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Insurance commissioner responds to report of auto premium increases on members of military

Delaware’s insurance commissioner is responding to a Consumer Federation of America (CFA) report that service members may return home from deployment to increased auto insurance premiums.";

Delaware’s insurance commissioner is reacting to a report showing that First State service members may return home to increased auto insurance premiums.


The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) recently distributed a letter to state insurance commissioners, including Delaware’s Trinidad Navarro, detailing an investigation into the “patriot penalty.”

“And what they have found is that our heroes who are being deployed - whether overseas, domestically, or in international waters - because they don’t need auto insurance because they’re deployed, they’re dropping their coverage and in some cases when they come home the insurance companies are either raising their rates exponentially or not covering them at all,” said Navarro.

Navarro says Delaware banned this practice back in 2008 after a First State resident who served in Iraq for almost a year experienced a premium increase in their auto insurance upon returning home. But Navarro explains it can still happen with some insurance companies.


“Companies often work in the gray areas or do things until they’re caught," said Navarro. "And they sometimes try to take short-cuts and - in my opinion - often short consumers on their obligations. And until they’re caught they see this as the cost of doing business.”


Navarro issued a formal notice to all Delaware auto insurance companies, reminding them the practice is illegal in Delaware.


"And if we find that it’s occurring, we’re going to investigate it and we’re going to hold those companies accountable,” Navarro said.


Navarro adds he wants to work with state legislators to revisit the law locally to make sure those serving domestically are better protected.


Navarro says the chair of the House Banking and Insurance Committee, State Rep. Bill Bush (D-Cheswold), and State Senator Trey Paradee (D-Dover) support updating state law.

And Navarro is urging any member of the military or their families who think they may have experienced a “patriot penalty” to call his office at (302) 674-7300.