One of the original 13 colonies, Maryland is known for its rich American history, the Chesapeake Bay, and the founding of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” There are about 4.5 million drivers in the state. Many of which are based in large urban centers like Baltimore and Columbia.
Like nearly every state, Maryland requires car insurance to drive. In this article, you’ll learn how car insurance works in the Old Line State. This includes info about rates, requirements, the best companies, and important laws.
Average Maryland Auto Insurance Rates
Car insurance rates depend greatly on where you live. Looking at your state’s average car insurance rates will help you know how much you can expect to pay. It might also let you know if you’re getting a good deal or overpaying for coverage. The table below shows Maryland’s average auto insurance rates and how they match up with the rest of the country:
|Coverage||Maryland Average||US Average|
|Price Per Month||$100.98||$89.20|
Average Full Coverage Rates
The graph below shows the change in average Maryland insurance rates from 2012 to 2019. Maryland car insurance rates increased from $966 in 2012 to $1,236 for full coverage in 2019. This was an increase of $270, or nearly 28%.
For eight years, Marylanders have paid more than the national average for full coverage car insurance. On top of that, average rates have gone up each year. The same is also true for the rest of the US. A common cause for this is inflation. It could also be due to providers raising prices to deal with increased numbers of claims.
Average Liability Coverage Rates
The following graph displays average Maryland liability coverage rates from 2012 to 2019. Maryland’s liability rates increased from nearly $600 to about $750 in 2019. This was an increase of $150, or about 25%.
For the entire eight years, Maryland residents have, on average, paid more for liability insurance than the rest of the nation. Rates have also been increasing each year, and have seen the most growth since 2015. One reason for this could be Maryland’s relatively high healthcare costs. According to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), Maryland ranks 18th for healthcare expenditure. More expensive medical bills typically mean pricier claims. Insurers raise prices to offset this.
Average Collision Coverage Rates
The next graph shows average collision coverage rates in Maryland from 2012 to 2019. Rates increased from roughly $320 in 2012 to about $430 in 2019. This was an increase of $110, or about 34%.
As is the case with liability and full coverage, Maryland pays more for collision insurance than the rest of the country. Many things could cause this, especially the higher likelihood of car accidents in densely populated cities. However, another possible cause could be Maryland’s expensive average cost of vehicle repair. 2019 data from CarMD places Maryland at number 11 for car repair costs. If cars are more expensive to fix in a certain place, insurance carriers are likely to institute a price hike.
Average Comprehensive Coverage Rates
The graph below illustrates average Maryland comprehensive coverage rates from 2012 to 2019. Rates increased from around $140 in 2012 to about $168 in 2019. This was an increase of about $28, or 20%.
Most of the time, Maryland residents paid more than average for comprehensive insurance. In 2018, though, the tides began to turn when rates were nearly equal to the US average. Then, in 2019, Maryland average comprehensive rates were $3 less than the rest of the nation.
While rates have gone up each year in Maryland, the lower cost of comprehensive coverage in recent years could be due to any number of reasons. One likely explanation is that more natural disasters, such as hurricanes, have occurred in other states like Florida, and have raised the average US rates.
Why Do Car Insurance Rates Keep Increasing in Maryland?
With car insurance rates increasing each year in Maryland, you might be asking yourself: why? There are many reasons why this could be happening. The first is inflation. As the cost of auto repairs, medical supplies, and other expenses related to insurance claims go up, so too will your rates. Your rates may also be increasing because of a rise in claims in your city. If you live in an area with more claims, your rates will go up as a result.
Even though car insurance rates are on the rise in Maryland, you don’t have to pay more than you need to. To get the best deal, it’s a good idea to compare quotes from several insurers. You can also lower your premium by qualifying for discounts.
How to Get a Car Insurance Quote in Maryland
Whether you’re switching companies or are a first-time customer, you’ll need to get a quote. A car insurance quote is an estimate of your monthly rate based on many factors. You can get a quote directly from an insurer or right here at RateSonic.
Before you get a quote, you should be prepared to provide some info about yourself. Insurers use details about you to give you an accurate and personalized rate. Here’s what you may need to provide:
- First and last name
- Phone number
- Email address
- Marital status
- Car make and model
- Education and occupation
- Desired coverages and limits
- Names of other drivers on your policy
If you get a quote online, the rate you receive may not be fully accurate. Be ready for an agent or another representative to reach out to you to finalize your quote.
Find the Best Car Insurance in Maryland
Compare quotes among leading car insurance companies to get better coverage and lower rates.
Maryland Car Insurance Requirements
Every state, except New Hampshire and Virginia, requires car insurance to drive. Each state sets various minimum requirements, including:
- Type(s) of coverage needed
- The minimum amount of each coverage, i.e., car insurance limits
Note: Maryland requires you to have insurance before you can register your vehicle.
In Maryland, you must have liability coverage on your car insurance policy. This pays for any damages or injuries you cause to other parties in an accident. You’ll need to carry at least:
- $30,000 of bodily injury liability (BIL) for one person
- $60,000 of BIL for two or more persons
- $15,000 of property damage liability (PDL)
Keep in mind that the minimum amount of liability insurance may satisfy Maryland’s requirements, but it may not be enough. Car accidents can often result in expenses costing tens of thousands of dollars. It’s always a good idea to buy as much coverage as you can. Otherwise, you could be paying out of pocket.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM and UIM)
Maryland also requires you to carry UM and UIM on your policy. This protects you if you get into an accident with a driver with no or too little coverage. Here’s how much you need:
- $30,000 of bodily injury per person
- $60,000 of bodily injury for two or more people
- $15,000 of property damage
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
The third and final coverage you need on your auto policy is personal injury protection (PIP). This coverage pays for injuries you or your passengers suffer in an accident, regardless of fault. You may also see insurers call this no-fault insurance.
In Maryland, you can opt for limited PIP instead. This is a more affordable option if full PIP is too much. Limited PIP doesn’t cover you and your family members who are 16 and over. It’s a good option if your health insurance can serve as an alternative.
All drivers must carry proof of insurance in their vehicles in Maryland. This can either be a paper card (issued by your insurer) or an electronic version. If you can’t provide a valid form of proof when asked by the authorities, you may receive a $50 fine.
Maryland allows you to get self-insurance if you own 26 or more vehicles. You’ll need to apply for a certificate of self-insurance and be able to show financial statements for the past three years. The minimum liability insurance requirement for Maryland is $105,000.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
- Loss of license plate and vehicle registration privileges
- A tag recovery agent will confiscate your license plates
- Uninsured motorist fee – $150 for the first 30 days
- Vehicle registration restoration fee – $25
- May not renew or register any future vehicles until you clear your violations
- Up to $1,000 fine and one year of imprisonment for misrepresentation
Best Car Insurance Companies in Maryland
Everyone wants to find a great company when they’re shopping for auto insurance. But what separates average insurers from the best ones? We believe that the best car insurance companies are the ones that give you the greatest value for the rates you pay. Good providers have characteristics like:
- Friendly and helpful customer service
- Competitive rates
- Lots of discounts
- Simple claims process
Top Companies by Market Share
A good place to start when you’re in the market for a new auto policy is looking at the top companies by market share in your state. While the biggest insurance companies might not always be the best, most of them get there for being pretty good. Here are the top car insurance companies by market share in Maryland:
|Rank||Company||Direct Premiums Written||Market Share|
|10||Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund||$83,021||1.6%|
Top Companies by J.D. Power Rating
Another great way to find the best auto insurers in your state is by looking at customer service scores. J.D. Power comes out with an annual study on the best auto insurance carriers in each region by customer satisfaction.
Below were the top companies in the Mid-Atlantic region (including Maryland) by J.D. Power ranking in 2022:
|Rank||Company||Customer Satisfaction Score (Out of 1,0000|
|4||NJM Insurance Co.||844|
|7||CSAA Insurance Group (AAA)||832|
|13||Plymouth Rock Assurance||789|
Best Companies Based in Maryland
You might want to work with a company based in Maryland. This could be a good idea for several reasons. For one, local or regional auto insurance companies may have better benefits or rates than larger national providers. You may also feel good about supporting local businesses.
In no order, the most well-known car insurers headquartered in Maryland are GEICO and the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (MAIF).
Maryland Auto Insurance Laws
No-Fault or Fault?
No-fault states require drivers to buy car insurance that covers them and their passengers’ injuries in an accident, regardless of fault. The most commonly required type of coverage is personal injury protection (PIP).
Maryland is not a no-fault car insurance state. Instead, it’s an at-fault state. This means that you carry the responsibility for covering damages and/or injury costs of any accidents you cause.
If your car happens to get totaled, you should typically expect to receive a payout from your insurer that’s equal to the vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV). A car’s ACV is also known as its fair market value, which is its worth right before the accident occurred.
Salvage and Rebuilt Titles
Salvage title cars are vehicles that have been declared a total loss by an insurance company. It’s illegal to drive a car with a salvage title in Maryland. Since they’re so unsafe to drive, it’s also impossible to insure salvaged cars.
How to Get a Rebuilt Title in Maryland
If you’d like to drive a salvage car again, you’ll need to get it a rebuilt title. This typically involves steps such as a thorough vehicle inspection and the payment of titling fees. To get a rebuilt title in Maryland, you must do the following:
- Get your car the repairs it needs (be sure to keep all receipts and bills of sale for parts you used)
- Go through a Maryland salvaged vehicle inspection (includes a $25 fee)
- Apply for a title and registration. You’ll need these documents:
- Proof of ownership (certificate of salvage)
- Completed Application for Certificate of Title (Form VR-005)
- Proof of completed salvage inspection
- Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate
- Proof of purchase price only under certain conditions. Go to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) website for more detailed information
- Odometer disclosure statement
- Lien info, if you’re financing the vehicle
- Pay necessary fees for titling and registration
You can apply for a rebuilt title and registration in Maryland either in person at an MVA branch office or by mail to “MVA, Mail In Title Unit, 6601 Ritchie Highway, NE, Glen Burnie, MD 21062.”
Insuring Cars with Rebuilt Titles in Maryland
You can insure cars with rebuilt titles in Maryland. But be aware that you typically can’t get full coverage. This is because the car used to be a total loss and, therefore, carries more risk. If you have a rebuilt title, you’ll likely only be able to get liability coverage.
Insurance for rebuilt cars is more expensive than it is for clean titles. However, you can still try to get the best rates by comparing quotes between different insurers. You may find a company that’s more friendly towards rebuilt cars.
Full Windshield Replacement
Some states, such as Florida, have laws that require insurance companies to replace your windshield at no cost after an accident. Maryland has no such laws. If you need to replace your windshield, you’ll need comprehensive coverage to help you take care of the costs. With this, you’ll have to pay a varying deductible, depending on how you set up your auto policy.
You could also opt for zero-deductible auto insurance coverage. For a little more money upfront on your rates, you can avoid paying a deductible each time you file a collision or comprehensive claim.
You’ll need to file a claim if you get into a car wreck that causes injury or property damage. You must report a claim to your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident to ensure you can remember everything. This can help you get the coverage you need.
Filing a claim is generally a simple process. Many insurance providers allow you to file online, over the phone, or on their mobile app.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Claim in Maryland?
It typically takes 30 business days to settle an auto insurance claim in Maryland. After you file a claim, you can expect to work with your company to assess the damages to your vehicle, as well as to find out who’s at fault (if applicable). Then, if accepted, you’ll receive reimbursement to take care of car repair costs or medical bills.
Maryland law requires you to file an FR-19 form with the MVA after a severe violation such as a DUI or driving without insurance. This is like the SR-22 form that other states require after serious offenses.
An FR-19 form proves that you carry the minimum car insurance required by the state. You can file the form with the MVA electronically (referred to as eFR-19). However, a licensed Maryland insurance agent is the only person allowed to submit the form. FR-19 forms are good for 30 days.
It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to use your credit history when determining your rates. They use it because it can show how reliable you are as a customer and, potentially, as a driver.
A few states don’t allow insurers to use your credit score as a rate factor. Maryland allows providers to use your credit and FICO score to set your premiums. But the catch is that providers can’t deny you coverage simply because you have bad credit.
Generally, your insurance company can cancel or choose not to renew your policy for any of the following reasons:
- Fraud or misrepresentation on your policy
- Not paying your rates
- Your driver’s license has been revoked or suspended
- You or someone on your policy have had a serious conviction during the policy’s effective period
- You’ve been using your car for business reasons without telling your insurer
You should also expect your insurer to send you a written notice with an explanation of why it’s going to cancel, non-renew, or deny your coverage.
Drunk Driving Laws in Maryland
It’s illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Maryland. If you’re caught, you’ll face severe legal consequences, and can expect to pay lots of money. You can certainly expect to spend at least one day in jail.
A DUI conviction will also strongly impact your car insurance. Many companies will cancel your policy immediately following a violation, and others likely won’t want to write you a policy. This makes you a high-risk driver and could force you to search for a more expensive non-standard company to do business with.
There are two types of convictions you can get for driving impaired in Maryland. The first is a DUI (driving while under the influence) and the second is a DWI (driving while impaired). Both have steep penalties, but a DUI is more severe.
In Maryland, you can get a DUI when you get behind the wheel with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08. You can get a DWI if you drive with a BAC of 0.07. Here are the penalties for both violations, per the MVA:
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Penalties
- Fine of $1,000
- Up to one year in jail
- 12 license points on your record
- License revoked for up to six months
- May need to enroll in an alcohol abuse program
- Fine of $2,000
- Up to two years in jail
- 12 license points on your record
- License revoked for up to one year
- May need to enroll in an alcohol abuse program
On its website, the MVA says that two convictions within five years can get you an ignition interlock device (IID) requirement after your suspension ends. An IID is a tool that checks your BAC before you start up your car.
Driving While Impaired (DWI) Penalties
- Fine of $500
- Up to two months in jail
- Eight license points on your record
- License suspended for up to six months
- Fine of $500
- Up to one year in jail
- Eight license points on your record
- License suspended for 9-12 months
Driver’s License Points System
Maryland uses a driver’s license points system to keep track of moving violations on your record. This means that, if you get a ticket, you can expect points to appear on your driving record.
The MVA keeps track of points you’ve accrued over two years; however, points are available for you and your insurer to see for three years. The points don’t typically ever fully go away, but they stop affecting your record after two years.
You’ll receive certain consequences for the number of points you have on your record. This is a breakdown of how the MVA responds to driver’s license points:
- 3 to 4 points – you’ll get a warning letter
- 5 to 7 points – You’ll be required to enroll in Driver Improvement Program (DIP) by the MVA
- 8 to 11 points – Your license will be suspended
- 12 or more points – Your license will be revoked
Most Popular Cars
Each state has a certain set of cars that are the most sought-after. These were the state of Maryland’s most-sold cars in 2021:
- Toyota RAV4
- Honda CR-V
- Ford F-Series
- Toyota Camry
- Toyota Highlander
Most Stolen Cars
These were Maryland’s most stolen vehicles in 2021. Owning one of these could result in a bump in your car insurance rates. This is because insurers know that criminals are more likely to target these cars:
- 2017 Honda Accord
- 2017 Toyota Camry
- 2015 Nissan Altima
- 2017/2016/2015 Honda Civic
- 2006 Ford Pick-Up
- 2020 Toyota Corolla
- 2013 Hyundai Sonata
- 2019 Nissan Sentra
- 2017 Hyundai Elantra
- 2015 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee