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Depending on your driving record and location, auto insurance can take a major bite out of your monthly budget. Most drivers would jump at the chance to reduce their premiums, but finding cheap auto insurance in Maryland can be a taxing process since there are so many providers vying for your business. To help you speed up the search, our team compared auto insurance rates from some of the top providers in The Old Line State.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Maryland
Snag the cheapest rates in Maryland by comparing and contrasting policy offerings from a wide variety of state auto insurance companies. The table below provides insurance carrier recommendations for various driver profiles:
|Liberty Mutual||Safe Drivers|
|USAA||Drivers in the Military|
|Esurance||Drivers Who Pay Their Premiums Upfront|
|State Farm||Drivers with a DUI|
Best Car Insurance Companies in Maryland
By looking at useful data – including reviews, research, and complaints – we were able to rank Maryland’s auto insurance providers to identify the top companies in the state. Below you can read through a breakdown of our findings:
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Maryland
If you live in Maryland, you are required by law to carry auto insurance that covers $30,000 for bodily injuries to one individual, $60,000 for bodily injuries caused in one collision, and $15,000 for damage to property. Uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injuries is required in the amount of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per crash. Uninsured motorist coverage for property damage is required in the amount of $15,000 per crash.
Penalties for Driving Without Auto Insurance in Maryland
Getting caught driving an uninsured vehicle in Maryland could lead to a variety of penalties. These include losing your license plates and registration privileges and paying a fine of a minimum of $150 and a maximum of $2,500. A $25 restoration fee may be added to get your registration back. Providing false proof of insurance can result in a $1,000 fine and a year of imprisonment.
This may seem strict, but uninsured drivers pose a big risk and liability for the Maryland community. Having an accident without insurance could cause ripple effects of financial ruin.
Maryland Car Insurance FAQs
What Terms Should I Know Before Buying Auto Insurance in Maryland?
The following terms and phrases are important to understanding insurance and driving laws in Maryland:
- Demerit Points: A system used by the states and insurance companies to keep track of traffic violations or offenses. Maryland uses a uniform system for assigning points
- DUI: Driving Under the Influence; BAC of .08% or greater
- DWI: Driving While Impaired; BAC of between .04% and .08%
- Liability: The state of being responsible for something
- Premium: An amount to be paid for an insurance policy
- Quote: An estimated price for a for a potential insurance policy
What Different Types of Car Insurance Are Available in Maryland?
There are a variety of different types of car insurance that are available for purchase in the state of Maryland. Personal Injury Protection (PIP), liability coverage, and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage are all required. These don’t cover every incident you may encounter with your car, however. Some additional types of insurance you may want to look into include comprehensive insurance, which covers theft, fire, natural disasters, and vandalism, and collision insurance, which covers any collision with an inanimate object like a pole, fence, or another car.
Looking past legal expectations, it all boils down to how much you want to spend on insurance and how much you value your car.
How Can I Keep My Insurance Rates Low in Maryland?
Just because car insurance is mandatory doesn’t mean exorbitant rates have to be; there are a lot of ways to save. One common way is voluntarily taking a defensive driving class. Completion of the class, which normally lasts between four and eight hours, shows insurers that you’re dedicated to keeping up with safe driving practices and could lead to a discount.
Other options include maintaining a good credit score, buying a safe car, following good driving practices, and avoiding infractions and accidents. Not only will these help eliminate potential related rate increases, but some insurance companies will even reward you with a price break if you go a few years without accidents or infractions.
Will Insurance Companies Increase My Premium After I Get into an Accident?
Yes, in Maryland there is almost always an increase in annual premiums after you get into an accident. The average annual car insurance rate in Maryland is $1,260. After just one accident that you are deemed at fault in, the average rate increases to $1,425 a year. That is a 13 percent increase.
In some instances, however, insurance companies may offer an “accident forgiveness” policy. They recognize that accidents happen and will excuse your first accident free of charge—meaning no increase. This policy varies from company to company however, so you should check with your provider to learn more.
What Are the 3 Stages of Driver’s License Withdrawl in Maryland?
Driving is not a right, it’s a privilege. As such, Maryland may restrict your ability to drive on their roads for any number of reasons. There are three stages of privilege withdrawal. The first is a license suspension, which means the penalty is temporary and will end at a set time. A license revocation can last until the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administrations decides it’s safe for you to be on the roads again. There is a minimum waiting period before you can even begin the assessment process. Lastly, Maryland can cancel a license if you obtained it using fraud or false information. This sentence is permanent.
What Are Some Important Traffic Laws All Drivers in Maryland Should Know?
Now that you have a better understanding of your insurance options and requirements, it’s time to talk about keeping your rates low and manageable. The best way to do that is to prove to your insurance company that you are a safe driver by complying with all of Maryland’s traffic laws.
Below, we’ve highlighted several important rules and explained how they may affect your driving record.
Demerit Point System in Maryland
Maryland, like most states, uses a demerit point system to rate various transgressions. Insurance agencies, in turn, review these records when determining quotes and premiums. The good news for Maryland drivers is that infractions are no longer considered current after two years and are removed from public record after three years.
DUI / DWI Laws in Maryland
Maryland state officials take alcohol-related offenses very seriously. A first-time DUI conviction may result in a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. Additionally, 12 demerit points may be added to your driver’s record. Maryland law states that a revocation notice will be sent to drivers who accrue more than 12 points in a two-year period. In this instance, the revocation period would be six months.
A first-time DWI conviction may result in a $500 fine and up to two months of imprisonment, as well as the addition of eight demerit points to your driver’s record. According to Maryland law, drivers with 8 to 11 points in a two-year period will face a notice of suspension. For a first-time DWI, the suspension period is six months, unless the driver is under 21. The suspension period then is one year.
Maryland considers drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more to be too impaired to operate a motor vehicle.
A potential alternative to these suspensions is Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program. Eligible drivers can opt-in to the program and have an ignition interlock placed on their car for a period of 180 days or one year, depending on the circumstances. This device connects a breathalyzer to your ignition; if your BAC is too high, your car won’t be able to start. For more serious offenses, completion of the program may be required.
Distracted Driving Laws in Maryland
Distracted driving constitutes any instance of the driver not devoting his or her full attention to the road. This could be because of eating, grooming, reading, talking, and texting or using a cellphone or other electronic device, among other things. Drivers who are occupied in any of these manners are more prone to accidents.
To reduce distracted driving rates, the state of Maryland has developed and utilized a number of campaigns over the years. Their main goal is to raise awareness of the issue.
Traffic laws have also been passed to deter reckless behavior. For example, drivers in Maryland are prohibited from using a handheld phone while driving, with the exception of calling emergency services. If caught, the maximum fine for a first offender is $83. A second conviction comes with a maximum fine of $140, and a third comes with a maximum fine of $160. No demerit points will be assigned unless the violation results in a crash.
Texting while driving is also illegal. Violators will be charged $70 and one demerit point. If they cause an accident while texting and driving, they will be charged $110 and three points.
If a death or serious injury is caused by any of these scenarios, a prison sentence and a $5,000 fine may be imposed.
To eliminate temptation, keep your phone and other electronic devices in the back seat on silent whenever possible. If you must use your device, pull over to a safe area and come to a complete stop first. You may also utilize new features from Apple, Android, and Google that can sense when you’re driving and will turn off notifications and send an automatic message to anyone trying to reach you during that time.
Seat Belt Laws in Maryland
Seat belts are highly effective tools for preventing deaths and injuries in car accidents. According to the CDC, more than half of drivers aged 20 to 44 who died in 2016 were not buckled up. As a result, Maryland requires the use of seat belts for everyone in the car. Even passengers can be ticketed for not wearing their seat belt; the fine is $83 per person. In the event that the unbuckled passenger is under the age of 16, the driver is responsible for their fine. No demerit points will be assigned for a seat belt violation.
With these laws in mind, you can build safe habits and thrive as a driver in Maryland. Insurance companies will reward your efforts with more affordable premiums.