Car insurance in Maryland
Minimum requirements and how to get cheap auto insurance in Maryland
Minimum requirements and how to get cheap auto insurance in Maryland
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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.
If you plan on driving in Maryland, you need to carry your car’s registration and proof of your insurance policy, in case of an accident. If you’re pulled over for a traffic stop, police officers will verify your insurance electronically.
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No matter what state you live in, these tips can be helpful when you’re looking to pay less for your auto insurance coverage.
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:
In order to legally drive in Maryland, you’ll need minimum liability insurance, including:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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|
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|
Even if you’re shaken or dazed after a car accident, it’s important that you take some steps to protect yourself.
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.
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.
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