When registering your vehicle in Maryland, Your car insurance will not be accepted as proof of insurance. Instead, you will need a Maryland Insurance Certification to show proof of insurance. Read more to learn about Maryland car insurance requirements, rates, programs, and discounts.
Car Insurance Requirements
In order to fulfill the Maryland car insurance laws, you must purchase all of the following insurance coverages:
- Liability coverage
- PIP or no-fault coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Maryland car insurance law requires you to purchase liability insurance. This insurance coverage will help you pay the cost of property damage and injuries caused to other as a result of an accident you cause. The minimum amounts of liability insurance in this state include:
- $30,000 for bodily injury, per person
- $60,000 for total bodily injury, per accident
- $15,000 for property damage.
While Maryland car insurance is mandatory, many drivers still drive their cars without insurance. Your insurance policy must therefore include Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage. This policy pays for injuries that result from an accident with a driver with inadequate insurance cover, or a driver without insurance. The minimum limits for these coverages is the same as that of liability insurance.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
You will be required to purchase no-fault car insurance or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage immediately after you purchase your car in Maryland. The minimum limit for Maryland no-Fault car insurance is $2,500 per person. In case of an accident, no-fault car insurance or Personal Injury Protection will cover your medical bills and that of your family members, regardless of who was at fault for that accident.
Optional Car Insurance Coverage
You need additional Maryland car insurance covers. These are some of the optional insurance covers to consider when shopping for car insurances:
- Collision – Insurance cover that helps pay for damages made to your car after an accident
- Comprehensive – Insurance cover that pays for damages resulting from all accident related events such as fire, floods etc
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist
- Rental car
- Roadside assistance.
NOTE: If you are financing your car through a loan or lease agreement, both collision and comprehensive coverage are required.
If you are financing your car through a loan or lease agreement, your lender may purchase both comprehensive and collision coverages as per your loan agreement requirements. This is referred to forced-placed insurance. It is the most expensive way of getting collision and comprehensive insurance for your car. For this reason, consider purchasing these coverages on your own.
Proof of Maryland Insurance
The Maryland Insurance Certification forms, is the only accepted way of showing proof of insurance when registering your vehicle at MVA. Your insurance ID card will not be accepted. You must therefore submit a signed copy of Maryland Insurance Certification (FR-19). The FR-19 can be obtained free of charge from your car insurance company and it is valid for 30 days. This form can be emailed or faxed to MVA through your car insurance provider. Photocopies of FR-19 are not accepted.
Insurance Violations & Penalties
The MVA monitors the status of your car insurance. Your insurance company must provide any policy lapse or cancellation to the MVA. If there is any issue with your car insurance, MVA will send you Maryland Insurance Certification (FR-19). If you are caught driving without the minimum required Maryland car insurance, you will face the following penalties and fines:
- Suspension of your license plates
- Suspension of your car registration
- A fine not less than $150 for the first 30 days of not having car insurance and $7 fine for each additional day.
The various suspensions privileges will not be reinstated until your violations are cleared. If they are cleared, you will be required to pay $30 registration restoration fee. If you are caught providing a false proof of insurance, you face the following penalties:
- A $1000 fine
- 1 year of imprisonment.
Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund
Drivers with poor driving records may have a difficult time finding a car insurance company to insure their vehicles. If you find it hard to get a car insurance company through open market, you can apply for car insurance policy through the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (MAIF). This association helps high-risk drivers to get car insurance. Car insurance through MAIF plan comes with higher premiums because of the risks involved. For more information about MAIF insurance plan, visit their website.
The Maryland Insurance Administration is the body that offers consumer support related to Maryland car insurance. Through this body, you can:
- Resolve your insurance dispute
- Report suspected insurance fraud.
In Maryland, there are two options that you may use to resolve disputes with your insurance carrier. These include:
- Rapid response program
- Written complaint.
Rapid Response Program
The Rapid Response Program was brought into force to assist consumers resolve insurance claims quickly without filing official complaints. For more information about this program, call one of the following numbers:
- (410) 468-2340
- (800) 492-6116.
You can file your car insurance complaint online, by fax or through mail. Through mail, download a property and casualty complaint form and send it to: Maryland Insurance Administration Attn: Consumer Complaint Investigation – Property/ Casualty 200 Saint Paul Place, Suite 2700 Baltimore, MD 21202 Or fax it to (410) 468-2307 or to (410) 468-2334. Be sure to fill all the required sections of this form before faxing or mailing it.
Car Insurance Fraud
Car insurance providers lose significant sums of money through car insurance frauds. These losses trickle down to affect car insurance premiums. Examples of Maryland car insurance fraud include:
- Staging car accidents
- Falsifying or exaggerating injuries
- Falsifying or exaggerating property damage.
You can help fight car insurance frauds by reporting any suspected car insurance fraud to the Maryland Insurance Administration through the following means:
- By phone at (800) 846-4069
- By faxing the property and casualty complaint to (410) 347-5350
- By mailing the above form to: Maryland Insurance Administration 200 St. Paul Place, Suite 2700 Baltimore, MD 21202
You can report insurance fraud anonymously. For more information about car insurance fraud, look at the MIA’s Consumer Guide to Insurance Fraud.
Determining Car Insurance Rates
Several factors go into determining your car insurance rates in Maryland. Maryland car insurance providers use the following factors to determine your car insurance rates:
- The make and model of your car
- Your driving record
- Your car insurance claim history
- Your gender
- Your age
- Your marital status
- Your credit history.
Maryland Insurance Discounts
One great way to save on car insurance is by looking for a car insurance company that offers discounts. Ask your insurance company whether they offer any of the following discounts:
- Multi-car discount
- Homeowner’s discount
- Good student discount
- Safety device discount
- Anti-theft device discount.
These discounts can save you a lot of money, but the best way to obtain a cheap insurance for your car is by maintaining a clean driving record.
Most Stolen Cars in Maryland
If you are driving a car that is always targeted by thieves, you are likely to pay higher insurance rates. The following is a list of the most stolen cars in Maryland in 2013, as provided in www.nicb.org:
- Honda Accord and Honda Civic
- Toyota Camry
- Ford Pickup (Full Size)
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
- Nissan Altima
- Toyota Corolla
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- Chrysler Town & Country
- Dodge Caravan.