Consumer Alerts

Consumer Alerts

Use the index below to go directly to a particular alert on this page:

Working from Home & Your Insurance Coverage

Do you work from home? Understand the insurance considerations of working out of a home office. #InsureU #WorkFromHome

If you’re lucky enough to work at home or telecommute, you need to make sure you are properly covered. #InsureU #WorkFromHome

Don’t be surprised by gaps in your insurance coverage if you have a home-based business or telecommute. Find out what you need to know. #InsureU #WorkFromHome

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Navigating Home-Sharing Rentals

With the rise of online community marketplaces, more people are renting out rooms or their entire homes for extra income. However, insurance coverage questions arise when an insurer expects a person to be using the home in one way, but
later finds out the conditions have changed. To make sure you are protected, read these tips from the National Association
of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

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Insurance Checklist for the New Year

Make a resolution to review your policies and coverage.

The start of a new year is a great time to reevaluate your insurance coverage needs. Changing circumstances may require updated policies. Did you have a baby? Get married? Purchase a new home or car? If so, you'll want to check whether you
have the right protection.

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Cybersecurity Risk Management

Lock down your assets, secure your data

We increasingly rely on the Internet to work, bank, shop and socialize. Our health and financial information is stored online and devices are connected to control everything from home security systems to thermostats and TVs. While convenient, these connections open the door for possible malicious activity. Help manage your cybersecurity risks with these tips from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

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MID Issues Consumer Alert Following Arrest of Former Sunflower County Insurance Agent

Commissioner of Insurance Mike Chaney and the Mississippi Insurance Department are alerting consumers that there may be issues with policies purchased through the Mid-Delta Insurance Agency in Indianola, Mississippi and its representative, Randal Ray Henson.

Earlier today Mr. Henson was arrested by the Sunflower County Sheriff’s Department and charged with false pretense. The charges are related to Mr. Henson’s failure to forward insurance premium payments on to insurance carriers. The investigation was a joint operation between the Sunflower County Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff James Haywood and the Mississippi Insurance Department.

Randal Ray Henson surrendered his insurance producer’s license to the Mississippi Insurance Department in 2012.

Anyone who purchased a policy from Mid-Delta Insurance Agency or Mr. Henson needs to be aware that their premium payment may not have been sent to their insurance carrier.

“I would strongly suggest that those people contact their insurance company to verify coverage,” Chaney said.

If you do not have contact information for your insurance company, you may call the Consumer Services Division of the Mississippi Insurance Department at 1-800-562-2957 for assistance in contacting your company.

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Air Ambulance Coverage: What You Need to Know

Minutes matter after an accident, heart attack, stroke or other major medical emergency. Air ambulances, also known as medevac services, quickly transport a patient to a medical facility. While some health insurance policies provide coverage for this service, coverage gaps can leave patients struggling to pay large bills. Here are the basics of what you should know about air ambulances from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

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Automobile Physical Damage Claims

One of the most frequent inquiries MID receives is regarding automobile liability insurance policies. Policyholders want to know what they cover, how claims are determined and paid, and advice regarding issues between repair facilities and automobile liability insurance companies. The Automobile Liability Insurance Page is a summary of information, regulations and state law as it relates to the payment of claims and payment to repair facilities.

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Be Alert: Unlicensed Agent Operating in Northeast Mississippi

Commissioner of Insurance Mike Chaney and the Mississippi Insurance Department are alerting consumers that there is an individual operating in the Monroe County area who does not have an agent’s license and has no authority to collect insurance premiums.

Melvin Earl Jackson, Sr. of Aberdeen, MS has been acting as an agent and collecting premiums for two burial associations, (Jackson Mortuary and Burial Insurance, Inc. and Modernistic Burial Association). He has also collected premiums on policies issued by various industrial life insurance companies.

Jackson, the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Mississippi Insurance Department, does not have an agent’s license issued by the Department and has NO authority to collect insurance premiums from anyone or on behalf of any company.

The Mississippi Insurance Department warns consumers that anyone who believes they have policies through Jackson Mortuary and Burial Insurance, Inc. or Modernistic Burial Association, should not pay premiums to Jackson. Any policyholders who have been paying premiums to Jackson or Jackson Mortuary (funeral home) or who have questions about their coverage may call the Mississippi Insurance Department’s Toll Free Consumer Hotline at 1-800-562-2957.

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Pet Insurance: It Could Save Your Pet's Life, Could Save You Money

Pet owners care deeply about their furry family members, sometimes going to great lengths to ensure Fido or Fluffy's health and wellness. Even with excellent care, however, a pet can still get sick or severely injured — and the cost of care can quickly add up. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), Americans spent $16.62 billion on veterinary care in 2017.

Veterinary technology has advanced, and today's pets receive such complex medical treatment as chemotherapy, physical therapy and heart surgery. While these services can help extend or even save a pet's life, they often come at a steep price. As such, many families are faced with making life-or-death decisions based on how much care they can afford.

To help ease the financial burden of caring for a sick or injured fur baby, some families decide to invest in pet insurance. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has these tips to help you get smart about whether pet insurance is right for you.

Your Choices
Just like health insurance for you or a family member, there are several types of pet insurance policies:

  • A pet health insurance policy reimburses the pet owner for specified veterinary care. As with your health insurance policy, these policies typically itemize covered treatments, deductibles (the amount you're responsible to pay) and lifetime or per illness maximums. The cost of the policy may vary based on the amount and type of coverage as well as the breed or species.
  • A pet life insurance policy covers end-of-life costs for your animal. This can include burial or cremation expenses and even bereavement counseling for you and your family.
  • Pet injury coverage may be part of your auto insurance policy. It covers the treatment of a pet injured in a car accident up to a set limit. Check with your insurance agent or company to determine if your auto policy includes coverage for a pet traveling in your car.

What to Compare When Reviewing Your Options
Covered conditions: Some pet health insurance policies may reimburse covered medical expenses for accidents, illnesses, surgeries, X-rays, prescriptions, hospitalizations, emergencies or cancer treatments. Other plans may only cover accident and illness after a waiting period.
Pre-existing Conditions: Hereditary conditions and certain medical conditions are considered pre-existing. Look to see if the conditions are considered curable (stable or controlled pre-existing conditions) or incurable (terminal pre-existing conditions). For pre-existing conditions considered curable, the company may choose to enforce a waiting period before coverage can begin. Conditions considered incurable such as diabetes or cancer may be excluded or may be covered on a limited basis. A veterinarian may need to conduct an examination to certify your pet's health.
Renewable Benefits: If your pet is treated for a covered condition during the policy term, some companies may consider the condition to be pre-existing and will exclude coverage for the condition when the policy is renewed.
Exclusions: Treatments not covered by pet insurance can vary by type of pet or breed. Not all pet insurance plans cover preventative care, dental care not associated with an accident or injury, treatment of behavioral problems, breed-specific hereditary conditions or elective procedures. Treatment of congenital conditions (a condition your pet is born with) or hereditary conditions may have a limited benefit.
Reimbursement: What the insurance company will pay per treatment is explained in a benefits schedule. This list outlines how much — by percentage of cost or dollar amount — the company will pay for treatments. You may be responsible for copays or deductibles. Some companies will pay the vet for services, but often you'll be responsible for the full amount at the time of treatment, and then be reimbursed by the insurer for covered expenses.
Veterinarian Networks: Some pet health insurance policies will require you to use a specific network of veterinarians. Check to see which ones are in your network.

What Questions to Ask
Consider whether you need pet health insurance. Estimate the health costs for your animal's expected life. Take into consideration how much you could afford for emergency treatment or a long illness. Shop around! Compare policy benefits, deductibles, limits and exclusions. If you choose to purchase pet insurance, make time to read the terms and conditions including co-pays, deductibles, limits and exclusions. Double-check the amount of coverage shown in your insurance policy.

Checklist of questions to ask your insurance agent or company:

  • Can I choose any veterinarian?
  • What is the deductible and copay?
  • Does the policy cover annual wellness exams?
  • Are prescription drugs covered?
  • What about spaying or neutering charges?
  • Does the policy have renewable benefits?
  • Is there a waiting period before coverage becomes effective?
  • Does my pet need a health exam to qualify for the policy?
  • If my pet has a pre-existing condition or chronic condition, how is it covered or excluded?
  • How long do you take to pay claims?
  • Does this plan cover advertising costs and rewards if my pet is lost or stolen?
  • Does this plan have end-of-life benefits?

Other Pet Risk-Management Tools
Wellness Programs: In addition to pet insurance, some veterinary offices offer their own wellness plans for items traditionally not covered by pet insurance, such as vaccinations and examinations.
Discount Plans: There are some national discount programs that offer veterinary service discounts for a monthly fee. Typically, veterinarians who are part of a network must be used to receive the discount.
Pet Pharmacies: Many pharmacies, like those at discount stores, carry pet prescriptions.
Homeowners Insurance: Homeowners and renter's policies can sometimes assist with covering pet-related expenses on your property. If pets are harmed at home when owners are following the laws of their jurisdiction (such as leash laws), offending parties may be liable for your pets' medical bills. Additionally, arrangements such as boarding may be covered for pets when a homeowner incurs additional living expenses while the home is being repaired for a covered loss. However, homeowners need to know whether their animal is excluded by their insurance carrier due to the animal breed or aggressive history. There may be an option for additional or specific liability coverage to cover these risks.

More Information
Pet insurance, like other kinds of insurance, is regulated by your state insurance department. To make sure an agent selling pet insurance is licensed in your state, or if you have questions about pet insurance, contact the Mississippi Insurance Department Consumer Services Division — 1-800-562-2957

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