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UPDATED: Jun 3, 2020
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|Road Miles||Total Miles in State: 31,984 |
Vehicle Miles Driven: 56,432 million
|Driving Deaths||Speeding: 160|
|Most Popular Vehicle||Honda CR-V|
|Average Premiums||Liability: $609.74|
Combined Premiums: $1,116.45
|Percent of Uninsured Motorists||12.40 percent|
State Rank: 23
|Two Cheapest Providers||USAA and State Farm|
If you have a Maryland driver’s license, you’re one of 4,264,875 licensed drivers in your state, as of 2016. Although we hope these millions of drivers feel confident in their car insurance coverage, that’s probably not the case.
Many people don’t fully understand what they’re paying for — let alone when their coverage will come in handy. In fact, there’s too much car insurance misinformation floating around that only makes matters worse. (e.g., A cheap car means cheap car insurance.)
That’s why it’s important to stay informed with the right sources. Hint: We’re one of them! Before you spend too much money on Maryland car insurance, it’s wise to understand more about what you need to pay for and why.
When searching for the right insurance company for you, compare car insurance quotes right here.
Maryland Car Insurance Coverage and Rates
Are you tired of spending too much money on car insurance in the Old Line State? Are you fed up with hours upon hours of researching insurance information? Comparing various resources can get overwhelming, confusing, and exhausting. So that’s why we’re here to help!
We aren’t trying to sell you anything. We’re just car insurance experts here to help YOU! This guide will break down Maryland’s policy options, explain why certain types of coverage are important, and translate the jargon that makes your head spin. We want you to get the proper car insurance coverage for the right amount of money, so let’s get started.
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Maryland
|Maryland Insurance Required||Minimum Limits|
|Bodily Injury Liability (of one person)||$30,000|
|Bodily Injury Liability (two or more people)||$60,000|
|Property Damage Liability||$15,000|
Maryland is a “fault” state, which means that the driver who caused the collision must assume responsibility for any harmful outcomes. Of course, the at-fault driver’s insurance provider will cover these losses within policy limits, and that’s why liability coverage is required.
Liability insurance covers whoever (drivers, passengers, pedestrians) gets hurt in an accident that you — or someone under your policy — cause. It covers their medical bills, property damage costs, and other relevant bills within policy limits.
For added protection in the case of a wreck where people and cars are left in critical condition, Marylanders can carry more than liability coverage. To cover your own damage in a car crash situation, collision coverage and uninsured motorist coverage are ideal.
Forms of Financial Responsibility in Maryland
Since Maryland requires you to have car insurance, there may be times when you’ll need to prove you have coverage, especially when you get in a car accident or get pulled over for any reason. Therefore, this state requires that you carry an up-to-date insurance identification card with you or in your car. It may be a paper, plastic, or electronic card.
All that matters is that it’s current and accurate. Anyone unable to show this card can be fined $50.
If your insurance company notifies the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) that you’ve canceled your only active insurance policy, you’ll get a “Proof of Insurance Needed” letter in the mail.
If this is the case, be sure to obtain a new insurance policy as soon as possible. If, however, there was some mistake and your vehicle is still insured, contact your insurance company and request that they send an eFR-19 form (not an ID card or policy) to the MDOT MVA; this form will be valid for 30 days.
Premiums as Percentage of Income in Maryland
In 2014, the annual per capita disposable personal income in Maryland was $46,875. The annual full coverage average of auto insurance premiums for 2014 was $1,096.37. Thus, on average, Maryland’s car insurance payments require about 2.34 percent of your income.
But more on that later…
Core Car Insurance Coverage in Maryland
Let’s go over the cost of core car insurance coverage. When comparing Maryland to the national annual car insurance average, Maryland costs are higher. The national average is $1,311, while Maryland’s average is $1,590 — the eleventh highest average out of all 50 states.
|Coverage Type||Average Annual Costs (2015)|
We’ve collected the average premium costs for each core coverage type from 2015. If you’re in Maryland, there’s a chance these costs have already increased by now. The data in the above table comes from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Additional Liability Coverage in Maryland
In 2015, 12.4 percent of motorists in Maryland didn’t have car insurance. This stat didn’t place Maryland at the top of the list for the highest percentage of uninsured drivers in the United States, but that percentage still isn’t great. As aforementioned, collision coverage and uninsured motorist coverage are advisable additions, and your insurance company may already require them (even if Maryland State does not).
Additionally, comprehensive coverage is helpful because it covers any car repairs that have nothing to do with collisions, like in the case of vandalism or natural disasters.
Loss ratios gauge the financial status of a car insurance company. Basically, a loss ratio is the money a company pays out for claims…to the money they receive for premiums. So, if they pay $40 in claims out of $100 taken in on premiums, their loss ratio would be 40:100, or 40 percent. The other 60 percent goes to paying overhead.
A company that pays more in claims than it collects for premiums has a high loss ratio and isn’t in good financial health, so you want to steer clear of companies in this situation!
The table below shows loss ratios for liability insurance categories in Maryland:
|Medical Payments (MedPay)||88 percent||88 percent||78 percent|
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP)||78 percent||77 percent||77 percent|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UUM)||67 percent||69 percent||69 percent|
Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders
We know your goal is to get the complete coverage you need at an affordable price.
Good news: There are several impactful and inexpensive optional add-ons for your policy, also called “riders.”
Here’s a list of useful coverage available to you in Maryland:
- Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
- Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)
- Rental Reimbursement
- Emergency Roadside Assistance
- Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
- Non-Owner Car Insurance
- Modified Car Insurance Coverage
- Classic Car Insurance
- Pay-As-You-Drive or Usage-Based Insurance
Male vs Female Annual Car Insurance Rates in Maryland
Common misconception: Men pay more for car insurance.
In most states that isn’t always true, and Maryland is one of them. In Maryland, both Geico and Progressive charge females more than males who have the same profile and driving record.
Maryland Car Insurance Rates by ZIP Code
This table shows the top five ZIP codes with the highest average rates and the top five ZIP codes with the lowest average rates. If you live where there are higher rates in Maryland, know that you’re not the only one paying a lot of money for car insurance![table “277” not found /]
It’s also helpful to know that rates aren’t just based on where you live. Demographics affect the types of coverage you have. Do you live in Maryland and fit into any of the following descriptions?
- A family with young drivers pays an annual average of $8,440 for car insurance, compared to a range of $1919 to $2950 for a family with no young drivers.
- A young single male (age 30) pays almost the exact amount as a single male (age 50): annual averages of $1592 and $1593, respectively.
- A senior female (age 65) pays an annual average of $1,099 for auto insurance.
Now that you have an idea of how auto insurance rates compare between some Maryland ZIP codes and demographics, let’s take a look at the insurance companies licensed in your state to help you find the right company for your coverage needs.
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Maryland Auto Insurance Companies
With the hundreds of car insurance providers out there today, it’s nearly impossible to know who to trust. You’re probably wondering, “Is it safe to switch to a smaller company that offers lower rates?” Let us help you decide!
Keep reading to discover the best providers across the Old Line State.
Top Rated Auto Insurance Companies in Maryland
Let’s discuss Maryland auto insurance companies’ financial ratings.
|Providers (Largest to Smallest)||A.M. Best Rating|
|Hartford Fire & Casualty||A+|
Maryland’s Auto Insurance Companies with the BEST Customer Ratings
Since Maryland is a Mid-Atlantic state, we’ve consulted J.D. Power’s study on car insurance companies with the best customer ratings in this region. With a score of 854 out of 1,000, Erie Insurance is number one with the best customer ratings in Maryland (and other Mid-Atlantic states).
You’ll also notice several other top companies in the 800s, some who fall below average.
While you search for the right auto insurance company for you, keep a company’s customer-satisfaction ranking in mind. After all, you could become their customer, too!
Maryland’s Auto Insurance Companies with the MOST Customer Complaints
Since State Farm ranks “below average” in the J.D. Power graphic, it’s no surprise that they received a grand total of 1,482 customer complaints in Maryland in 2017, making them the Maryland car insurance company with the most complaints. The company with the second highest amount of complaints is Government Employees Insurance Company, with a total of 333.
That’s a huge drop from State Farm! As a Marylander, it’s wise to keep these numbers in mind.
|Company||Complaint Ratio||Total Complaints|
|Berkshire Hathaway (via Geico)||0.68||333|
|Hartford Fire & Casualty||4.68||9|
Maryland’s Car Insurance Rates by Provider
We’ve compiled a list of the top five cheapest companies that serve Maryland — along with the top five most expensive companies you should avoid if you want cheaper car insurance. That way, you don’t have to do all the research yourself!
|Top Five Most Expensive Auto Insurance Providers (Average Annual Rates)||Annual Rates||Top Five Cheapest Auto Insurance Providers (Average Annual Rates)||Annual Rates|
|Agency Insurance||$2,267||Meridian Security Insurance||$1,030|
|Amica Mutual Insurance||$2,209||Horace Mann Insurance||$1,223|
|CSAA General Insurance||$2,099||Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange||$1,371|
|Encompass Home/Auto Insurance||$2,256||Atlantic States Insurance||$1,041|
|USAA General Indemnity||$2,127||Cumberland Insurance||$1,255|
What’s more…we can help you find the cheapest rates around.
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The 10 Largest Auto Insurance Companies in Maryland
We’ve already shown you Maryland’s 10 largest car insurance companies and their financial ratings. But, to give you a better idea of what makes these companies large, check out their market shares and number of administered premiums:
|Insurance Company||Premiums Written||Market Share|
|Allstate Insurance||$582,872||11.91 percent|
|Berkshire Hathaway||$1,173,739||23.98 percent|
|Erie Insurance||$376,241||7.69 percent|
|Hartford Fire & Casualty||$50,075||1.02 percent|
|Liberty Mutual||$185,153||3.78 percent|
|State Farm||$940,404||19.21 percent|
Number of Property and Casualty Insurance Companies in Maryland
For your information, here are the numbers of domestic and foreign property and casualty insurance companies in Maryland:
|Property and Casualty Insurance||Amount|
Maryland Car Insurance Laws
Following your state car insurance laws is important, but they can be difficult to decipher. Not to worry, though — that’s just another reason why we’re here to help!
To keep you informed, we’ll give you an inside look at some of the most important auto insurance laws in Maryland.
Car Insurance Debt-Reduction Program
If you’ve racked up car insurance debt in Maryland, there’s a chance that 80 percent of your penalty fees could be waived.
You’ll qualify for the Debt Reduction Program if you:
- Are a Maryland resident
- Own a car that isn’t insured yet or buy a car after enrolling in this program
- Have had a delinquent uninsured motorist penalty since before January 1, 2014
- Don’t have a court ruling administered by the Department of Budget and Management, Central Collection Unit (CCU)
To learn more about this program, click here.
If you break or damage your windshield, your insurer can repair or replace it with aftermarket parts that are similar to the original in type and quality. In preparation for a possible damaged windshield situation, you could go ahead and purchase a separate insurance clause that would require your provider to install original equipment manufacturer parts.
You can use any repair shop you want, but you may have to pay the cost difference out-of-pocket.
Maryland insurance fraud penalties depend on whether your case is a criminal case, an administrative case, or a civil case. For example, if a person is convicted of criminal insurance fraud, they can get up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, plus a combined sentence if there are any additional charges.
But an administrative penalty could result in a fine of up to $25,000. You can find more legal details in this article here.
From January 2018 through June 2018 in Maryland, there were a total of 25 civil insurance fraud cases (not just car insurance fraud). The combined penalty charges were $ 66,450, and the combined restitution payments totaled $ 42,461.
From January 2018 through June 2018 in Maryland, there were a total of 12 criminal insurance fraud cases. The combined fines totaled $ 1,642, and the combined restitution payments totaled $ 103,939.
Maryland Statute of Limitations
Injured? Vehicle damaged? The statute of limitations is three years for both personal injury and property damage claims, so that’s how long you’ll have to file a claim and fight for the money owed to you.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
If you don’t file an aforementioned eFR-19 form and get caught driving again without insurance in Maryland, you can:
- Lose license plates and vehicle registration privileges
- Pay uninsured motorist penalty fees for each lapse of insurance — $150 for the first 30 days, $7 for each day thereafter
- Pay a restoration fee of up to $25 for a vehicle’s registration
Vehicle Licensing Laws
Whether you’re an older driver, have a driving teen in your family, or are a new Maryland resident, it’s important to know the licensing laws that apply to your age and circumstances. Every state does things a little differently, so let’s look at Maryland’s licensing laws.
Teen Driver Laws
Is your teenager close to driving age? Let’s walk you through the requirements and restrictions for teens in Maryland.
|Type of License||Age Requirements||Pre-Requisites||Passenger Restrictions||Driving Restrictions|
|Learners Permit||Minimum 15 and 9 months||Submit completed identity verification form and/or school attendance form|
If under 18, parent/guardian must co-sign the permit application
Pass a vision screening and knowledge exam
|Must be a licensed driver (for at least three years) age 21 or older in the front passenger seat||If under 18, prohibited to use a cell phone or hands-free device except to call 911|
|Restricted License||Minimum 16 and 6 months||Nine-month holding period|
Minimum supervised 60 hours of driving (10 must be at night)
|If driver is younger than 18, no passengers younger than 18 are allowed, except family members. (Restrictions lifted after five months or until age 18 — whichever comes first.)||If younger than 18, no driving from midnight to 5 a.m. (Restrictions lifted after five months or until age 18 — whichever comes first.)|
|Unrestricted License||Minimum 18||Must satisfy all previous requirements||None if 18 or older||None if 18 or older|
Older Driver License Renewal
In Maryland, all drivers, no matter their ages, must renew their licenses every eight years. However, drivers age 40 and older have to complete a vision assessment every time they renew their licenses. Anyone over age 70 getting their license for the first time must prove previous satisfactory driving ability or a certificate of physical fitness from their primary doctor.
If ready to renew your license in Maryland, start here.
New Maryland Residents
If you’ve just moved to Maryland from another state with an already valid driver’s license, you’ll have 60 days to replace it with a Maryland license — unless you’re a commercial driver, then you’ll only have 30 days. Unless your out-of-state license has been expired for over a year, you won’t need to take a knowledge and skills exam.
However, you will need to pass a vision exam either way.
Maryland’s Road Rules
To drive safely, you need to drive well, and to do that, you must know Maryland’s road rules. Imagine driving on a road where every driver followed their own set of rules!
“Move Over” Rules and Speed Limits
If you’re traveling at least 10 mph below the speed limit or driving slower than traffic on a Maryland highway, you must move out of the left lane. Remember it like this: Slower cars should keep right, but you should always follow the speed limit either way!
The table below shows the max speed limits of different types of Maryland roadways. Note that this table does not include slower-speed residential areas and school zones.
|Road Type||Speed Limit (mph)|
|Other Limited Access Roads||70|
Seat Belt and Car Seat Laws
In Maryland, seat belts are enforced. People aged 16 and older must wear a seat belt. $50 (not including any possible additional fees) is the maximum base fine for a first offense when breaking a seat belt law.
When it comes to car seat laws…
Kids aged 7 and younger and less than 57 inches tall must be in a car seat. $50 (not including any possible additional fees) is the maximum base fine for a first offense when breaking a car seat law.
When it comes to seat belt laws and pickup trucks…
There are restrictions on riding in the cargo areas of pickup trucks, but there are certain groups of people not covered by these restrictions:
- People 16 and older
- People 15 and younger if the car is traveling 25 mph or less
- Employees being driven to work sites or people doing farming work
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “exceptions do not eliminate the requirement to use child restraint or belts,” and these restrictions are “inapplicable to pickup trucks with covered cargo areas.”
Ridesharing in Maryland
There are six insurance companies that offer coverage for ridesharing services:
- Liberty Mutual
Maryland law gives insurance providers permission not to cover injuries and damages that happen when you drive for a rideshare service like Lyft, Sidecar, or Uber. Thus, you will likely need to purchase a commercial policy to have the right coverage.
If you don’t have coverage, you could be personally responsible for any medical bills and damages that occur in the case of an accident. But, you should have adequate insurance coverage anyway!
If you get in an accident, you will need to provide rideshare insurance proof.
Automation on the Road
In Maryland, there are currently no deployment or testing laws for automatic vehicles.
Maryland Safety Laws
There are safety laws that deal with driving impaired by drugs/alcohol or driving distracted. Let’s break them down for you.
DUI Laws in Maryland
If you’re caught driving impaired with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more, you’ll be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Maryland has a look-back period of five years, which is the length of time a DUI will remain on someone’s record.
|Penalty Type||First Offense||Second Offense||Third Offense|
|License Suspension or Revocation||Six months||One year; if two convictions within five years, Ignition Interlock Device program is mandatory||18 months up to lifetime|
|Imprisonment||No minimum, but up to one year||Five days to two years||No minimum, but up to three years|
|Fine||No minimum, but up to $1000||No minimum, but up to $2,000||No minimum, but up to $3,000|
|Other||12 points on license||12 points on license||12 points on license|
Maryland’s DUI insurance laws don’t mess around. If you’ve been drinking, don’t get behind the wheel!
Marijuana Impaired Driving Laws
In Maryland, there is no law specific to driving while under the influence of marijuana.
Distracted Driving Laws
In Maryland, all drivers are prohibited from handheld cell phone use while driving.
Reminder: Drivers under 18 are banned from using their cell phones at all, unless they need to call 911.
Texting while driving is also banned for everyone. No matter where you live and drive — Maryland or otherwise — don’t text and drive! Also, be alert while driving and talking on the phone with earbuds in, and keep your eyes on the road!
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Maryland Can’t-Miss Facts
Let’s discuss other important facts and stats about Maryland. We have all the interesting data right here!
Vehicle Theft in Maryland
Which vehicles get stolen the most? Let’s take a look.
Top Make and Model for Theft
Vehicle Theft by City
As you can see, there’s a huge disparity between how many cars get stolen in Baltimore City versus all other Maryland cities!
Maryland Fatality Rates
If you’re wondering about Maryland fatality rates, check out the following data related to demographics, car accidents with alcohol-impaired drivers, and more. The NHTSA is the source for all of the following fatality data.
Rural vs. Urban Traffic Fatalities
|Maryland Traffic Fatalities||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017|
Fatalities by Person Type
|Vehicle Type||2015 Total||Percent||2016 Total||Percent||2017 Total||Percent|
|Light Truck – Pickup||42||8||33||6||42||8|
|Light Truck – Utility||50||10||47||9||51||9|
|Light Truck – Van||11||2||19||4||12||2|
|Light Truck – Other||0||0||0||0||3||1|
|Bicyclist and Other Cyclist||11||2||16||3||10||2|
Fatalities by Crash Type
|Total Fatalities (All Crashes)||465||442||520||522||550|
|Involving a Roadway Departure||226||205||249||222||262|
|Involving an Intersection||100||127||145||146||163|
|Involving a Rollover||71||65||99||60||59|
|Involving a Large Truck||58||49||58||63||48|
Five-Year Fatalities in 10 Maryland Counties
|Subtotal 1||Top Ten Counties||354||358||385||390||425|
|Subtotal 2||All Other Counties||111||84||135||132||125|
Speeding Fatalities by County
|County||Speeding Fatalities 2015||2016||2017||Speeding Fatalities Per 100K 2015||2016||2017|
Alcohol-Impaired-Driver Fatalities by County
|County||Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities 2015||2016||2017||Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities Per|
100K Population 2015
Maryland Teen Drinking and Driving
Here are the facts about teen (18 years old and under) DUIs in Maryland in 2016:
- 60 DUI arrests
- 44.49 arrests per million people
- Maryland ranks 39th for 18-and-under DUI arrests
Below are the facts concerning underage (under 21 years old) drinking-related fatalities:
- 0.6 fatalities per 100,000 people in Maryland
- 1.2 fatalities per 100,000 people is the national average
EMS Response Time in Maryland
If you’re severely injured in a car accident, the Emergency Medical Services’ (EMS) response time could make the difference between life and death. Below are the average response times for both urban and rural areas of Maryland.
|Land Use||Total Fatal Crashes (2016)||Time of Crash to EMS Notification||EMS Notification to EMS Arrival||EMS Arrival at Scene to Hospital Arrival||Time of Crash to Hospital Arrival|
|Rural Fatal Crashes||99||2.00||11.81||35.76||46.88|
|Urban Fatal Crashes||379||3.12||10.40||29.25||39.23|
Maryland Transportation Facts
Check out these facts about car ownership, commute time, commuter transportation, and traffic congestion in Maryland.
The average household in Maryland has two cars. The chart below shows the percentage of households with a particular number of vehicles compared to the national average. (Maryland is represented by orange.)
The average commute time in Maryland is 31.3 minutes, which is longer than the national average of 25.3 minutes. The chart below represents Maryland commute times compared to the national average. (Maryland is represented by orange.)
The chart below shows the percentage of individuals per transportation type in Maryland as compared to the national average. It also shows the percentage of people driving alone versus carpooling and whether they even commute at all. (Maryland is represented by orange.)
In 2016, the top three transportation methods and circumstances were as follows:
- 73.8 percent of people drove alone (below the national average of 76.3 percent)
- 9 percent carpooled
- 8.5 percent took public transit
Top 5 Cities for Traffic Congestion
Baltimore City ranks 36th for most traffic congestion — out of all cities in the US. It ranks 42nd out of 319 North American cities and 252nd out of 1,360 cities in the world.
The following chart displays how much time commuters spend in traffic in Maryland’s five most congested cities, including Baltimore.
|City||Hours Spent in Traffic (2017)||Peak (Time in Traffic)||Daytime (Time in Traffic)||Overall (Time in Traffic)|
|Annapolis||24||14 percent||7 percent||8 percent|
|Baltimore||27||11 percent||6 percent||7 percent|
|Columbia||31||18 percent||7 percent||10 percent|
|Frederick||14||8 percent||3 percent||4 percent|
|Hagerstown||9||5 percent||5 percent||5 percent|
Now that you have quality car insurance facts (and beyond) for Maryland, you’re ready to follow the rules of the road, insurance requirements, and more.
Don’t forget: If you want to drive as a Maryland resident, you need car insurance! Enter your ZIP code below to get a free quote comparison.