Getting cheap auto insurance in Maryland
If you’re moving from state to state or trying to figure out if you can save some cash by changing your insurance plan, you need to know your state’s minimum requirements.
Each state has its own auto insurance guidelines — some are at-fault states, others are no-fault; a few require specific liability insurance while most are more lenient. Some states even have alternatives to car insurance for high-risk drivers. Compare Maryland’s car insurance requirements and how to get the best value for your coverage.
Tips for cheap car insurance anywhere
No matter what state you live in, these tips can be helpful when you’re looking to pay less for your auto insurance coverage.
- Don’t drive a flashy car. You might think California’s beaches deserve a view from your convertible. But a Honda Civic will be more reasonable to insure than a Maserati.
- Drop collision and comprehension on older cars. Your car’s value determines your maximum payout after an accident or theft. If you commute in a beater along the 405, you don’t even need this protection.
- Increase your deductible. Your deductible is what you agree to pay after an accident. Raising it decreases how much of the tab your provider picks up after a fender bender or worse.
- Take care on the road. Accidents and tickets are surefire ways to push your premium higher. Clean records tend to get the best rates — and you might even qualify for a safe-driver discount.
- Use anti-theft devices. The California Department of Justice reports more than 240,000 auto thefts in just 2006 alone. Some providers offer discounts for even passive devices, like steering wheel locks.
- Look for local insurers. That provider around the corner might be hungrier for your business and could offer cheaper rates.
- Keep on top of your bills. A growing number of providers check credit scores when determining your rates. California doesn’t — it’s against the law — but paying your annual premium up front could keep a few dollars in your pocket.
- Bundle your policies. Group renter’s or home insurance under your car insurance umbrella to reduce what you pay across the board.
Cheapest car insurance in Maryland
|Company||Average annual rate||Learn more|
Compare Maryland car insurance
Car insurance requirements in Maryland
Maryland drivers typically pay something close to the national average for annual car insurance costs — right around $1,300 a year, or about $110 a month. So if you’re over 25 and you don’t have too many black marks on your driving record, you can probably expect something in that ballpark as well.
However, since car insurance costs can be affected by a whole host of outside factors, you could still ending up getting a better-than-average rate — or you could end up paying far too much. Some of those factors include:
- Age. Young drivers under 25, as well as seniors, will pay more for car insurance. Drivers under 25 — and especially male drivers under 25 — are believed by the insurance industry to be at high risk for car accidents. This means the older you get, the lower your car insurance rates will tend to be, until you reach a certain age.
- Gender. Men can often expect higher premiums. This is sometimes further modified by age and marital status; the differences in cost between men and women mostly disappear by the age of 35.
- Driving experience. L platers and P platers typically pay more, which often compounds the effect of age on premiums.
- Type of car. You might think screaming down the highway in a red Corvette sounds like fun, and you’re probably right, but luxury and sports cars are almost always more costly to insure than sedans and minivans. This is for several reasons, but mostly because fast cars tend to be driven fast, putting these cars and their drivers at a higher risk for accidents.
- Occupation. People who have long commutes or who drive around all day for work — say, outside sales representatives or transporters — can expect higher premiums. However, many professionals who drive a lot have work vehicles, or else have car insurance coverage through their employers to cover their mileage when they’re on the clock.
- Marital status. Single people are seen by insurers as less stable than their married counterparts. If you get married, you’ll see your premiums decrease right away.
- Location. Some places are at higher risk of theft, vandalism and other potential hazards, which incurs higher costs. Urban drivers are at higher risk for an accident than people who live far outside the city limits. Similarly, if one area is more prone to flooding or storms you may expect this to impact your premiums.
- Claims history. The more car insurance claims you have made in the past, the higher your premiums will generally be.
- Driving record. The more violations you have on your driving record, the more you can expect to pay for your car insurance. If you’re notorious for speeding, driving under the influence or trying to start a drag race at every red light, your insurer will likely know about it and raise prices accordingly.
- Credit score. Like it or not, nearly all auto insurance providers use your credit score to help calculate your risk before arriving at a policy cost. This is because multiple independent studies indicate that if your credit score is low, you’re more likely to be involved in an accident.
However, there are a few states where car insurance providers aren’t allowed to use credit to determine rates — California, Massachusetts and Hawaii.
- Other drivers. Only certain people will be approved to drive the car, and all of them impact the cost. Even the world’s safest driver will get a substantial price hike by listing another less-safe driver on the policy.
- Typical driving habits. Your typical distance driven, how often you get behind the wheel and where you drive all play a part in your car insurance prices.
Maryland’s car insurance minimums
In order to legally drive in Maryland, you’ll need minimum liability insurance, including:
- $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person.
- $60,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident.
- $15,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident.
When shopping for car insurance, you’ll sometimes see this written as 30/60/15.
Some states require drivers to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorists coverage (UM/UIM coverage), which protects them in case they get into an accident with someone without proper insurance coverage. Maryland requires you to buy this coverage at the same minimums as your liability insurance plan. To learn more about this kind of coverage and why it might be a good idea, even when it isn’t legally required, visit our guide to uninsured motorist insurance.
You’ll also need to purchase at least a $2,500 personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP coverage helps pay for medical expenses, regardless of who was at-fault for the car accident. You can choose either full or limited coverage. Limited coverage covers children under 16 in your household and injured pedestrians. But, it doesn’t cover you, the policyholder or household members older than 16.
You can also get additional types of insurance to better protect yourself, including:
- Collision. Helps pay for repairs if your car is damaged in an accident.
- Comprehensive. Covers you in case your car is damaged by something other than an accident — for instance, a fire or vandalism.
- Towing and labor. Provides reimbursement for towing and labor required when your car is damaged in an accident.
- Rental car coverage. Assists the expenses associated with renting a car after an accident.
What happens if I’m driving in Maryland and I don’t have insurance?
If you are found driving without insurance, you face the following penalties:
Regardless of who’s at fault, if you are uninsured and are in an accident in Maryland, you face consequences like:
- Suspension of your plates and registration.
- $150 fine for the first 30 days of not having car insurance, and a $7 fine for each additional day.
- $30 registration restoration fee once you’re reinsured.
- You won’t be allowed to register or renew any car until your violations are cleared.
What can I use as proof of insurance in this state?
Unlike most states, Maryland does not accept your insurance ID card as proof of insurance. Instead, all government agencies, including law enforcement officers performing a traffic stop, will check the an electronic database to check your car insurance.
Your car insurance carrier should report your car insurance status to the Maryland DMV. As a driver, you should be sure your information with your insurance company is correct; this way, there shouldn’t be any trouble if information needs to be verified electronically.
Remember that while you may not need insurance for a traffic stop, if you get into a car accident you’ll still need it to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver.
Uninsured drivers in Maryland
The state of Maryland requires that all of its drivers have insurance. The Insurance Research Council estimates that 12.2% of Maryland drivers are uninsured — just below the 12.6% national average.
To protect yourself from damages in a car accident, consider adding uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance to your policy. To learn more about this kind of coverage and why you might need it, check out our guide on the topic.
Auto insurance providers for drivers in Maryland
Drunk driving laws in Maryland
Maryland’s drunk driving laws use the same standards as the rest of the US — having a BAC over 0.08% is enough to get a DUI, and if you’re a commercial driver, all it takes is a BAC of 0.04%.
Anyone who’s caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can expect steep fines, a suspension of their driver’s license or car registration, and possible jail time or community service. How severe the punishment is will depend on whether it’s a first offense, as well as whether anyone was injured or if severe property damage was done.
|1st Offense||2nd Offense||3rd Offense|
|Jail||Up to 1 year (DUI); up to 2 months (DWI)||Up to 2 years (DUI); up to 1 year (DWI)||Up to 3 years|
|Fines and Penalties||Up to $1,000 (DUI); up to $500 (DWI)||Up to $2,000 (DUI); up to $500 (DWI)||Up to $3,000|
|License Suspension||Minimum of 6 months (DUI & DWI)||1 year (DUI & DWI)||Minimum of 18 months|
Does Maryland require SR-22?
No, Maryland is one of a few states that doesn’t require an SR-22. An SR-22 is a form of financial responsibility your insurance provider files with the state DMV to prove you have minimum coverage.
Maryland’s implied consent law
Maryland has a law of implied consent, which means if you’re driving on the road, you’re giving your consent to be tested for alcohol or drugs if an officer suspects you’re under the influence. And the end result is that if an officer asks you to take a roadside alcohol breath test or sobriety test, you’re legally obligated to comply.
What if you’ve been drinking, and don’t want to incriminate yourself by taking the test? What about if you haven’t been drinking at all, and just don’t want to submit to a test you feel is unfair or unnecessary? Because of this implied consent law, you can face consequences for refusing a test, even if it turns out you were never under the influence at all.
|1st Offense||2nd Offense||3rd Offense>|
|Refusal to take test||120 day license suspension||1 year license suspension||1 year license suspension|
What happens after a car accident?
Even if you’re shaken or dazed after a car accident, it’s important that you take some steps to protect yourself.
- Safety first. Check that no one involved in the accident has been injured. If someone has been injured, call 911 right away. If everyone is fine, try to move your vehicle so it won’t block the road. Even if no one is injured, it’s a good idea to call the local police and inform them of what’s happened.
- Exchange information. Write down the full names, car make and model and insurance information of the people involved in the accident. Don’t forget to include their addresses and driver’s license numbers in your notes.
- Notify your insurance agent. Call your insurance company before you leave the scene. They’ll be help guide you through more specific next steps. If you have questions about the accident, your insurance agent should be a good resource.
- Document the scene. Take pictures of the scene, paying special attention to capturing multiple angles of where the damage occurred. Take down the names of police officers and any potential witnesses to better protect your claim.
Who’s at fault after an accident?
Maryland is a no-fault state. That means that if you’re injured in a car accident, your insurance company will pay your medical bills (up to your policy’s limits), regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Maryland requires no-fault coverage in the form of personal liability protection.
When should I report an accident to the authorities in Maryland?
Maryland state requirements for reporting accidents to authorities varies based on your specific situation. If you’re unsure of the steps you should take, it’s usually a good idea to call your local police just to be safe. Failure to report certain accidents to the proper authorities can lead to license suspension, and even felony charges.
Carrying auto insurance protects you, your family and fellow drivers. Research your insurance options to make sure that you’re receiving the coverage that you need — and that your state requires.
To learn more about this topic, from rules and regulations to the best discounts and rates, visit our comprehensive guide to car insurance.
Frequently asked questions about car insurance in Maryland
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