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DIFS Offers Help to Navigate Holiday Mishaps
December 14, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 14, 2023
(LANSING, MICH) As we enter the holiday season, close the books on 2023, and look forward to the new year, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) recommends reviewing your insurance policies and other important financial information. Taking a few minutes now can protect you from potential headaches during the holidays and ensure that your family has the protection you need going forward. It is also a good time to make sure you have a plan, such as a dedicated emergency fund, in case you need to pay your insurance policy’s deductible or copay in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
“As we navigate this busy time of year with family and friends, it is a good idea to review your auto and homeowners insurance policies and to safeguard your financial information,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Understanding your coverages and making sure you are financially prepared for any unforeseen mishaps can give you peace of mind during the holidays and into the new year.”
The following are examples of some common mishaps, and information on how to better protect yourself before you experience a loss.
- Icy road conditions result in an auto accident while you are driving to a family gathering.Because Michigan is a no-fault state, everyone seeks coverage under their own auto insurance policy for medical costs. Coverage for damage to your vehicle is only available if you purchased optional collision coverage as part of your auto insurance policy. Talk with your insurance agent or company to understand your coverage before you experience a loss.
- You start your car to warm it up before going holiday shopping because it is cold outside. When you go to get in your car, it’s gone.You must carry an optional coverage known as comprehensive if you want to have coverage in the event your vehicle is stolen.
- Presents are stolen from your home or your vehicle.Personal belongings that are stolen from your vehicle are NOT covered by your auto insurance, but may be covered under your homeowners, condominium, or renter’s insurance. Standard policies provide coverage with special limits for certain goods, such as electronics and jewelry. Check your policy for specific item limits and be sure to add newly acquired items to your policy as soon as possible to ensure you are covered. It is also a good idea to add the items to your home inventory. Always keep receipts to ensure that you can provide documentation to your insurer for the items purchased.
- Someone slips and falls on your icy front steps while making a delivery.A standard homeowners insurance policy may provide coverage for limited medical payments when a visitor is injured at your home. Your policy may also provide liability coverage to protect you in the event you are sued. Check with your insurance agent or company to be sure you have adequate liability limits.
- High winds, ice buildup, or a snowstorm cause tree branches to fall and damage the roof of your house.Damage to your home from a storm or a fallen tree, as well as the resulting tree removal, is generally covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy, subject to any applicable deductibles and policy limits. You may consider reviewing your homeowners policy with your insurance agent or company to ensure your home is properly covered.
Credit Card Theft
- Your credit card information is stolen and used to make unauthorized purchases. You may be protected from these unauthorized purchases as part of your contract with your financial institution or credit card company. However, there is no coverage if, for example, someone you entrust with your card makes a purchase. It is important to keep your financial information protected, and to contact your financial institution or credit card company right away if you believe your credit card or other personal information has been compromised. Consider talking to your insurance company or agent about adding coverage to your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy to protect yourself in the event of identity theft.
- You step on a broken ornament and end up taking a trip to an urgent care while out of state.Your office visit may be covered under your health insurance policy. While you are traveling, it’s important to know the location of health insurance information for all family members—including your identification cards and contact information for your health insurance company. If you are able, you should check with your insurance company about in-network health care providers before seeking care to avoid higher out-of-pocket costs.
For more tips on preparing your family for winter, visit the Michigan State Police’s preparedness website at Michigan.gov/MIReady. For questions or concerns about your insurance or financial services, contact DIFS 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442, or file a complaint by visiting Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints.
The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.