Free Auto Insurance Comparison
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UPDATED: May 13, 2020
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|Maryland Statistics Summary||Details|
|Road Miles||Total in State: 32,037|
Miles Driven: 57,516 millions
|Vehicles||Registered: 4,008,847 |
Motor Vehicle Thefts: 13,151
|Most Popular Vehicle||CR-V|
|Total Driving Related Deaths||Speeding Fatalities: 160|
DUI Fatalities: 186
|Average Premiums (Annual)||Liability: $609.74|
The plethora of options available in the market for an auto insurance policy can make anyone’s head spin – how do you choose a provider when everyone’s offering competitive rates?
Your auto insurance policy is not just about low premium rates — you have to make sure that your insurer would actually settle your claims in the event of an unfortunate accident. Also, there are other factors to consider, specific to the location you’re living in, such as weather conditions, car theft stats, uninsured motorists percentage, minimum coverage laws, etc.
Since consumers aren’t aware of all the options available to them, they tend to only buy the basic minimum coverage like everyone else. For an auto insurance policy, the ‘one size fits all’ formula doesn’t apply.
State Auto Insurance Coverage and Rates
When you start researching your auto insurance policy, the first thing that you want to know about is the minimum liability coverage law in your state.
The mandatory state minimums for car insurance in Maryland and driving without proof of insurance or financial responsibility documents is illegal. If you drive uninsured, you could face fines or a license suspension.
The minimum coverage should be maintained at all times while your car registration is valid. Motorists in Maryland are also required to prove that they have auto insurance and show necessary documentation at the time of registration or when asked by the police.
Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements in Maryland
Let’s look at what the state of Maryland mandates for minimum auto insurance coverage:
- Personal Injury Liability Insurance: The minimum bodily injury liability coverage is $30,000 per person with a maximum of $60,000 per accident
- Property Damage Liability Insurance: The minimum requirement for property damage is $15,000
What does the minimum liability insurance coverage mean?
Liability coverage would pay for the cost of medical expenses, property damage, as well as any other costs associated with injury to passengers and pedestrians from an accident where you’re the at-fault party.
How does the fault of a motorist in an accident impact insurance coverage?
Maryland follows the fault system, or the tort law, wherein the state requires auto insurance companies to determine fault in an accident. The cost of damages from an accident becomes the responsibility of the at-fault party which is to be settled by the respective insurer.
Please note that the mandatory minimum liability coverage wouldn’t pay for the damages or injuries you sustain in an accident caused by you.
In that case, how would you pay for your own personal injury cost and property damage expenses because hospital bills can really make a dent? To cover your costs from damages, insurance companies offer Personal Injury Protection, Collision Coverage, and Uninsured Motorist Coverage.
We will provide a detailed overview of the different types of auto insurance coverage, but first, let’s discuss if the state-mandated minimum coverage is enough for you.
Imagine a scenario – You researched the minimum coverage requirements in Maryland, received quotes for that coverage level from multiple insurers, and bought a policy that offered the cheapest rate.
While coming back from the Chesapeake Bay one night, you accidentally hit a car which happens to be a BMW i8 Roadster. Your insurance policy covers damages to the extent of $15,000 and the repair cost of said damages would definitely exceed that amount. Most probably, you would have to pay the damages out-of-pocket.
However, if the plaintiff decides to sue the at-fault party in an accident, the court may seize your bank accounts, property, or any other personal assets. In addition, if the damages are severe, the other party might ask for garnishment of your wages.
Therefore, it’s important to carefully assess your needs and the average cost of damages from auto accidents in your area before buying coverage.
Minimum coverage costs definitely vary from state to state. Maryland’s costs are fairly middle of the road compared to the rest of the nation.
Forms of Financial Responsibility in Maryland
Financial responsibility in the case of auto insurance means the ability of a motorist to pay damages in the event of an accident. To prove financial responsibility in Maryland, you must buy the minimum liability insurance coverage mandated by the state.
If you’re asked for proof of financial responsibility by the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) of Maryland or any other law officer, you can show these:
- Insurance card
- Maryland Insurance Certification (FR-19)
You’re required to show proof of financial responsibility or insurance when asked by the MVA or police offiers, during vehicle registration, and after an accident.
Premiums as Percentage of Income in Maryland
An auto insurance premium is a part of our expense that doesn’t offer any benefits on a month-to-month basis although there’s a regular financial outlay. Naturally, you would want to know how much you are spending on premiums from your income.
|Details||Full Coverage Average Premiums (Annual)||Disposable Income||Premiums as Percentage of Income|
Motorists in Maryland spent around 2.34 percent of their disposable income on full coverage auto premiums in the year 2014 which was a bit higher than what they were spending in 2012.
Personal disposable income is the amount of money at an individual’s disposal after taxes have been paid off.
In the state of Delaware, motorists spent around 3 percent of their disposable income on insurance premiums while in Virginia premiums were around 1.9 percent of the disposable income in the year 2014.
Average Monthly Auto Insurance Rates in MD (Liability, Collision, Comprehensive)
|Type of Coverage||Average Annual Premiums|
|Full Coverage Premiums||$1,116.45|
The table above illustrates the premium rates for different types of coverage in Maryland from a trusted source on insurance data i.e. National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
The premium rates cover three aspects of insurance coverage – liability, collision, and comprehensive. These are available in every state.
Since we have explained liability coverage quite a bit, let’s try to understand the collision and comprehensive components.
- Collision Coverage: If you hit an object while driving, collision coverage would pay for the repairs to your cost irrespective of fault.
- Comprehensive Coverage: Damage from acts of nature such as hurricanes, storms, floods, and fire or vandalism comes under the purview of comprehensive coverage.
Do remember that damages from hitting animals while driving is covered by comprehensive insurance.
Additional Liability Coverage in Maryland
We have talked about the three most popular insurance coverage options in the previous section.
But, there are instances when you need to pay for your own personal injury and property damage expenses because you’re the at-fault party in an accident. Or, the motorist that hit you doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to pay your damages.
Let’s look at coverage options for these scenarios:
- Personal Injury Protection: This coverage pays for your personal injury expenses in an accident irrespective of the fault.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Despite the mandatory laws, there are motorists who drive without any insurance coverage, and buying the uninsured motorist insurance would protect you from damages if you’re hit by one.
Though Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is optional in Maryland, buying the same would pay for the cost of medical expenses and lost wages in the event of an accident. Insurance companies in Maryland are required to offer at least $2,500 in PIP coverage to motorists which can be waived at the customer’s request.
In Maryland, around 12.4 percent of the motorists are uninsured. The state ranks at number 23rd among all the states in America for estimated percentage of uninsured motorists as per the Insurance Information Institute.
|Personal Injury Protection||78.14%||76.37%||80.28%|
The table above shows the payouts or losses from insurance claim settlements under the PIP and uninsured motorist coverage category. The percentage shows how much the insurance companies have paid in damages from the premiums received.
For PIP, insurance companies have paid a whopping 80 percent of their revenue from premiums to cover insurance claims in 2015. And, the payouts have been rising.
Though PIP is not mandatory, this quick three-minute video would help you understand why you shouldn’t waive it.
Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders in Maryland
By now, you have some idea about the basic coverage options at your disposal.
Apart from those options, there are few add-ons and riders that every insurer offers with the insurance policy that can help you in specific situations.
- Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
- Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)
- Rental Reimbursement
- Emergency Roadside Assistance
- Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
- Non-Owner Auto Insurance
- Modified Auto Insurance Coverage
- Classic Auto Insurance
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Pay-As-You-Drive or Usage-Based Insurance in Maryland
If you think that your premium rates are high, you can get discounts by participating in the usage-based insurance programs of insurance companies.
What is Usage-Based Car Insurance? Usage-based insurance enables insurers to track driving patterns of motorists over a period of time. Once you enroll in a program, a telematics device is installed in your car which records metrics like miles driven per day, the speed of driving, and breaking habits.
Tracking driving behavior lets insurance companies determine how suseptible someone is to dangers on the road and the probability of an accident thereafter. This data helps insurers to calculate premiums after adjusting discounts for good driving behavior.
Each insurance provider has its own criteria for offering discounts, for instance, one insurer might offer discounts if you drive less than 12,000 miles in a year while another would reward you if you keep the speed limit lower than 80 mph.
Average Car Insurance Rates by Age & Gender in MD
|Company||Married 35-year old female Annual Rate||Married 35-year old male Annual Rate||Married 60-year old female Annual Rate||Married 60-year old male Annual Rate||Single 17-year old female Annual Rate||Single 17-year old male Annual Rate||Single 25-year old female Annual Rate||Single 25-year old male Annual Rate|
|Liberty Mutual Fire Ins Co||$6,671.15||$6,671.15||$6,594.83||$6,594.83||$12,964.69||$19,221.87||$6,671.15||$8,990.68|
|State Farm Mutual Auto||$2,384.38||$2,384.38||$2,189.99||$2,189.99||$7,402.28||$9,470.28||$2,661.50||$3,004.10|
Rates for single males ages 17-25 are significantly higher than their female counterparts. The gap in premium rates is insignificant between men and women after they turn 30 as per the data in the table.
The bottom line – Statistically women are considered safer drivers than men and the probability of getting involved in accidents is lower for women.
As per a study, the rates for unmarried 20-year-old males is 21 percent more than females in that age group. But it does level off as men grow older.
Auto Insurance Rates by Zip Code in Maryland
Factors like zip codes also make a difference in your premium rates.
If you’re planning to move to Maryland from another state or moving within Maryland, you can check the rates for zip codes of Maryland in the tables below.
|Cheapest ZIP Codes in Maryland||City||Average Annual Rate by ZIP Codes||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Annual Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Annual Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Annual Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Annual Rate|
|21842||OCEAN CITY||$3,698.26||Liberty Mutual||$7,741.31||Allstate||$4,095.48||Nationwide||$2,213.21||USAA||$2,322.55|
|21663||SAINT MICHAELS||$3,702.10||Liberty Mutual||$8,068.52||Allstate||$4,095.48||Nationwide||$2,199.10||USAA||$2,278.74|
Smithsburg has the cheapest zip code in Maryland.
|Most Expensive ZIP Codes in Maryland||City||Average Annual Rate by ZIP Code||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Annual Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Annual Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Annual Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Annual Rate|
|21213||BALTIMORE||$8,455.92||Liberty Mutual||$16,417.60||State Farm||$8,891.65||USAA||$4,390.01||Nationwide||$5,201.68|
|21205||BALTIMORE||$7,886.36||Liberty Mutual||$16,417.60||State Farm||$8,088.92||USAA||$3,761.94||Nationwide||$5,201.68|
|21207||GWYNN OAK||$7,721.94||Liberty Mutual||$15,383.48||Progressive||$7,844.78||USAA||$4,882.32||Nationwide||$5,400.63|
|21244||WINDSOR MILL||$7,164.27||Liberty Mutual||$15,383.48||Allstate||$7,585.22||USAA||$3,906.13||Nationwide||$4,509.81|
|20743||CAPITOL HEIGHTS||$6,517.08||Liberty Mutual||$14,583.12||Allstate||$6,180.00||Nationwide||$4,077.69||USAA||$4,095.03|
|20747||DISTRICT HEIGHTS||$6,402.12||Liberty Mutual||$14,583.12||Allstate||$6,180.00||USAA||$4,040.83||Nationwide||$4,077.69|
Auto Insurance Rates by City in Maryland
Check the tables below to see if your city is one of the cheapest or most expensive cities for auto insurance.
|Cheapest Cities in Maryland||Average Annual Rate by City||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Annual Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Annual Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Annual Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Annual Rate|
|Fountainhead-Orchard Hills||$3,697.62||Liberty Mutual||$7,798.10||Allstate||$4,058.11||Nationwide||$2,288.47||USAA||$2,292.55|
|Ocean City||$3,698.26||Liberty Mutual||$7,741.31||Allstate||$4,095.48||Nationwide||$2,213.21||USAA||$2,322.55|
|St. Michaels||$3,702.09||Liberty Mutual||$8,068.52||Allstate||$4,095.48||Nationwide||$2,199.10||USAA||$2,278.74|
The next table shows the most expensive rates by city.
|Most Expensive Cities in Maryland||Average Annual Rate by City||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Annual Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Annual Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Annual Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Annual Rate|
|Windsor Mill||$7,164.27||Liberty Mutual||$15,383.48||Allstate||$7,585.22||USAA||$3,906.13||Nationwide||$4,509.81|
|Capitol Heights||$6,517.08||Liberty Mutual||$14,583.12||Allstate||$6,180.00||Nationwide||$4,077.69||USAA||$4,095.03|
|District Heights||$6,402.12||Liberty Mutual||$14,583.12||Allstate||$6,180.00||USAA||$4,040.83||Nationwide||$4,077.69|
|Forest Heights||$6,203.36||Liberty Mutual||$13,517.97||Allstate||$5,762.95||USAA||$4,029.40||Nationwide||$4,077.69|
|East Riverdale||$6,143.03||Liberty Mutual||$14,583.12||Allstate||$6,205.95||Nationwide||$3,588.66||USAA||$4,003.22|
|Camp Springs||$6,017.80||Liberty Mutual||$13,119.41||Allstate||$5,901.97||USAA||$3,873.61||Nationwide||$3,944.81|
|Mount Rainier||$5,870.98||Liberty Mutual||$12,306.94||Allstate||$6,205.95||Nationwide||$3,588.66||USAA||$4,003.22|
|Bowleys Quarters||$5,711.38||Liberty Mutual||$10,811.14||Allstate||$6,509.97||USAA||$3,401.99||Nationwide||$3,767.26|
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Best Auto Insurance Companies in Maryland
Finding the right insurance company takes time and a lot of research because it’s a matter of your family’s safety. While you may think that you can just buy the cheapest insurance policy from the market to meet the legal requirement, it might not be the best strategy.
Before finalizing one auto insurer, you must shortlist few and seek answers to these questions:
- What’s the long-term financial viability of the insurance providers?
- How many people have filed complaints against the insurance providers?
- Are the insurance providers popular amongst the motorists?
Getting coverage under one of the largest auto insurance companies in Maryland is always a sound place to start, given the fact that they are more financially stable than some smaller companies.
In the next section, we would look at the data points you must collect before buying auto insurance.
Financial Ratings of the Leading Insurers in Maryland
|Leading Insurers in Maryland||A.M. Best Rating|
|State Farm Group||A++|
|Allstate Insurance Group||A+|
|Erie Insurance Group||A+|
|Nationwide Corp Group||A+|
|Liberty Mutual Group||A|
|Hartford Fire & Casualty Group||A+|
Checking the financial ratings of insurance providers would tell you about their claims settlement ability in the long run. A.M. Best Ratings, a leading name in credit rating for the insurance sector, assesses the ability of companies to meet their contractual obligations with respect to insurance policies.
Any rating of A and above means that the respective insurer has an excellent ability to meet their current insurance obligations.
Customer Reviews of Insurers in Maryland
As per studies by Northwestern University’s Spiegel Research Center, around 95 percent of customers read product reviews online before buying something.
Online reviews have become an important data point for consumers all across for making a purchase decision, so can we trust customer reviews for insurance companies?
Though you can search for customer reviews online (sites that publish reviews from real buyers only), trusted companies like J.D. Power publish customer satisfaction surveys every year by judging parameters that make customers renew their policy with the same insurer time and again.
In 2018, J.D. Power’ study found that improvements in policy offerings, billings, and digital interactions have boosted customer satisfaction to a new level.
The factors that contributed to the 2018 U.S. Auto Insurance Study were:
- Policy Offerings
- Billing Process and Policy Information
In the Mid-Atlantic region, consumers voted for Erie Insurance as their topmost choice followed by Geico.
Complaint Data of Leading Insurers in Maryland
|Leading Insurance Companies in Maryland||Number of Complaints|
|State Farm Group||1482|
|Allstate Insurance Group||163|
|Erie Insurance Group||22|
|Nationwide Corp Group||25|
|Liberty Mutual Group||222|
|Hartford Fire & Casualty Group||9|
Looking at the complaints number can tell you more clearly about how satisfied customers are with their insurers as satisfaction surveys only seek answers from a small group of people.
Average Rates in Maryland
|Insurance Company||Average Annual Premiums||Compared to State Average (+/-)||Percentage Change (+/-)|
|Liberty Mutual Fire Ins Co||$9,297.55||$4,714.85||50.71%|
|State Farm Mutual Auto||$3,960.86||-$621.83||-15.70%|
Rates by Different Annual Commutes in Maryland
|Insurance Company||Commute and Annual Mileage||Annual Average|
|Liberty Mutual||25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.||$9,546.53|
|Liberty Mutual||10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.||$9,048.56|
|Allstate||25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.||$5,307.15|
|Allstate||10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.||$5,159.18|
|Progressive||25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.||$4,094.86|
|Progressive||10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.||$4,094.86|
|State Farm||25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.||$4,062.86|
|State Farm||10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.||$3,858.87|
|Geico||25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.||$3,896.96|
|Geico||10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.||$3,768.30|
|Nationwide||25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.||$2,915.69|
|Nationwide||10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.||$2,915.69|
|USAA||25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.||$2,829.44|
|USAA||10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.||$2,658.84|
If you want to reduce your premium rates, carefully calculating your annual mileage can help you in getting discounts from insurers. Almost all the insurers in Maryland offer a lower rate for motorists driving 10 miles/day.
Though you could save money with a shorter commute, other factors can affect your rates much more.
Rates by Different Coverage Levels in Maryland
|Insurance Company||Coverage Type||Annual Average|
Rates by Credit History in Maryland
|Insurance Company||Credit History||Annual Average|
Credit score is one criterion that impacts your premium rates significantly. A low credit score signals an individual’s inability to meet long-term premium payment obligations which is factored in by insurance companies while calculating the rates.
Just a quick one-minute video on why keeping a good credit score matters for cheap premium rates.
Rates by Driving Record in Maryland
|Insurance Company||Driving Record||Annual Average|
|Liberty Mutual||With 1 DUI||$13,177.49|
|Liberty Mutual||With 1 accident||$8,825.47|
|Liberty Mutual||With 1 speeding violation||$8,465.21|
|Liberty Mutual||Clean record||$6,722.01|
|Allstate||With 1 DUI||$4,632.04|
|Allstate||With 1 accident||$6,158.29|
|Allstate||With 1 speeding violation||$5,510.30|
|Geico||With 1 DUI||$5,144.48|
|Geico||With 1 accident||$4,234.15|
|Geico||With 1 speeding violation||$3,232.71|
|Progressive||With 1 DUI||$4,229.05|
|Progressive||With 1 accident||$4,633.82|
|Progressive||With 1 speeding violation||$4,020.51|
|State Farm||With 1 DUI||$3,915.37|
|State Farm||With 1 accident||$4,461.30|
|State Farm||With 1 speeding violation||$3,915.37|
|State Farm||Clean record||$3,551.42|
|USAA||With 1 DUI||$3,849.72|
|USAA||With 1 accident||$2,645.44|
|USAA||With 1 speeding violation||$2,323.31|
|Nationwide||With 1 DUI||$2,744.79|
|Nationwide||With 1 accident||$3,443.50|
|Nationwide||With 1 speeding violation||$2,908.52|
Needless to say, if you’re a high-risk driver with a record of speeding violation or accident, you would be charged a high premium. Some insurers take DUI records quite seriously than any other record and penalize through a much higher rate.
Leading Auto Insurance Companies in Maryland
|Insurance Company||Direct Written Premiums||Market Share|
|State Farm Group||$940,404||19.21%|
|Allstate Insurance Group||$582,872||11.91%|
|Erie Insurance Group||$376,241||7.69%|
|Nationwide Corp Group||$373,032||7.62%|
|Liberty Mutual Group||$185,153||3.78%|
|Hartford Fire & Casualty Group||$50,075||1.02%|
Number of Auto Insurers in Maryland
|Type of Insurer||Number|
State Laws in Maryland
You have learned about auto insurance coverage and companies in Maryland till now.
Keeping the best of your interest in mind, we would talk about the laws in your state in the next few sections that would make you a safer driver, thereby helping you to get cheaper rates.
Auto Insurance Laws in Maryland
Every state has laws specific to auto insurance to protect the rights of consumers and to prevent fraudulent activities. Through its laws, every state ensures that registered insurance companies are capable of sustaining their business in the long run as well as offer coverage to everyone.
Windshield Coverage Law in Maryland
Maryland doesn’t have any specific windshield coverage laws, however, if there’s damage then the motorist is expected to get it replaced with another one of similar quality as originally provided.
Check also The Full Glass Coverage Laws in Maryland.
High-Risk Insurance in Maryland
Insurance companies can’t operate with a loss ratio of more than 100 percent which would mean that they have to pay more in claims than they earn through premiums. As a result, they refuse coverage to high-risk drivers. Let’s see who are high-risk drivers.
Motorists who have accumulated multiple records of speeding violations and accidents are considered high-risk because there’s a high probability that they would file for claims more frequently.
To help high-risk drivers buy coverage, the state of Maryland established the Maryland Auto Insurance Fund (MAIF) in 1973. This independent agency provides liability insurance coverage to motorists who are unable to buy insurance in the voluntary market.
Note: The MAIF was rebranded as Maryland Auto Insurance in the year 2015.
Who’s eligible for getting coverage under the MAIF?
If you’re a Maryland resident with a valid driver’s license who has been denied coverage by more than two insurance companies, then you’re eligible to apply to the fund.
How does the MAIF function?
The MAIF is an independent agency of the state of Maryland which is not funded by the state funds. The organization operates through its private network of over 1,400 insurance agents who write policies for motorists.
Auto Insurance Fraud in Maryland
When it comes to auto insurance fraud in Maryland, the most common problems faced by insurers are – people using a different address to get cheap rates and claims from accidents in which one car has fled the scene making it difficult for authorities to prove anything.
In automobile insurance fraud, the cost of claims settlement from insurance frauds are passed on to other motorists. If you live in an area where insurance fraud is common, your premium rates would be on the higher side.
To give you some perspective on how costly insurance fraud can be – claims from fraudulent accidents added $500,000 to Geico’s premiums in the state, which included $300,000 from Baltimore itself.
How do you think these insurance companies handle fraudulent claims? If the claim amount is less than the amount it would take them to investigate the case, they simply settle the claim and pass on the cost to motorists through higher premium rates.
Recently, the Maryland Insurance Administration penalized people who were following the ‘crash and buy’ scheme in Maryland. Under the scheme, people bought coverage after causing an accident and claimed that the accident happened after the policy was purchased.
If you’re a motorist in Maryland, please report fraudulent cases if you ever come across one.
Statute of Limitations in Maryland
To bring a civil lawsuit after an accident, the state of Maryland has implemented a statute of limitations in which you can sue the at-fault party.
For both personal injury and property damage, you’re given a period of three years to claim damages if you decide to take the legal path.
Vehicle Licensing Laws in Maryland
Laws to ensure the validity of your license, renewal cycles, Real ID compliance can save you penalties from law enforcement officers.
Real ID Enforcement in Maryland
The state of Maryland has been Real ID-compliant since 2011, and that’s why your current driver’s license was acceptable as proof to board commercial flights.
Starting October 2020, your old driver’s license wouldn’t be accepted as proof for domestic air travel and entry into certain federal facilities, such as a nuclear power plant.
What is Real ID?
Real ID was established as a new security measure under the federal law to regulate how different states issue identification cards and driver’s license that would determine entry into federal facilities and travel by commercial flights.
If you don’t know whether your license is Real ID compliant or not – you can check it online on the MVA website.
To understand the procedure for getting a Real ID-compliant license, please watch this short video.
Penalties for Driving without Insurance in Maryland
Driving without insurance coverage in Maryland is a serious offense that attracts penalties and frequent crackdowns by law enforcement officers.
- First Offense If a motorist is unable to show proof of insurance, he/she faces around $1,000 in fines and the possibility of a year in prison. It can also add five points to your driving record.
- Second Offense – If you’re caught without insurance for the second time, you would have to pay fines of around $2,000 and prison time can increase to two years along with five additional points on the license.
Teen Driver Laws in Maryland
Law enforcement officers are pretty harsh to teenagers who get involved in an accident or a speeding violation because of their lack of understanding about the consequences of crashes.
Not only that, as parents you’re always concerned about their safety because they are new to driving. In this section, we will talk about the licensing restrictions and rules for teenagers in Maryland.
The minimum age to get a learner’s permit in Maryland is 15 years and 9 months. Teenagers can get a learner’s permit by passing the knowledge and vision test.
If you study the Maryland Driver’s Manual well, you can easily get the learner’s permit. However, to progress to the provisional license, teenagers must follow the restrictions imposed on the learner’s permit.
|Minimum Holding Period||6 months|
|Supervised Driving Hours||Total driving - 60 hours|
Nighttime driving -10 hours
|Driver Education||Classroom - 30 hours|
Behind the wheel - 6 hours
|Supervising Adult||Age - 21 or older (should have held license for 3 years)|
Teenagers are eligible for their provisional license once they reach the age of 16 years and 6 months provided they complete the restrictions/requirements under the learner’s permit. To get a provisional license, teens must pass behind the wheels test.
|Alcohol Consumption||No trace of alcohol is allowed for teenagers|
|Nighttime Restrictions||12 AM - 5 AM (allowed under specific circumstances)|
|Passenger Restrictions||Not allowed to drive with passengers under 18 (unless accompanied by a qualified driver or driving with family members)|
With a provisional license, teens must successfully drive for 18 months to be eligible for an unrestricted license.
License Renewal Procedure in Maryland
Maryland allows license renewal by mail as well as online for everyone in the state irrespective of their age. Motorists are required to renew their licenses every 8 years.
New Residents in Maryland
If you’re new to Maryland, you would be required to register your vehicle in the state and show proof of insurance. Vehicles need to pass the Maryland Safety Inspection before getting a registration certificate.
Rules of the Road in Maryland
Speed limits, seat belt, and car seat laws move over laws are quick to forget once you start driving. Brushing up on these once in a while would keep you away from the radar of law enforcement.
Fault vs No-Fault
Maryland follows the tort law or the fault system to determine the responsible party for paying damages in the event of an accident.
In the at-fault system, insurers first find fault in an accident and accordingly settle claims. The party who is responsible for causing an accident is liable to pay all personal injury and property damage costs.
Seat Belt and Car Seat Laws in Maryland
In Maryland, all occupants of a motor vehicle are required to wear seat belt irrespective of their position in the car.
The child passenger safety laws of Maryland require all children below the age of eight to be restrained in an appropriate car seat if they aren’t 4’9″ or taller. Children between the age of 8-16 should be restrained by using a seat belt, if not placed in a car seat.
Penalties for violating the car seat law – If you don’t put your child in an appropriate restraint, you may be charged a fine of $25.
Can children ride in the front seat?
Children are allowed to sit in the front seat, provided they aren’t restrained in a rear-facing car seat.
Keep Right and Move Over Laws in Maryland
The move over laws in Maryland require motorists approaching a stationary emergency vehicle (including tow trucks, service vehicles, and municipal vehicles) with flashing lights to change their lanes if the situation permits them to do so.
Speed Limits in Maryland
|Type of Road||Speed Limit|
|Baltimore County Alleys||15 mph|
|Business Districts||30 mph|
|Residential Districts - Undivided Highways||30 mph|
|Residential Districts - Divided Highways||35 mph|
|Non Residential Districts - Undivided Highways||50 mph|
|Non Residential Districts - Divided Highways||55 mph|
Ridesharing Laws in Maryland
Since 2015, Maryland has become stricter and laid down regulations for ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. The state requires drivers intending to drive for Uber or Lyft go through multiple levels of checks before being accepted into the system, such as criminal background checks, driving record checks, drug screening, physical tests, etc.
From December 2015, the state of Maryland has cancelled applications of around 4,000 drivers – the vast majority being Uber drivers – as they were unable to pass the screening requirements.
Automation on the Road in Maryland
Maryland established the Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV) group to oversee the research and development of automated vehicles in the state.
Testing Sites: On the website of MVA, the state seeks applications from interested companies to start a conversation for the deployment and testing of autonomous vehicles. The state also owns many designated sites to allow testing of automated vehicles.
Safety Laws in Maryland
Safety on the road starts with all your focus on driving. If you’re drunk or distracted while driving, you would get involved in an accident most certainly. Let’s look at the laws in Maryland that prohibit distracted driving.
DUI Laws in Maryland
Driving under the influence of alcohol and other substances is a serious offense that can lead to heavy penalties and license suspension for a long time.
If you’re under 21, a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.02 percent falls under the category of DUI offense. For those who are above 21, a BAC limit of 0.08 percent or more is DUI, and 0.04 percent in case of commercial drivers.
Penalties for DUI offense?
- First Offense: At the first offense, you would be slapped a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail along with license suspension for at least 45 days.
- Second Offense: If you’re caught the second time, you would have to pay up to $2,000 in fines and spend up to two years in jail. Also, your license would be suspended for at least a year.
- Third Offense: At the third offense, the fines would increase to $3,000 and jail time would be up to three years. This time your license would be suspended for at least 18 months.
Apart from these penalties, you have to remember that insurance companies penalize drivers with DUI records heavily. Premiums charged from these drivers are much higher than the rates for drivers with a clean record.
Distracted Driving Laws in Maryland
All drivers in Maryland are prohibited from using hand-held phones for calling and texting while driving. if you’re caught making a phone call, you would be charged a fine of $40 for the first offense and $100 for any subsequent offenses.
Maryland Can’t-Miss Facts
By now, you are aware of the coverage options that you can avail, factors that determine your rates, laws that govern auto insurance rates, rules of the road that you must follow, and the details about auto insurance companies in Maryland.
In this last section, we would present some facts and figures about the fatality rates, factors causing these fatalities, most popular vehicle for theft, and many other stats that would give you a better idea of why there are so many laws in the first place!
Vehicle Theft in Maryland
|Make & Model||Most Popular Vehicle Year for Theft||Number of Cars Stolen|
|Ford Pickup (Full Size)||2004||287|
|Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee||2015||194|
|Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)||1999||192|
The most popular vehicle for theft in Maryland is the 2003 Dodge Caravan.
Road Dangers in Maryland
Dangerous driving can lead to fatalities, but there are other factors like weather conditions that may cause havoc. Let’s look at the fatality data in Maryland.
Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition in Maryland
|Weather Condition||Daylight||Dark, but Lighted||Dark||Dawn or Dusk||Other / Unknown||Total|
Traffic Fatalities by Road Type in Maryland
|Type of Road||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017|
Fatalities by Person Type in Maryland
|Light Truck - Pickup||39||24||42||33||42|
|Light Truck - Utility||40||48||50||47||51|
|Light Truck - Van||19||8||11||19||12|
|Light Truck - Other||0||1||0||0||3|
|Bicyclist and Other Cyclist||6||5||11||16||10|
Fatalities by Crash Type in Maryland
|Total Fatalities (All Crashes)||465||442||520||522||550|
|Involving a Large Truck||58||49||58||63||48|
|Involving a Rollover||71||65||99||60||59|
|Involving a Roadway Departure||226||205||249||222||262|
|Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)||100||127||145||146||163|
Fatalities by Top 10 Counties in Maryland
|3||Anne Arundel County||34||37||37||44||44|
|Sub Total 1||Top Ten Counties||354||358||385||390||425|
|Sub Total 2||All Other Counties||111||84||135||132||125|
Teen Drinking and Driving in Maryland
Around 60 teenagers were arrested for drinking and driving in 2016. Though Maryland ranks at 39 among all states in underage DUI arrests, make sure that you avoid driving after drinking.
The fatality rate per 100,000 for under 21 drunk driving was 0.6 for Maryland in 2016, which was much lower than the national average of 1.2 as per the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.
EMS Response Time in Maryland
The response of emergency medical service can be critical after an accident, especially if it’s a severe one. Let’s take a look at how much time does EMS take to reach in Maryland.
|Road Type||Time of Crash to EMS|
|EMS Notification to|
|EMS Arrival at Scene|
to Hospital Arrival
|Time of Crash to Hospital|
|Total Fatal Crashes|
The EMS response time is much better in urban areas wherein it takes EMS to reach a hospital in just 39 minutes from the time of the crash.
Transportation in Maryland
Reasons like the number of cars owned by residents, commute time to work, and the preferred mode of transportation are all interrelated to each other. The more cars households own in a city, the more would be the traffic on the road leading to a longer commute to work.
Let’s look at what’s causing all the long commutes to work in Baltimore!
Car Ownership in Maryland
Almost 40 percent of the households in Maryland own two cars, just like the national average for car ownership as per Data USA. You can see the chart above to know about the share of cars owned under different buckets by residents of Maryland and America (grey bars) on the whole.
Commute Time in Maryland
The commute time for employees in Maryland is slightly higher than the national average of 25 minutes. If we use averages, it takes commuters around 31 minutes to drive to work.
Commuter Transportation in Maryland
Commuters in Maryland prefer to drive alone to work compared to carpooling and using public transport which resonates with the preference of employees across the US.
Traffic Congestion in Maryland
Yes, it’s a well-known fact that traffic congestions in Baltimore is one of the worst in America.
As per the famous traffic data analytics firm Inrix, Baltimore is the 15th most congested city in the US.
In 2018, commuters in Baltimore spent around 94 hours in traffic congestion which cost each drive an average of $1,315 due to lost fuel consumption, and wages.
During peak hours, the average speed is around 25 mph.
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