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Cheap Car Insurance in Maryland

Here's what you need to know...
  • All vehicles registered in the state of Maryland must be insured by an auto insurer licensed in the state
  • You must carry auto liability coverage of $30,000/$60,000/$15,000 to pay for third-party medical bills and repairs
  • If you don’t carry the required auto insurance, you’ll pay a fine and your registration will be suspended
  • You should never cancel insurance on your vehicle until after you’ve surrendered your Maryland plates
  • Auto insurance rates are regulated by the Department of Insurance but all insurers have unique rates

If you’re moving to Maryland, you’ll officially be joining the land of the Marylanders. With expansive state parks and an endless supply of delicious blue crabs, the Free State is a wonderful place to live. Not only do you have to familiarize with all of the state routes and highways, you’ll also have to familiarize yourself with state-specific insurance laws.

Make sure to compare rates with our free insurance comparison tool above to make sure you aren’t overpaying for your insurance!

Every state has a unique set of insurance requirements. While most states do require their drivers to carry at least a minimum amount of coverage, the actual amount of coverage that’s required will depend entirely on what laws the state officials have enacted in the past.

If you’re looking for cheap insurance, here’s your guide to vehicle insurance in Maryland:

Why do you need auto insurance in Maryland?

AdobeStock_66413216-1600x1600In 2013 alone, there were 52,734 automobile crashes reported in the state of Maryland. While only around 18,066 of these crashes resulted in injury, the total damage was exorbitant. This is why it’s so important that each and every driver carries insurance.

The average person doesn’t have an extra ten or twenty-thousand dollars to spend if they damage property in an accident. This number could rise up into the hundreds of thousands if you’re talking about an auto accident that results in damages and injuries.

Since the state can’t sit around and verify whether or not you have the liquid assets to pay for damages, the only reasonable thing to do is to require all legal car owners to carry at least some insurance.

What are the auto insurance laws in Maryland?

– Fault State

Maryland operates under a fault-based auto insurance system. If you’re familiar with legal terminology, it’s called a tort state. This means that within the state, drivers involved in accidents must pay for their wrongful act by paying for damages that they are negligent for.

It doesn’t matter how much the individual makes or what their car is worth, this is a legal obligation whenever you register your car in the state. Since you have to apply for and be issued a registration to legally drive your car, you have no choice but to comply with tort law.

– Auto Insurance Coverage Requirements

AdobeStock_74516237-1600x1600In each and every fault state drivers must carry third-party coverage. This is protection that will compensate someone other than yourself when you’re liable after an accident. Third-party coverage won’t pay for your own bills but it will protect your assets. Here’s a breakdown of the minimum limits your policy must include:

  • $30,000 of Bodily Injury Liability for a single person
  • $60,000 of Bodily Injury Liability for two or more people
  • $15,000 of Property Damage Liability for one or more damaged vehicles

– Proof of Insurance

You have to be able to prove that you have the mandatory coverage at all times. Even if someone other than you or the co-owner are driving, you must be sure that you have your official auto insurance ID cards with you. If you can’t furnish proof of insurance when an officer asks, you will be cited.

That’s not where verification of insurance stops in Maryland. The Motor Vehicle Agency, referred to as the MVA will be verifying your coverage through your insurer real-time.

If your policy cancels, you receive a letter about your violation points, or you register the vehicle in your name for the first time, you’ll have to show proof by submitting a document called a Maryland Insurance Certification.

– Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

Driving without insurance in Maryland is a serious offense. Even so, about 12.2 percent of drivers throughout the state are uninsured.

This is similar to the national average in the US. To combat the problem, the state has started to assess stricter penalties to offenders. Here are some of the penalties:

  • A fine of $150 for the first 30 days of being uninsured plus $7 per each additional day ($2500 max)
  • Suspension of your registration
  • Vehicle impound and citation if you drive with a suspended registration
  • Assessment of a 17 percent collection fee if your case is sent to Central Collections Unit. Interception of tax returns to pay fines
  • Fine of up to $1000 for providing false evidence of insurance
  • Up to one year of jail time

Comparison Shopping in Maryland

The only way that you’re going to find cheap car insurance in Maryland is to comparison shop.

The average consumer paid $607 per year for liability coverage and a total of $1001 per year for full coverage in liability. Since these averages are awfully high, you need to take initiative and compare companies and the premiums that they offer.

Don’t look at price before you start looking at the company’s profile. It’s important to use the unbiased information to gauge whether or not you’d like to do business with an insurer.

Always look at an insurer’s financial ratings through Standard and Poor’s before doing anything else. If the company doesn’t have enough money to stay afloat, they’ll make it difficult to file claims.

Once you’ve assessed the financial stability of a brand, you can go on to comparing rates. The easiest way to do this is to use an online comparison tool that caters to Maryland consumers.

You can enter your personal information, get instant quotes, and then submit your application once you’ve selected the best option. Don’t forget to shop around consistently every renewal.

Additional Coverage Options in Maryland

You don’t have to buy a basic policy if you’re willing to pay more for more protection. In Maryland, you can raise your liability limits so that your policy limits aren’t exhausted after a minor crash. This is recommended when you want to avoid court, loss of assets, and wage garnishments.

In addition to higher limits, you can add coverage that will help you get back on your own feet after suffering a loss.

You may have medical insurance or a car warranty, but sometimes it’s necessary to have more auto insurance coverage. Here’s a breakdown of what’s available:

  • Comprehensive – pays for damage to your car after fire, theft, vandalism, storm, or damage by live animal
  • Collision – pays for damage to your vehicle after a collision
  • Uninsured Motorist – pays for your medical bills and rehabilitation costs if someone hits you with no insurance
  • Medical Payments – pays for your immediate medical care no matter who is at fault
  • Rental Car – pays for a temporary substitute vehicle

What personal factors will affect your premiums?

So much goes into calculating your premiums it can be surprising. If you want cheap insurance, your idea of cheap and the industry’s idea may be different things.

Knowing how your personal lifestyle and your driver profile can affect your rates is important. Here are some of the many factors that will be used to assess your risk:

  • Age
  • Driving experience
  • Gender
  • Driving history
  • Credit Score
  • Type of car
  • Vehicle usage
  • Annual mileage
  • Accident history

Discounts to Look For

AdobeStock_76267159-1600x1600One way to lower your insurance expense is to take advantage of discounts. Policy discounts can lower your total premium by 30 percent or more if you qualify. Some of the savings to look for include:

  • Good Driver
  • Experienced Driver
  • Good Student
  • Multi-Car
  • Multi-Policy
  • Driver’s Training
  • Student Away

There’s a lot more to think about than just pricing when you’re shopping for cheap Maryland auto insurance. Make sure you have the appropriate coverage first and then consider price second. Once you’re ready to look at quotes, use our free online tool, enter your zip code, and find Maryland insurers that will offer you competitive rates.

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