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Requirements for Car Insurance in the State of Maryland

Here's what you need to know...
  • Maryland requires vehicle insurance for all residents who drive, own, and/or operate a vehicle.
  • You must have a policy that includes liability insurance at a minimum of $30,000/$60,000/$15,000.
  • Your insurance policy must include uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection of at least $2,500.
  • If your insurance coverage lapses, you will be fined by the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and lose vehicle registration privileges and license plates.

The state of Maryland is a mandatory vehicle insurance state. As you shop around for the best deals on car insurance, understanding which items should be covered in your policy is important. Failure to have the required coverage could mean costly penalties and fees.

Continue reading this guide to learn what types of coverage you need to drive legally in Maryland.

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Maryland Car Insurance Laws

AdobeStock_1181532-1600x1600To drive legally in Maryland, you must have three types of insurance at all times. These three types of insurance are:

  • Liability,
  • Uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage, and
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.

In order to choose the correct insurance options, knowing what each category specifically means is very helpful.

– Liability

Liability insurance includes two types of coverage: bodily injury and property damage. This insurance covers any damages that you cause to others or others’ property in an car accident. The minimum liability requirements in Maryland are:

  • $30,000 in bodily injury for one person,
  • $60,000 in bodily injury for two or more people, and
  • $15,000 in property damage.

The bodily injury coverages listed above are the maximum amounts that insurance companies will provide towards any injury to a person in an accident.

These amounts are often written in your policy as $30,000/$60,000 and represent the highest amounts the insurance will pay for injuries per person and per accident.

In the event of a harmful accident, your insurance will cover up to the amount listed in your policy.

For example, when you have the minimum bodily injury requirements, your insurance company will cover up to $30,000 for one injured person and up to $60,000 for two or more people injured in an accident.

Of course, you can choose to add a higher bodily injury limit to your policy, which provides more peace of mind but is not necessary. However, whichever route you choose, the key is to select the policy that will allow you to drive legally and safely.

For the minimum required amount of property damage, your insurance company will cover up to $15,000 if an accident that you cause results in damage to another person’s property. Like bodily injury protection, insurance companies allow you to opt for higher amounts of property damage coverage.

– Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is very important for your own safety. Although the state of Maryland requires auto insurance, many drivers are uninsured or do not have enough insurance coverage.

If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, your insurance company will use uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to pay for injuries and/or property damages that you or any of your passengers sustain.

This coverage will pay for medical expenses, lost wages as a result of having to miss work, and compensation for pain and suffering.

The uninsured and underinsured motorist protection minimums are the same as the liability amounts:

  • $30,000 in bodily injury for one person
  • $60,000 in bodily injury for two or more people
  • $15,000 in property damage

With both liability and uninsured motorist coverage, you will be taken care of whether you or the other party is at fault.

– Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection (PIP) helps you when you sustain an injury in a car accident. However, it is different from the bodily injury minimum included in liability insurance.

PIP is an additional amount used to pay for your medical expenses regardless of which driver is at fault. Your personal injuries can be paid for up to the amount you choose in your policy.

The minimum limit required in Maryland is $2,500. If your injuries exceed the PIP limit in your policy, your health insurance may cover the rest. However, if you are not at-fault for the accident, the other driver’s liability insurance will cover your medical expenses.

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What happens if my coverage lapses?

Coverage lapses happen for a number of reasons. Some common examples include the following:

  • A person forgets to pay his or her premium on time, so their policy is canceled.
  • An individual no longer wants or needs to drive or own a vehicle.
  • The insurance company cancels a driver’s policy for either causing too many major accidents or incurring too many traffic violations.

Whatever the cause may be, you do not want to let a coverage lapse happen. Do your best to avoid it by paying close attention to your payment due dates and any changes to your policy.

The Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) of Maryland takes auto insurance coverage very seriously.

Due to the importance of auto insurance, the MVA distributes penalties and fees for driving uninsured.

Drivers could face penalties and fees each time there is a lapse in their coverage. The cost is $150 for the first 30 days without insurance and $7 per day after that. These fees add up quickly if you are not careful.

Driving without current insurance can also cause you to lose vehicle registration privileges, which means that you won’t be able to renew your vehicle registration or register a new vehicle until proof of insurance has been provided.

A $25 restoration fee will be charged once you show proof of your insurance and renew registration on your car.

Another issue you could face is losing your license plates until the MVA has proof that you have renewed your policy. Several licensed tag and title agencies exist for the purpose confiscating license plates, car registration, and even driver’s licenses.

The MVA will request that these agencies send someone to recover your plates if you drive without the intention of paying the fees associated with uninsured driving.

False Evidence of Insurance

AdobeStock_3577702-1600x1600Many drivers may think that they can drive without coverage. However, false evidence of car insurance is a very serious offense and could mean a year of imprisonment as well as a $1,000 fine.

The state of Maryland, along with most other states in the U.S., regulates insurance for the safety of all people. Accidents happen, so being prepared is important.

Insurance protects both you and your fellow citizens. Be sure to choose an insurance policy that not only ensures that you are driving legally, but also one that will help protect yourself, your family, and other drivers.

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