Auto insurance requirements in Maryland
Drivers in Maryland must maintain a certain amount of car insurance coverage in order to remain legal. Furthermore, proof of this coverage must be carried with you while driving and shown at the request of law enforcement officials. Keep reading to find out which insurance coverages are required and which are optional in the state of Maryland.
|Uninsured/underinsured motorist protection||Personal Injury Protection (PIP)|
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in Maryland
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage goes toward protecting you in the event that you are in an accident caused by a driver who does not have any — or at least not enough — insurance coverage. Limits are the same as those for liability, which can be helpful if you are injured. Maryland is rather unique in that it also requires uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD) that goes toward covering damages to your vehicle.
Personal injury protection (PIP) in Maryland
PIP coverage helps cover medical expenses incurred by you or your passengers in the event of an accident. This coverage is applied regardless of who is at fault in the accident.
Liability insurance coverage in Maryland
Liability insurance coverage is legally required in Maryland. This coverage pays for injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering that you cause to another driver or their passengers in an accident. This coverage also covers damage to the other driver’s vehicle as well. Remember that your liability coverage never pays for your injuries or physical damage to your vehicle.
The coverage limits are determined by each individual state and split into three different categories. Maryland’s minimum liability insurance is listed as 30/60/15. These limits are explained in greater detail below.
What are state-mandated car insurance limits?
Put simply, the limits are the most that your car insurance company will pay in the event of a claim. Maryland's limits reflect the minimum amount of coverage that you can have and still be considered a legal driver. Have a look at the breakdown of liability coverage limits below:
- $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person reflects the maximum dollar amount paid out for a single person you injure in an at-fault auto accident.
- $60,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident is the total amount that your insurer will pay to cover injuries you cause in an accident if more than one person is hurt.
- $15,000 in property damage per accident is the maximum amount your insurer will pay for physical damage you cause in an accident.
Maryland’s minimum amount of uninsured/underinsured is identical to liability in the amounts required, as seen below.
- Bodily injury: $30,000 per person
- Bodily injury: $60,000 per accident
- Property damage: $15,000 per accident
Do Maryland’s required minimums provide enough coverage?
On average, Maryland’s minimum insurance requirements are more robust than in many states. The inclusion of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage alone sets them apart from most other states. However, it’s important to remember that your vehicle is an investment. If you want to protect your investment, it’s a good idea to add physical damage coverage.
Furthermore, it’s always a good idea to increase your liability limits to further protect you and your assets. Even moderate injuries can exhaust your limits quickly, leaving you on the hook to cover the rest.
Maryland’s penalties for driving without proof of insurance
Maryland takes its insurance laws seriously. If you are caught driving without insurance in the state of Maryland, you can expect the following penalties:
- 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
Optional car insurance coverage in Maryland
Maryland requires more insurance coverage than many states, but that doesn’t always mean that you’re adequately covered. Consider the following popular types of coverage for further protection.
- Comprehensive: This option covers damage to your car as a result of weather events, theft, and non-collision damage (though it does actually cover collisions with animals).
- Collision: Collision coverage pays for damages resulting from colliding with another vehicle or fixed object. This coverage pays regardless of who is at fault.
- Loan/Lease Payoff: For those financing a vehicle, this can be a great coverage option. If you have a wreck and your car is totaled, it pays the difference between the actual cash value — the value of your car factoring in depreciation — and what is still owed on the loan.
- Rental Car Reimbursement: This coverage helps cover the cost of a rental car if your vehicle is inoperable. Limits vary by plan and by company.
- Roadside Assistance: This is a great coverage to have if you find yourself broken down. Oftentimes, it can cover towing costs, fixes for flat tires, and dead batteries.
Maryland is a diminished value state
Maryland is a diminished value state, meaning drivers are allowed to recover diminished value from the at-fault party’s insurance company. When your vehicle experiences an accident, even if it is fully repaired to its pre-loss condition, the resale value decreases. The involvement in a collision makes your car’s value lesser than similar vehicles that have not experienced an accident. A diminished value claim allows you to recoup the losses you might experience when selling your car.
Since Maryland is one of the 15 states that offers compensation for diminution in value, you may file by contacting the at-fault party’s insurer. In order to file a diminished value claim in Maryland, certain requirements must be met:
- You are not entitled to compensation if you were the party at fault in the accident
- Documentation will be required to process your claim. Make sure you can provide photos, records of repairs made, and proof of the value of your vehicle by a trusted source.
- In Maryland, the statute of limitations for filing a diminished value claim is 3 years.
- Maryland does have uninsured motorist coverage for diminished value claims.
Why adhering to Maryland’s car insurance requirements is important
Not only is having car insurance a legal requirement, but it’s also a great way of protecting you and your assets. Adding extra coverage or increasing the limits on liability is a great way to increase this protection. If the cost of extra coverage is something that you are worried about, it may be time to start shopping around. The Zebra can help by providing side by side quote comparisons from many of the top insurance companies.
Ready to start saving?
- Penalties for driving without insurance in Maryland
- Minimum car insurance requirements in Maryland