the lawmakers.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:09 pm   Post subject:   

Jeremy,

Active Duty military have exemptions due to their home of record/ state of residence. I am a legal resident of Montana, but if I'm stationed in any other other state for duty, I have the choice of either my home of record/ residence or the state I am stationed in. The only thing I have to do is insure my poicy limits meet the minimum for the the state I am serving at.



Example: Montana may require a minimum of $10.00 of coverage for widgits, but Georgia requires a minimum $15.00 of coverade for widgits. All I am required to do is make sure my Montana policy is written for $15.00 of widgit coverage. The state I am stationed at can not force any local ordinance or laws on me beyond that. My driver's license is still Montana, my voter registration is still Montana and my Car's title and plates are still Montana. Everynight, I sleep in Alabama as a non-resident.

This was a very confusing topic for me for quite a while. California was the worst for honoring it, they mandated Smog tests on military for CA emissions levels. It was eventually shut down due to the military servicemember's acts by the Fed's.



Bottom line is, I know I am a special circumstance compared to most residents who reside within their own state and MUST have a policy reflecting that. The only exception being a full time RVer possibly, but even that is questionable since they don't have federal laws protecting them past 30 days for non-resident status.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:10 pm   Post subject:   

Question... are you planning to move to these states in order to obtain that coverage? Or are you planning to be involved in an accident in that state for the same reason?



If you live in MT, you get a MT based policy. If you live in AL, you get an AL based policy. You can't live in AL and get a MO based policy. Also, if you lived in one state, another states laws would not apply unless your loss occured in that state.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:17 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
My driver's license is still Montana, my voter registration is still Montana and my Car's title and plates are still Montana. Everynight, I sleep in Alabama as a non-resident.
Then you get a Montana based policy. I doubt you could claim your a non-resident of AL and then get a policy based on that state.



But if nothing else, as mentioned, you only have a choice of 2 states. But I still think that won't happen either.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:14 pm   Post subject:   

Tcope,

I currently have an Alabama based policy on my Montana plated vehicles. USAA gave us the option to continue our Montana policy with "out of state garaging" amendments or switch to an Alabama policy when we first transferred here. If it was illegal, USAA would never have written the policy, not would Progressive who insures my bikes and RV under a Montana policy with "out of state garaging".



Whether I am legally capable of doing this is not what I'm asking, we already do it. What I'm asking for is how to evaluate which state may offer more protections or rights over another.



We are facing a transfer to another state in summer of '09, so deciding on this now is part of what I'm trying to prepare for. We do have input as to where we take assignment to next.

Prospective states we are trying to decide from are: Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming, Nebraska or Washington D.C. (Overseas assignments will negate this completely, since we will enroll in a military abroad insurance policy, but that is not likely in our job fields).

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:45 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Jeremy,

Active Duty military have exemptions due to their home of record/ state of residence. I am a legal resident of Montana, but if I'm stationed in any other other state for duty, I have the choice of either my home of record/ residence or the state I am stationed in.




OIC, its really something interesting to know.



Quote:
Which states have pip, which do not?




Well, both Alabama and Montana are tort states, hence, pip isn't a mandatory requirement in either of them.



In the state of Alabama, the motorist is required to maintain liability coverage of 20/40/10, i.e. $20,000 towards the bodily injury for single person injury, $40,000 for all the people involved in the accident, and, $10, 000 for the property damage.



Montana, on the other hand, requires liability coverage of 25/50/10. in addition to that Montana don't apply a law to UM coverage. The driver, however, may opt the UM coverage limit of which should match the limit of the BI coverage.



Further in Montana the motorcyclists are exempted from maintaining liability coverage.



For further information you may refer to the USA Auto Insurance Laws available in the site.





~Jeremy


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:18 am   Post subject:   

Regarding the use of the after market parts in repairing the car. Most of the states allow the insurers to use the AME parts in fixing the vehicle. The exception seems to be Minnesota, which strictly prohibits the use of the aftermarket parts in mending damaged vehicles.



You should check with the state's DMV or the insurance regulator's office for more information in this regard.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 1:46 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
which strictly prohibits the use of the aftermarket parts in mending damaged vehicles
Just to clarify MN doesn't prohibit them...it does prohibit them unless the insured ok's them...



OP there are also many companys that offer 'OEM PARTS' endorcements if this is something that you are very concerned with...



I would suggest that you check each states Dept of Ins website, this will give you both the negligence laws of the state, as well miniums and optional coverages etc...that way you can make a better decision...as to which states are PIP/no fault...many, I dont' know the numbers actually I think this site has that info, but I don't know if it's up to date, and there are changes that do occur, that is why I would suggest checking the DOI sites of each state. just google ''NE dept of ins' and you'll get there...regardless of the state of policy, your policy MUST conform to the state laws that vehicle enters (in the instance of a claim). If I drive three miles from MO to KS get into an accident my MO policy all of a sudden has PIP...


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