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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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Kristine Lee

Insurance Analyst

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty
  • 4+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer. Before joining The Zebra, she was a…

Auto insurance for high risk drivers in Maryland

If you have been involved in an at-fault accident, filed a claim, or received a citation for a major violation, you might be a candidate for high-risk auto insurance. Car insurance for high-risk drivers is typically expensive, but the level of rate increase you face varies depending on your insurance company, your driving record, and the state in which you live.


What goes into car insurance rates for high-risk drivers in Maryland:
  1. At-fault accidents
  2. Speeding
  3. Distracted driving
  4. Racing
  5. Reckless driving
  6. Maryland driving laws


Auto insurance after an at-fault collision in Maryland

If you're found at fault for causing an auto accident in the Free State, you should expect your auto insurance costs to increase. In Maryland, the average insurance premium after an at-fault accident is $1,902, compared to the U.S. average of $2,012. A serious incident like an at-fault crash will remain on your insurance résumé for as long as three years.


Location With At-Fault Accident — Annual Rate No At-Fault Accident — Annual Rate Annual Rate Increase
Maryland $1,902 $1,240 $662
National Average $2,012 $1,397 $615


The best auto insurance company after an at-fault collision in Maryland is Erie. Erie’s typical premium increase after a crash is $666, resulting in a rate 35 percent less expensive than the average among all insurers. If you’ve caused a collision in Maryland, steer clear of State Farm and Nationwide, which sit at the pricier end of the spectrum.


Insurance Company Annual Rate With an At-Fault Crash
Erie $1,236
USAA $1,457
GEICO $1,551
State Farm $1,616
Nationwide $2,663


Does getting a speeding ticket in Maryland lead to more expensive car insurance?

One of the violations that can earn drivers the "high-risk" tag is speeding. In Maryland, insurance costs go up by $217 per year post-speeding ticket, to an average yearly price of $1,457.


Location With a Speeding Ticket — Annual Rate No Speeding Ticket — Annual Rate Yearly Rate Increase
Maryland $1,457 $1,240 $217
National Average $1,727 $1,397 $330


The foolproof way to get affordable car insurance after getting a speeding ticket is to shop around and weigh your options. The most affordable auto insurance after a speeding citation in Maryland is available through Allstate. Allstate’s average premium after a citation is $616 less than the state average. If you have been ticketed for speeding in Maryland, Progressive probably won't be the cheapest option.


Company Annual Rate With a Speeding Violation
Allstate $2,073
Erie $990
GEICO $1,023
Nationwide $2,026
Progressive $2,414


How does a ticket for distracted driving impact car insurance prices in Maryland?

If you're ticketed for distracted driving, one side effect will be increased car insurance rates. In Maryland, car insurance prices typically increase by $116 annually after a distracted driving conviction. That amounts to a 9% increase from the average yearly premium in Maryland, and 33% less than the national average cost of car insurance with a distracted driving citation.


Location With Distracted Driving — Annual Rate No Distracted Driving — Annual Rate Annual Rate Increase
Maryland $1,356 $1,240 $116
National Average $1,570 $1,397 $173


The best way to find affordable auto insurance after a distracted driving ticket is to compare carriers. The least expensive car insurance company after being ticketed for distracted driving in Maryland is GEICO, with a typical rate of only $754 per year, 44% less than the average distracted driving insurance premium among top insurers.


Insurer Annual Rate After Distracted Driving
GEICO $754
Erie $990
USAA $1,202
State Farm $1,299
Nationwide $1,655


How does being cited for racing impact car insurance rates in Maryland?

Racing is considered an extremely serious infraction. Car insurance companies commonly penalize racing citations with major rate hikes — in fact, Maryland auto insurance premiums increase by an average of $646 per year after a citation for racing. That represents a 52% increase from the average yearly car insurance rate in Maryland.


Location With a Racing Citation — Annual Rate No Racing Citation — Annual Rate Yearly Rate Increase
Maryland $1,886 $1,240 $646
National Average $2,397 $1,397 $1,000


If you have been ticketed for racing, do your due diligence and seek out the cheapest rates. In Maryland, grab a quote from Erie, which offers prices 48 percent cheaper than the state average for drivers found guilty of racing.


Company Annual Rate After Racing
Erie $990
State Farm $1,426
Allstate $1,801
Nationwide $1,961
GEICO $2,052


Will a reckless driving ticket raise my auto insurance rates in Maryland?

Among the most serious driving violations, reckless driving is a surefire way to raise your insurance rates. Insurance companies increase rates by an average of $557 each year after a reckless driving citation. That's 45% more than the typical auto insurance rate in Maryland, and 37% less than the U.S. average penalty for reckless driving.


Location With Reckless Driving — Annual Rate No Reckless Driving — Annual Rate Yearly Rate Increase
Maryland $1,797 $1,240 $557
National Average $2,395 $1,397 $998


If you've committed a reckless driving offense, shop around to get the cheapest price. In Maryland, the most affordable insurer after reckless driving is Erie.


Insurance Company Annual Rate With Reckless Driving
Erie $990
USAA $1,651
Allstate $1,801
GEICO $2,073

If you are seeking auto insurance as a high-risk driver, your best option is to shop around and find a policy that fits your situation.

Compare rates from top auto insurance companies.

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Maryland driving laws

Maryland driving laws are in place to keep drivers and pedestrians safe. While it may be tempting to skirt some of these laws to get to your destination a little faster or send out a quick text while driving, know that there could be serious consequences if you do.

If you want to stay on the right side of the law, check out some of the common traffic laws below.


Speeding in Maryland

When are you speeding in Maryland?

The state of Maryland asks that drivers maintain a reasonable and prudent speed. Maryland has an absolute speed limit, meaning that even one mile per hour over the posted limit is considered a violation. The maximum speeds on Maryland roads are as follows:

  • 65 mph is the maximum highway speed limit
  • 55 mph on highways other interstate highways or expressways
  • 50 mph on undivided highways in urban districts
  • 35 mph on divided highways in residential districts
  • 30 mph on highways in business districts or on undivided highways in residential districts
  • 15 mph in alleys (Baltimore County)

Penalties for speeding in Maryland

Penalties for speeding in Maryland can be quite steep, getting more severe the further over the limit that you go.

Speeding fines in Maryland:

  • 1-9 mph over the limit = $290
  • 10-19 mph over = $300
  • 20-29 mph over = $370
  • 30-39 mph over = $500
  • 40 mph and over = $740

Bear in mind fines are higher if speeding leads to an accident. Similarly, if convicted of speeding in a school or work zone, you can expect a higher fine of up to $1,000.

Maryland uses a points system to measure violations. If a driver reaches eight points within two years they will see their license suspended. Accumulating 12 points over two years leads to the revocation of the driver’s license. The following points are assessed for speeding offenses and speed-related law violations:

  • 1-9 mph over the limit = 1 point
  • 10 mph over = 2 points
  • speeding 30 mph or more over = 5 points
  • exceeding the 65 mph posted speed limit by 20 mph or more = 5 points

Reckless driving in Maryland

What is reckless driving in Maryland?

In Maryland, the laws on reckless driving are very clear. The state even has different subsections to describe three different levels of improper driving behavior: reckless, negligent, and aggressive. All are illegal but vary in the severity of punishment.

Maryland defines reckless driving as operating a vehicle with “the willful disregard of persons and property.” Negligent driving is considered to be driving in a “careless and imprudent manner.” You are guilty of aggressive driving if you violate three of the following rules during a period of continuous driving:

  • Traffic lights with a steady indication
  • Overtaking and passing vehicles
  • Passing on right
  • Driving on laned roadways
  • Following too closely
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way
  • Exceeding the speed limit

Penalties for reckless driving in Maryland

If caught breaking Maryland reckless driving laws, the following fines apply:

  • Reckless driving = $510
  • Aggressive driving = $370
  • Negligent driving = $140

Maryland utilizes a demerit point system which, if a driver passes certain thresholds, could lead to suspension or revocation of their driver’s license. The following demerit points will also be added to your record in these amounts if guilty of these reckless driving categories:

  • Reckless driving = 6 points
  • Aggressive driving = 5 points
  • Negligent driving = 1 point


Distracted driving in Maryland

What is distracted driving in Maryland?

Distracted driving may include any activity that takes your attention off of where it should be: the road. This can be as simple as chatting with a passenger, eating or drinking, or even changing a radio station.

Maryland distracted driving law explicitly prohibits the use of any handheld device or phone while driving. It is illegal to use a handheld device to send, write, or read a text or electronic message while you are behind the wheel.  

Penalties for distracted driving in Maryland

If you are caught breaking Maryland’s distracted driving laws, expect the following penalties:

  • 1st offense: $83 fine
  • 2nd offense: $140 fine
  • 3rd offense: $160 fine

If the use of a cell phone or mobile device while driving causes serious injury or death, a driver could receive a fine of up to $5,000 or up to three years imprisonment.


Racing in Maryland

What is racing in Maryland?

Maryland racing laws are clearly defined, prohibiting anyone from being in a race or speed contest. It is considered a misdemeanor.

Penalties for racing in Maryland

Participating in a race or speed contest on a Maryland highway can lead to the following.

  • Five demerit points on your license
  • Up to a $500 fine

Should racing result in serious injury or bodily harm, you can expect even stiffer penalties, including up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.


At-fault accidents in Maryland

What is an at-fault accident in Maryland?

Maryland is a “fault” state in regards to rules surrounding car accidents. This means that the person who is most at fault for the accident is held responsible for damages to property, injuries, or lost income. More appropriately, the at-fault party’s insurance will be on the line up to the policy limits.

The minimum liability car insurance required in Maryland is the following:

  • $30,000 to cover bodily injury or one person
  • $60,000 to cover bodily injury or death liability
  • $15,000 for property damage per accident

Penalties for at-fault accidents in Maryland

If you are found at fault in a car accident in Maryland, you can expect your car insurance will kick in and cover damages up to your policy limits. Afterward, you are likely to see your insurance rates increase, especially if excessive monetary damage was inflicted.

However, a rise in premiums is preferable to being at-fault without insurance in Maryland. On top of being held personally responsible for all damages, you can expect the following penalties to apply:

  • Fine of up to $1,000
  • Imprisonment up to one year
  • License plates confiscated
  • Uninsured motorist penalties for each lapse of insurance coverage: $150 for the first 30 days and $7 for every day after


DUI in Maryland

What is a DUI in Maryland?

Drinking and driving in Maryland is heavily frowned upon. Maryland is quite clear in it’s driving impairment laws, labeling any driver with a blood alcohol content of .08% as “driving under the influence.”

However, even if you are not over .08%, you can still be found in breach of the law. Any driver found with a blood alcohol level between .04% and .08% can be charged for “driving while impaired.” Though this is a lesser offense, it still carries its own set of penalties and is put in place to curb drinking and driving in the state.

Penalties for a DUI in Maryland

Maryland DUI penalties are justifiably steep. If found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI), you can expect the following penalties, climbing with each further offense:

First offense:

  • Up to $1,000 fine
  • Imprisonment for up to one year
  • Twelve demerit points added to your license
  • License revoked for up to one year

Second offense:

  • $2,000 fine
  • Imprisonment for up to two years
  • Twelve demerit points added to your license
  • License revoked for up to one year

If you are guilty of two offenses within five years, you will be given a mandatory period of suspension and must adopt the Ignition Interlock Program, which connects a breathalyzer to your car’s ignition system.

Driving while impaired by alcohol (DWI) offenses, though less severe than DUI penalties are still strict.

First offense:

  • Up to a $500 fine
  • Imprisonment for up to two months
  • Eight demerit points added to your license
  • License suspension of up to six months

Second offense:

  • Up to a $500 fine
  • Imprisonment for up to one year
  • Eight demerit points added to your license
  • License suspension from nine to twelve months

All of the above penalties are even more severe if the guilty driver is younger than 21, and could result in additional fines and lengthier periods of license suspension.

Find out more about Maryland's car insurance regulations and requirements


  • https://www.courts.state.md.us/sites/default/files/court-forms/district/forms/criminal/dccr090public.pdf/dccr090public.pdf
  • MVA.gov
  • http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmStatutesText.aspx
  • https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/maryland-car-insurance-requirements.html
  • http://www.mva.maryland.gov/vehicles/insurance/uninsured.htm
  • http://www.mva.maryland.gov/drivers/impaired/maryland-impaired-driving-laws.htm
  • https://dui.drivinglaws.org/maryland.php

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Have a specific question about high risk car insurance in Maryland? Ask one of our licensed agents!

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About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.