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Sample Maryland Auto Insurance Rates For Drivers – Shop Smart And Save

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View current auto insurance rates in Maryland from major carriers. With the help of the State DOI, shown below are costs of coverage for many scenarios in several counties. By comparing before you purchase, you may reduce your policy premium by hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Multiple factors impact premiums, including age, marital status, gender, make and model of vehicle, credit standing, and prior coverage. Flexible payment options are made available by all companies, including monthly payments with a low initial payment. Full, limited, or rejection of PIP benefits will impact the policy cost.

The Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (MAIF) offers the lowest available liability limits ($30,000/$60,000/$15,000). Higher limits are also available to some drivers. High-risk drivers in Maryland are able to obtain coverage for financed or paid-off vehicles.

Prices shown are annual Maryland car insurance premiums for many hypothetical households. Most carriers offer a monthly billing option and additional discounts that may not have been included in the illustrated rates.

 

Unmarried 19-year-old female. Drives 2008 Toyota Camry to work and approximately 15,000 miles per year. No moving violations within the last 36 months. Liability and UM limits are $30,000/$60,000/$15,000 with $2,500 Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 and $250.

Washington County

$1,512 – AIG

$1,515 – Clearcover Insurance

$1,707 – Horace Mann

$2,072 – Branch Insurance Exchange

$2,139 – Progressive Select

$2,152 – State Farm

$2,247 – Teachers Insurance

$2,191 – USAA

$2,360 – Brethren Mutual

$2,423 – Erie

$2,431 – Noblr Insurance Exchange

$2,654 – Geico

$3,174 – American States Preferred

$3,302 – Farmers

 

Garrett County

$1,282 – USAA

$1,770 – Horace Mann

$1,791 – Geico

$1,887 – Progressive Select

$1,942 – State Farm Mutual

$1,977 – Teachers Insurance

$2,005 – USAA Casualty

$2,196 – Safe Auto

$2,258 – Erie

$2,369 – Brethren Mutual

$3,944 – Encompass

$3,302 – Metropolitan Direct

 

Frederick County

$1,508 – USAA

$1,512 – AIG Property Casualty

$1,739 – Geico

$1,800 – Horace Mann

$1,914 – State Farm

$1,977 – Teachers Insurance

$2,014 – Progressive Select

$2,028 – USAA Casualty

$2,054 – Brethren Mutual

$2,238 – Erie

$2,555 – Progressive Specialty

$2,261 – Safe Auto

 

Caroline County

$1,288 – USAA

$1,703 – Horace Mann

$1,979 – USAA Casualty

$2,008 – Progressive Select

$2,062 – State Farm

$2,118 – Progressive Specialty

$2,232 – Brethren Mutual

$2,290 – Safe Auto

$2,395 – AIG

$2,402 – Erie

$2,633 – American States

$3,995 – Nationwide

 

Unmarried 23-year-old female. Drives 2012 Jeep Liberty to work and approximately 15,000 miles per year. One moving violation within the last 36 months. Liability and UM limits are $30,000/$60,000/$15,000 with $2,500 Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 and $250.

Washington County

$1,065 – USAA

$1,213 – Geico Casualty

$1,418 – USAA Casualty

$1,475 – Horace Mann

$1,541 – AIG

$1,713 – State Farm Mutual

$1,908 – Cumberland

$2,100 – Erie

$2,171 – Privilege Underwriters

$2,214 – Encompass

$2,400 – American Family

$2,470 – Allstate

 

Allegany County

$968 – USAA

$1,286 – Geico Casualty

$1,378 – Progressive Select

$1,399 – USAA Casualty

$1,459 – American States

$1,539 – State Farm Mutual

$1,545 – Horace Mann

$1,804 – Mutual Benefit

$2,134 – Erie

$2,354 – American National

$2,447 – Encompass

$4,175 – Farmers

 

Frederick County

$1,083 – USAA

$1,122 – Geico Casualty

$1,402 – American States

$1,515 – USAA Casualty

$1,515 – State Farm

$1,538 – Horace Mann

$1,541 – AIG Property Casualty

$1,571 – Progressive Select

$1,676 – Safe Auto

$1,692 – Teachers Insurance

$1,946 – Cumberland

$2,193 – Erie

 

Worcester County

$1,016 – USAA

$1,184 – Geico Casualty

$1,311 – American States

$1,398 – USAA Casualty

$1,413 – Progressive Select

$1,464 – Horace Ann

$1,505 – State Farm

$1,539 – Progressive Specialty

$1,816 – Cumberland

$1,973 – Mutual Benefit

$2,226- Maryland Auto Insurance Fund

$2,319 – Erie

 

Talbot County

$1,003 – Amica

$1,409 – American States

$1,411 – State Farm

$1,415 – Root Insurance

$1,464 – Horace Mann

$1,545 – Progressive Select

$1,631 – USAA

$1,728 – USAA Casualty

$1,763 – Integon Indemnity

$1,863 – Geico Secure

$2,319 – Erie

$2,760 – Liberty Mutual

 

Dorcester County

$1,409 – American States

$1,464 – Horace Mann

$1,476 – Root Insurance

$1,635 – Progressive Select

$1,648 – USAA

$1,768 – Geico Secure

$1,776 – Amica

$1,878 – Cumberland Insurance

$2,222 – Integon Indemnity

$2,424 – American Family

$2,505 – Allstate Indemnity

$3,120 – State Farm

 

Unmarried 30-year-old male. Drives 2015 Toyota RAV4 to work and approximately 25,000 miles per year. No moving violations within the last 36 months. Liability and UM limits are $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 with $2,500 Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 and $250.

Garrett County

$862 – Progressive Select

$1,077 – Geico Casualty

$1,095 – Horace Mann

$1,117 – Encompass

$1,146 – Cumberland Insurance

$1,153 – Progressive Specialty

$1,222 – USAA

$1,222 – Nationwide

$1,316 – State Farm Mutual

$1,366 – Erie

 

Saint Mary’s County

$937 – Progressive Select

$1,052 – Geico Casualty

$1,120 – IDS Property And Casualty

$1,203 – Horace Mann

$1,240 – Nationwide Property And Casualty

$1,250 – Root Insurance

$1,340 – Cumberland

$1,383 – USAA

$1,489 – State Farm Mutual

$1,493 – Erie

 

Howard County

$941 – Progressive Select

$1,206 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,203 – Horace Mann

$1,256 – Geico Casualty

$1,258 – Cumberland Insurance

$1,429 – USAA

$1,474 – Amica Mutual

$1,575 – Nationwide

$1,702 – Encompass

$1,735 – CSAA General

 

Carroll County

$917 – Progressive Select

$1,187 – Horace Mann

$1,204 – Geico Casualty

$1,221 – Cumberland Insurance

$1,324 – Nationwide

$1,408 – USAA

$1,461 – USAA Casualty

$1,488 – Emcompass

$1,601 – State Farm

$1,710 – Teachers Insurance

 

Wicomico County

$756 – Progressive Select

$970 – Geico

$1,032 – Horace Mann

$1,097 – Cumberland

$1,148 – Nationwide

$1,189 – Progressive Specialty

$1,176 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,201 – Root Insurance

$1,301 – USAA

$1,418 – State Farm

 

Kent County

$783 – Progressive Select

$962 – Geico

$1,051 – Progressive Specialty

$1,128 – Cumberland

$1,187 – USAA

$1,414 – American National Property And Casualty

$1,395 – Brethren Mutual

$1,427 – Erie

$1,459 – Encompass

$1,462 – Amica Mutual

 

Unmarried 30-year-old female. Drives 2016 Nissan Altima to work and approximately 15,000 miles per year. No moving violations within the last 36 months. Liability and UM limits are $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 with $2,500 Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 and $250.

Calvert County

$672 – Progressive Select

$947 – Root Insurance

$983 – Progressive Specialty

$1,021 – USAA

$1,041 – USAA Casualty

$1,118 – IDS Property And Casualty

$1,171 – Geico Casualty

$1,173 – Encompass

$1,252 – Nationwide Property And Casualty

$1,257 – Mutual Benefit

 

Washington County

$661 – Progressive Select

$777 – Encompass

$818 – Horace Mann

$873 – Progressive Specialty

$904 – Erie

$965 – USAA

$981 – USAA Casualty

$983 – Root Insurance

$990 – Cumberland

$4,543 – Maryland Auto Insurance Fund

 

Anne Arundel County

$716 – Progressive Select

$957 – Progressive Specialty

$970 – Root Insurance

$1,024 – USAA

$1,087 – USAA Casualty

$1,116 – Encompass

$1,160 – Geico Casualty

$1,182 – Erie

$1,217 – Selective Insurance Company

$1,261 – Cincinnati

 

Cecil County

$729 – Progressive Select

$1,052 – American National

$1,073 – Cumberland

$1,075 – Root Insurance

$1,130 – Erie

$1,182 – USAA Casualty

$1,257 – Geico Casualty

$1,310 – Old Dominion

$1,325 – Penn National

$1,340 – IDS Property Casualty

 

Caroline County

$727 – Progressive Select

$812 – Horace Mann

$876 – USAA

$886 – American National Property Casualty

$974 – Cumberland

$985 – Erie

$987 – Geico

$1,119 – Encompass

$1,387 – Travelers

$1,630 – Farmers

 

Somerset County

$797 – Progressive Select

$812 – Horace Mann

$914 – American National Property Casualty

$985 – Erie

$1,001 – USAA

$1,011 – Root Insurance

$1,119 – Encompass

$1,812 – Donegal Mutual

$1,207 – Nationwide

$3,411 – Elephant

 

Unmarried 40-year-old male. Drives 2015 Nissan Sentra to work and approximately 15,000 miles per year. No moving violations within the last 36 months. Liability and UM limits are $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 with $2,500 Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 and $250.

St. Mary’s County

$1,029 – Progressive Select

$1,076 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,107 – Horace Mann

$1,153 – Cincinnati

$1,159 – Geico Casualty

$1,214 – USAA

$1,339 – Cumberland

$1,356 – USAA Casualty

$1,381 – Root Insurance

$1,390 – Erie

 

Charles County

$1,141 – Cincinnati

$1,364 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,372 – Cumberland

$1,393 – USAA

$1,525 – Geico Casualty

$1,574 – USAA Casualty

$1,826 – Progressive Specialty

$1,867 – State Farm

$1,944 – American National

$1,948 – Nationwide

 

Harford County

$1,091 – Progressive Select

$1,175 – Horace Mann

$1,191 – Cincinnati

$1,226 – Cumberland

$1,228 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,249 – USAA

$1,371 – Geico Casualty

$1,553 – Root Insurance

$1,571 – Erie

$1,608 – Nationwide

 

Baltimore County

$1,416 – Horace Mann

$1,567 – Cincinnati

$1,691 – USAA

$1,714 – Geico Casualty

$1,714 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,878 – Root Insurance

$1,968 – Erie

$2,097 – State Farm

$2,226 – Teachers Insurance

$2,490 – Mutual Benefit

 

Talbot County

$811 – Progressive Select

$984 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,023 – Cincinnati

$1,059 – Geico

$1,087 – USAA

$1,175 – State Farm

$1,208 – USAA Casualty

$1,316 – Erie

$1,356 – American National

$1,661 – Integon

 

Worcester County

$949 – Horace Mann

$845 – Progressive Select

$1,022 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,046 – Cincinnati

$1,065 – Geico Casualty

$1,097 – Cumberland

$1,106 – Progressive Specialty

$1,203 – USAA Casualty

$1,316 – Erie

$1,730 – Amica Mutual

 

Unmarried 40-year-old female. Drives 2016 Toyota Prius to work and approximately 15,000 miles per year. No moving violations within the last 36 months. Liability and UM limits are $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 with $2,500 Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 and $250.

Garrett County

$710 – Progressive Select

$749 – Horace Mann

$810 – American National

$814 – USAA

$823 – Cumberland

$846 – Encompass

$898 – State Farm Mutual

$908 – Erie

$940 – USAA Casualty

$956 – Cincinnati Insurance

 

Montgomery County

$713 – Progressive Select

$773 – Horace Mann

$824 – Geico Casualty

$921 – Cumberland

$942 – USAA

$956 – IDS Property Casualty

$962 – American National Property And Casualty

$995 – Progressive Specialty

$1,045 – Cincinnati

$1,141 – Mutual Benefit

 

Frederick County

$679 – Progressive Select

$824 – Cumberland

$861 – USAA

$864 – State Farm

$866 – IDS Property Casualty

$917 – Cincinnati

$919 – Erie

$929 – USAA Casualty

$976 – Brethren Mutual

$1,060 – Encompass

 

Cecil County

$714 – Progressive Select

$962 – USAA

$1,020 – Old Dominion

$1,061 – USAA Casualty

$1,101 – Root Insurance

$1,127 – Cincinnati

$1,152 – Mutual Benefit

$1,162 – Penn National

$1,198 – Nationwide

$1,199 – State Farm

 

Kent County

$653 – Progressive Select

$793 – USAA

$806 – Cumberland

$828 – Geico Casualty

$836 – American National Property And Casualty

$853 – State Farm

$860 – IDS Property Casualty

$943 – Cincinnati

$953 – Erie

$1,339 – Farmers

 

Queen Anne’s County

$647 – Progressive Select

$710 – Horace Mann

$806 – Cumberland

$830 – USAA

$828 – Geico Casualty

$851 – USAA Casualty

$958 – State Farm

$992 – CSAA General

$1,005 – Nationwide

$1,478 – Metropolitan Group

 

Unmarried 50-year-old male. Drives 2017 Ford F-250 to work and approximately 25,000 miles per year and 2012 Honda CR-V approximately 3,000 miles per year. No moving violations within the last 36 months. Liability and UM limits are $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 with $2,500 Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 and $250.

Allegany County

$891 – Progressive Select

$948 – Cumberland

$1,057 – CSAA General

$1,062 – American National Property And Casualty

$1,120 – Progressive Specialty

$1,197 – Erie

$1,260 – Old Dominion

$1,271 – Penn National

$1,294 – USAA

$1,332 – Travelers

 

Washington County

$817 – Privilege Underwriters

$916 – Progressive Select

$1,072 – American National Property And Casualty

$1,077 – CSAA General

$1,143 – Erie

$1,204 – Old Dominion

$1,210 – Mutual Benefit

$1,291 – Selective Insurance Co. Of SC

$1,371 – Geico Casualty

$1,380 – Meridian Security

 

Anne Arundel County

$980 – Progressive Select

$1,137 – CSAA General

$1,240 – American National Property And Casualty

$1,256 – Progressive Specialty

$1,276 – Selective Insurance

$1,321 – Brethren Mutual

$1,336 – Cincinnati

$1,337 – Horace Mann

$1,416 – Mutual Benefit

$1,618 – Penn National

 

Carroll County

$1,003 – Cumberland

$1,060 – CSAA General

$1,071  – Progressive Select

$1,195 – Selective Insurance

$1,230 – American National Property And Casualty

$1,294 – Mutual Benefit

$1,346 – Cincinnati

$1,470 – Erie

$1,479 – USAA Casualty

$1,619 – Geico Casualty

 

Caroline County

$934 – Cumberland

$1,008 – Progressive Select

$1,055 – Progressive Specialty

$1,090 – American National Property And Casualty

$1,194 – CSAA General

$1,210 – Horace Mann

$1,216 – Mutual Benefit

$1,254 – Erie

$1,320 – USAA

$1,528 – Travelers

 

Somerset County

$911 – Cumberland

$1,108 – Progressive Select

$1,118 – American National Property And Casualty

$1,210 – Horace Mann

$1,216 – Mutual Benefit

$1,247 – CSAA General

$1,254 – Erie

$1,353 – Geico

$1,676 – Travelers

$1,948 – Esurance

 

Unmarried 50-year-old female. Drives 2014 Hyundai Elantra to work and approximately 20,000 miles per year. No moving violations within the last 36 months. Liability and UM limits are $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 with $2,500 Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 and $250.

Saint Mary’s County

$1,028 – Geico Casualty

$1,132 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,148 – Progressive Select

$1,180 – Horace Mann

$1,272 – USAA Casualty

$1,356 – Cumberland

$1,391 – Mutual Benefit

$1,450 – Root Insurance

$1,460 – USAA General Indemnity

$1,542 – Nationwide

 

Charles County

$1,200 – Progressive Select

$1,359 – USAA

$1,368 – Geico Casualty

$1,423 – Horace Mann

$1,479 – USAA Casualty

$1,560 – Amica Mutual

$1,606 – Cincinnati

$1,633 – Root Insurance

$1,689 – USAA General Indemnity

$1,724 – Mutual Benefit

 

Frederick County

$1,010 – Progressive Select

$1,028 – Horace Mann

$1,076 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,117 – USAA

$1,199 – USAA Casualty

$1,208 – Mutual Benefit

$1,319 – Amica Mutual

$1,398 – State Farm

$1,408 – Nationwide

$1,488 – Erie

 

Baltimore County

$1,423 – Progressive Select

$1,534 – Horace Mann

$1,557 – Geico Casualty

$1,634 – USAA

$1,795 – USAA Casualty

$1,797 – Amica Mutual

$1,824 – IDS Property Casualty

$2,221 – Erie

$2,407 – Nationwide

$2,684 – AIG

 

Dorchester County

$945 – Progressive Select

$954 – Geico

$1,006 – Horace Mann

$1,101 – USAA

$1,139 – Cumberland

$1,175 – USAA Casualty

$1,192 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,253 – Mutual Benefit

$1,355 – Amica Mutual

$1,735 – American States

 

Wicomico County

$954 – Geico

$954 – Progressive Select

$1,006 – Horace Mann

$1,109 – Cumberland

$1,122 – USAA

$1,202 – USAA Casualty

$1,429 – Nationwide

$1,558 – Penn National

$1,594 – State Farm

$1,596 – Meridian Security

 

Unmarried 65-year-old male. Drives 2012 Ford Escape approximately 5,000 miles per year. No moving violations within the last 36 months. Liability and UM limits are $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 with $2,500 Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 and $250.

Calvert County

$532 – Cumberland

$533 – Progressive Select

$562 – American National Property And Casualty

$584 – Brethren Mutual

$606 – Mutual Benefit

$617 – USAA Casualty

$634 – USAA

$640 – Horace Mann

$658 – Root Insurance

$671 – Erie

 

St. Mary’s County

$532 – Cumberland

$534 – American National Property And Casualty

$547 – Brethren Mutual

$600 – Geico Casualty

$606 – Mutual Benefit

$616 – Progressive Select

$626 – USAA

$640 – Horace Mann

$651 – USAA Casualty

$666 – IDS Property Casualty

 

Anne Arundel County

$525 – Brethren Mutual

$562 – American National Property Casualty

$588 – Progressive Select

$605 – Cumberland

$650 – USAA

$660 – USAA Casualty

$673 – Mutual Benefit

$680 – Geico Casualty

$680 – IDS Property Casualty

$775 – Erie

 

Frederick County

$482 – American National Property And Casualty

$527 – AIG Property Casualty

$544 – Mutual Benefit

$566 – Progressive Select

$569 – Atlantic States

$569 – Geico Casualty

$605 – USAA

$610 – Erie

$628 – IDS Property Casualty

$632 – Cincinnati

 

Talbot County

$448 – Cumberland

$456 – Brethren Mutual

$462 – American National Property And Casualty

$501 – Progressive Select

$545 – Geico

$567 – Mutual Benefit

$571 – USAA

$602 – State Farm

$700 – Metropolitan Direct

$1,024 – Hartford

 

Worcester County

$434 – Cumberland

$519 – Progressive Select

$538 – Mutual Benefit

$552 – Horace Mann

$559 – Geico

$563 – Atlantic States

$580 – USAA

$618 – IDS Property Casualty

$637 – Erie

$911 – Teachers Insurance

 

Unmarried 65-year-old Female. Drives 2017 Toyota Camry approximately 5,000 miles per year. No moving violations within the last 36 months. Liability and UM limits are $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 with $2,500 Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 and $250.

Washington County

$738 – American National Property And Casualty

$745 – Encompass

$765 – Progressive Select

$779 – Geico Casualty

$794 – Erie

$802 – Horace Mann

$828 – AIG Property Casualty

$841 – Root Insurance

$853 – USAA Casualty

$871 – USAA

 

Garrett County

$742 – American National Property And Casualty

$812 – Encompass

$816 – USAA

$819 – Progressive Select

$833 – Erie

$844 – Horace Mann

$848 – Geico Casualty

$909 – Root Insurance

$913 – USAA Casualty

$1,148 – Hartford Casualty

 

Cecil County

$837 – Progressive Select

$912 – American National Property And Casualty

$924 – Root Insurance

$949 – Brethren Mutual

$963 – USAA

$976 – Geico Casualty

$993 – Erie

$1,002 – Horace Mann

$1,192 – Old Dominion

$1,252 – Penn National

 

Carroll County

$849 – Brethren Mutual

$890 – American National Property And Casualty

$908 – Progressive Select

$910 – USAA Casualty

$913 – Horace Mann

$936 – Geico Casualty

$940 – USAA

$1,013 – Erie

$1,054 – Atlantic States

$1,084 – Encompass

 

Kent County

$752 – Progressive Select

$757 – Geico

$770 – American National Property And Casualty

$789 – USAA

$821 – Root Insurance

$854 – USAA Casualty

$862 – IDS Property Casualty

$865 – Erie

$1,081 – Penn National

$1,323 – Teachers Insurance

 

Queen Anne’s County

$750 – Root Insurance

$754 – American National Property And Casualty

$754 – Progressive Select

$757 – Geico

$828 – USAA

$865 – Erie

$1,003 – Atlantic States

$1,035 – Cumberland

$1,197 – CSAA General

$1,694 – Allstate

 

Married 29-year-old male and female. Drives 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan approximately 15,000 and 5,000 miles per year. No moving violations within the last 36 months. Liability and UM limits are $30,000/$60,000/$15,000 with $2,500 Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 and $250.

Allegany County

$1,388 – Cincinnati

$1,398 – Progressive Select

$1,535 – Geico Casualty

$1,548 – Progressive Specialty

$1,594 – American National Property And Casualty

$1,714 – USAA

$1,724 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,799 – Mutual Benefit

$1,836 – Garrison Property And Casualty

$1,898 – Meridian Security

 

Montgomery County

$1,345 – AIG

$1,392 – Geico Casualty

$1,490 – Cincinnati

$1,608 – Progressive Select

$1,663 – Root Insurance

$1,778 – Progressive Specialty

$2,061 – USAA

$2,151 – Garrison

$2,561 – Amica Mutual

$2,800 – Metropolitan Group

 

Frederick County

$904 – AIG Property Casualty

$1,278 – Cincinnati

$1,383 – Geico Casualty

$1,538 – Progressive Select

$1,610 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,626 – Root Insurance

$1,662 – Progressive Specialty

$1,678 – American National

$1,888 – USAA

$1,963 – State Farm

 

Anne Arundel County

$1,412 – Cincinnati

$1,587 – Progressive Select

$1,600 – Root Insurance

$1,618 – Geico Casualty

$1,657 – AIG Property Casualty

$1,718 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,753 – Progressive Specialty

$2,023 – USAA

$2,196 – USAA Casualty

$3,823 – Farmers

 

Talbot County

$1,322 – Cincinnati

$1,349 – Progressive Select

$1,372 – Geico

$1,570 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,744 – Integon

$1,823 – Horace Mann

$1,826 – USAA

$1,854 – State Farm

$2,022 – Mutual Benefit

$2,059 – Erie

 

Somerset County

$1,381 – Geico

$1,413 – Cincinnati

$1,662 – AIG Property Casualty

$1,677 – Root Insurance

$1,682 – Progressive Select

$1,842 – Meridian Security

$1,878 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,976 – Mutual Benefit

$1,993 – USAA

$2,430 – Metropolitan Direct

 

Married 35-year-old male and 32-year-old female. Drives 2010 Dodge Dakota Crew Cab and 2017 Nissan Rogue approximately 35,000 and 15,000 miles per year. No moving violations within the last 36 months. Liability and UM limits are $250,000/$500,000/$100,000 with $2,500 Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 and $250.

Charles County

$1,030 – Progressive Select

$1,145 – Root Insurance

$1,403 – Horace Mann

$1,464 – CSAA Insurance

$1,513 – Mutual Benefit

$1,588 – Old Dominion

$1,658 – Cincinnati

$1,670 – American Property And Casualty

$1,832 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,991 – USAA

 

Prince George’s County

$1,254 – Progressive Select

$1,525 – Root Insurance

$1,544 – Horace Mann

$1,702 – CSAA

$1,901 – Progressive Specialty

$2,192 – AIG

$2,207 – Mutual Benefit

$2,242 – Old Dominion

$2,342 – Geico Casualty

$2,456 – Esurance

 

Howard County

$1,029 – Progressive Select

$1,193 – Horace Mann

$1,223 – CSAA General

$1,307 – Root Insurance

$1,460 – American National

$1,470 – Old Dominion

$1,552 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,644 – Cincinnati

$1,716 – National General

$1,730 – Cumberland

 

Harford County

$1,059 – Progressive Select

$1,139 – Root Insurance

$1,208 – CSAA General

$1,253 – Horace Mann

$1,380 – Progressive Specialty

$1,553 – Mutual Benefit

$1,650 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,694 – Cincinnati

$1,779 – Erie

$1,930 – Metropolitan Group

 

Caroline County

$835 – Progressive Select

$1,018 – Root Insurance

$1,035 – Horace Mann

$1,171 – CSAA General

$1,174 – Old Dominion

$1,315 – Integon

$1,359 – Mutual Benefit

$1,416 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,448 – Geico

$1,528 – Esurance

 

Worcester County

$760 – Progressive Select

$1,035 – Horace Mann

$1,036 – Root Insurance

$1,066 – CSAA General

$1,228 – Old Dominion

$1,348 – Mutual Benefit

$1,462 – Geico

$1,596 – Erie

$1,622 – State Farm

$1,624 – Travelers

 

Married 50-year-old male and female. Drives 2017 Toyota Avalon and 2008 Toyota Camry approximately 35,000 and 5,000 miles per year. No moving violations within the last 36 months. Liability and UM limits are $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 with $2,500 Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 and $250.

Washington County

$1,174 – Erie

$1,210 – Progressive Select

$1,274 – American National Property And Casualty

$1,391 – Progressive Specialty

$1,536 – Horace Mann

$1,629 – USAA Casualty

$1,648 – Pharmacists Mutual

$1,667 – Meridian Security

$1,668 – USAA

$1,797 – Mutual Benefit

 

Garrett County

$1,224 – Erie

$1,290 – American National Property And Casualty

$1,327 – Progressive Select

$1,494 – Progressive Specialty

$1,563 – USAA

$1,622 – Horace Mann

$1,651 – Cumberland

$1,666 – USAA General Indemnity

$1,667 – Root Insurance

$1,789 – State Farm

 

Cecil County

$1,329 – Progressive Select

$1,479 – Erie

$1,530 – American National Property And Casualty

$1,665 – Root Insurance

$1,671 – Progressive Specialty

$1,807 – Cumberland

$1,847 – USAA

$1,935 – USAA General Indemnity

$1,958 – USAA Casualty

$2,070 – Old Dominion

 

Anne Arundel County

$1,321 – Progressive Select

$1,510 – American National Property And Casualty

$1,522 – Progressive Specialty

$1,522 – Root Insurance

$1,558 – Erie

$1,732 – Horace Mann

$1,772 – USAA

$1,774 – USAA General Indemnity

$2,103 – Geico Casualty

$2,296 – Nationwide

 

Wicomico County

$1,019 – Progressive Select

$1,500 – American National Property And Casualty

$1,610 – Root Insurance

$1,632 – USAA

$1,681 – Erie

$1,784 – Meridian Security

$1,799 – Geico

$1,912 – State Farm

$2,038 – Amica

$2,110 – Nationwide

 

Kent County

$1,053 – Progressive Select

$1,475 – USAA

$1,621 – Integon

$1,643 – Cumberland

$1,680 – State Farm

$1,681 – Erie

$1,769 – Geico

$1,805 – Mutual Benefit

$1,921 – Penn National

$2,090 – Unitrin

 

Married 65-year-old male and female. Drives 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2016 Lexus approximately 20,000 and 5,000 miles per year. No moving violations within the last 36 months. Liability and UM limits are $250,000/$500,000/$100,000 with $2,500 Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 and $250.

Calvert County

$955 – Progressive Select

$1,268 – American Property And Casualty

$1,300 – Erie

$1,311 – Root Insurance

$1,320 – CSAA General

$1,350 – Cumberland Insurance

$1,350 – Horace Mann

$1,383 – Mutual Benefit

$1,681 – Cincinnati

$1,700 – IDS Property Casualty

 

Montgomery County

$1,031 – Progressive Select

$1,212 – American National Property And Casualty

$1,277 – Horace Mann

$1,321 – Cumberland Insurance

$1,338 – CSAA General

$1,395 – Mutual Benefit

$1,421 – Root Insurance

$1,502 – Erie

$1,674 – AIG Property Casualty

$1,978 – Travelers

 

Carroll County

$1,066 – CSAA General

$1,129 – Progressive Select

$1,218 – American National Property And Casualty

$1,233 – Cumberland

$1,321 – Mutual Benefit

$1,442 – Erie

$1,445 – Root Insurance

$1,588 – Cincinnati

$1,692 – IDS Property Casualty

$1,882 – Geico Casualty

 

Baltimore County

$1,352 – Progressive Select

$1,602 – American National Property And Casualty

$1,702 – Horace Mann

$1,775 – Erie

$1,869 – CSAA General

$1,874 – Root Insurance

$1,990 – Brethren Mutual

$2,233 – Penn National

$2,372 – USAA

$2,521 – USAA Casualty

 

Talbot County

$825 – Progressive Select

$1,082 – CSAA General

$1,147 – Brethren Mutual

$1,172 – Horace Mann

$1,164 – Cumberland

$1,268 – Mutual Benefit

$1,309 – Erie

$1,514 – Geico

$1,551 – State Farm

$1,641 – Travelers

 

Somerset County

$1,031 – Progressive Select

$1,136 – Cumberland

$1,172 – Horace Mann

$1,186 – American National

$1,200 – CSAA General

$1,246 – Mutual Benefit

$1,309 – Erie

$1,554 – Cincinnati

$1,647 – USAA

$1,892 – Metropolitan Direct

The Department of Insurance provides a Maryland Comparison of Auto Insurance Rates for consumers.

Maryland Insurance Safety Programs, Services And Driver Improvement

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Keeping Maryland residents safe is the priority of the Motor Vehicle Administration, Highway Safety Office, and the State Government. Through many programs and specific legislation,  Old Line State drivers and pedestrians are protected quite well. Discussed below are many of the most pertinent resources available to consumers. Safety programs and tools from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration help protect consumers and reduce car insurance rates.

 

Driver Improvement Program (DIP)

DIP is an instructional and interactive program designed to improve and educate drivers. Typically, residents are assigned to the program (4-8 hours) for one of the following reasons: Total of 5-7 points on driving record, probation when charged with a moving violation and  having provisional license, convicted or granted probation for a moving violation while holding a license (provisional), District Court Judge referral, or Administrative Law Judge referral. Correspondence via mail will be sent  if a judge rules that completing the program is required. The letter is typically sent 4-6 weeks after the official hearing date.

The correspondence will provide details regarding the driver’s obligation and  a list of nearby driving schools. Upon receipt, the class must be selected and completed by the due date. Approximately 4-8 hours should be allotted. A certificate of completion and compliance will be provided. If you miss a scheduled class, documentation for a valid reason will be accepted, and a new class will be scheduled. The MVA office is located on Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie.

Missed classes without a valid exception can result in a suspension or revocation of a driver’s license. If you are located out-of-state (temporary or permanent), the National Safety Council must be notified to determine if a local program is offered. Verification of the out-of-state completion must be provided. A change of address may need to be processed if the MVA has not been notified. If a referral letter is lot, a duplicate can be ordered.

Following the assignment to the DIP Program, a provider should be contacted to discuss class times and availability, along with the costs of participation. Lost letters can be replaced although driving privileges can be terminated if class is missed. The National Safety Council should be contacted if you have moved to a different state.

DIP providers include Method Driving School, Introspect, ABC Linnel Driver Training Programs, Widmyer Driving School, AB Discount Driving School, Alpha One, Elite Driving School, Emerald Driving Academy. Greg’s Driving School, Integrity Driving School, Leap Driving Academy, Majestic Driving Academy, Mt. Washington Driving School, National Driving School, Premier Driving School, Quick Tag And Title, SAHR Driving School, Street Smarts Of MD, and Uncle Sam Driving School. Additional providers are available for Three Hour Alcohol And Drug, Driver Education, and Motorcycle Safety.

MVA fees may be imposed, depending upon the situation. Common fees include driver licensing, MVA records, medical advisory board, motorcycle safety program, dealer licensing and consumer service, driver education, driver improvement, insurance compliance, vehicle emissions, vehicle registration, and registration plates fee.

 

Vehicle Occupant Protection

For more than 20 years, Maryland law requires wearing a seat belt while driving. Utilization of seat belts and child restraint systems has saved thousands of lives, and drastically reduced the number of serious injuries. Collisions with motor vehicles are the leading cause of child deaths in the US, so “buckling up” is critical. Fortunately, the number of vehicle crashes and seriously-injured vehicle occupants not wearing seat belts, is declining. Areas with the highest percentage of incidences are the city of Baltimore, and the following counties: Anne, Arundel, Carroll, Harford, and Howard.

Statewide usage of seat belts is approximately 91%. The low was 89% in 2004, while the highest percentage was 94% in 2010 and 2011. The state law requires that all occupants in the front and back seats, must be buckled up. Drivers can not operate the vehicle until all passengers are fastened by a seat belt or children’s safety seat. Violators can be fined $50. If passengers not wearing a seat belt are over 16, the driver can be fined as much as $83.  If a driver and child are both unbuckled, two tickets will be issued to the driver. There is no limit to the number of violations that can occur.

Hospitalization expenses  are approximately 50% higher for drivers and passengers that are not wearing seat belts or restraints. Often, federal and state governments pay a large portion of these expenses. A frequent cause of vehicle injuries is the misuse of booster and car seats for children (see below). Unrestrained children can also cause harm to other occupants of the vehicle.

Note: If the driver is not buckled, there is a 70%-80% chance that any children in the vehicle also are unbuckled.  Also, with the written permission of a licensed physician (for medical reasons), a driver does not have to fasten their seat belt. Children that are unrestrained, and involved in a 25 miles-per-hour collision, are likely to be seriously injured. Incorrect installation, using unapproved or expired seats, and using broken seats, are quite common.

Helpful Hints:

You are not safer in a pickup truck than a passenger car.

Lap belts should be fastened approximately 2-4 inches below the waist.

Using the lap or should belt the wrong way can result in serious injuries.

Placing the belt over the pelvis is recommended.

Once a child reaches the maximum rear-facing weight limit, the car seat must be turned around (facing front).

Although sometimes inconvenient, seat belts should be used in back seats also.

 

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving can occur in many situations. Common examples are speeding, improper passing, weaving in and out of lanes, abruptly slamming brakes, tailgating, improper passing, ignoring traffic lights and stop signs, and forcing a vehicle off the road. Crash reports involving this type of behavior typically include drivers that fail to yield the right of way, exceed the speed limit, disregard road signs or markings, drive the wrong way, consume alcohol in excess of legal limits, improper pass, or follow too closely.

Maryland Drivers Insurance

 

Although highway and roadway fatalities continue to reduce, vehicle deaths continue to be the leading cause of deaths in the US. When aggressive driving is present in an accident, the chance of death increases. Locally, most of the fatalities occurred in the Washington and Baltimore areas. Baltimore and Prince George Counties have the highest incidences of death, accounting for more than 30% of all fatal crashes from aggressive operators. The months with the most fatalities are October, November, and December. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the most dangerous driving days.

Males are responsible for more than 60% of the crashes and suffer four times as many fatalities. Maryland has an aggressive driving law that charges $370 for each violation  and adds five points to the license. To qualify, three violations from this list below must be present: failure to yield, passing on right, passing and overtaking, speeding, following too closely, operating on loaned roadway, and traffic lights.

To help reduce this type of behavior, the ADAPT (Aggressive Drivers Are Public Threats) program was developed four years ago. A combination of enforcement and media exposure helps drivers recognize  potential issues, and eliminate them before a problem develops. An education program, aided by public service announcements, radio and TV advertising, social media, and online streaming, helps to increase consumer awareness. The ADAPT campaign resulted in 115,000 citations for aggressive behavior by drivers.

To help avoid aggressive drivers, avoid eye contact and remain relaxed, shift lanes if they are behind you, don’t escalate the encounter, don’t increase your speed when they are behind you, and avoid name-calling and  obscene gestures. If you continued to be followed, if possible, drive to the closest police station. And of course, seat belts should always be utilized for the driver and all passengers.

 

Impaired Driving

Drugs, alcohol, and medications are the leading causes of impaired driving. The consequences can be fatal to the driver, passengers, and other vehicles on the road. Although ignition interlock systems and road checkpoints help, the number of impacted drivers, passengers, and pedestrians is still too high.

Noah’s Law (Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016) has helped keep drivers safer, by bolstering the Ignition Interlock Program. This legislation requires an interlock device for any person that has been convicted of a DUI, DWI (if transporting a passenger under age 16), or a death caused by a DWI or DUI. The device must remain attached to the vehicle for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 3 years, depending upon the number of incidents. If the vehicle does not have an installed ignition interlock device, it can not be driven.

Any person that declines to take a chemical test and receives a DWI, must use an interlocking device for 12 months. In some instances, an interlock ignition program may be used in lieu of a suspension. Also, if a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 is found, participation in the program may be selected instead of disputing the findings. Additionally, high-risk car insurance rates in Maryland are substantially more expensive than preferred rates. Naturally, it’s a situation you always want to avoid.

Any person that is caught selling fake identification cards may be subject to two years incarceration and a $2,000 fine for each incident. Homeland and federal laws may also add additional fines and additional incarceration. Persons under age 21 that possess a fake ID can be fined $500 and face two months in prison. Twelve points will also be added to your driving record.

The highest number of driver-impaired crashes occur during the late-evening hours and on weekends. Most crashes happen on Fridays, Saturdays, and early Sunday. After 3 a.m., there is a significant reduction in incidents. Two programs designed to reduce the number of accidents are the Checkpoint Strikeforce, and the State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort. The 20th annual  Checkpoint Strikeforce public education campaign occurred last year with sobriety checkpoints and additional patrolling by police officers. More than 100 law enforcement agencies participate in the program.

 

SPIDRE

The State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort (SPIDRE) was created in 2013, and targets specific areas with high incidences of alcohol-related crashes. The DOT  Highway Safety Office funds the program. Five specialty-trained state troopers concentrate on these specific areas to reduce the number of injuries and death. The most recent annual statistics include more than 3,500 DUI arrests, 25 DUI drug arrests, 11,000 traffic stops,and  25,000 citations.

The program is responsible for an increase in the percentage of convictions in DUI cases. Bar patron surveys were effectively used to conduct research and evaluate data.

 

Distracted Driving

Phone use and texting cause drives to become distracted while driving, and not pay full attention to the road and surroundings. Pedestrians, other drivers, and passengers are at risk. The most common distractions include watching a video, eating, drinking, combing hair, looking in purse or wallet, talking to other occupants in the vehicle, and changing radio stations. The four types of distractions are cognitive, manual, visual, and auditory.

Fortunately, the number of distracted driver incidents in the state has been declining. Deaths are also declining although almost have of all Maryland crashes were directly or indirectly caused by distracted drivers. Since 80% of these types of accidents result in an injury, it’s critical to continue to reduce the number of incidents. Most of the crashes occurred in the Washington/Baltimore areas.

 

Pedestrian Safety Information In Maryland

 

Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian-involved accidents and injuries have increased for pedestrians, since 2013. Typically, more than 2,000 pedestrian crashes occur each year, with more than 80% resulting in injuries or fatalities. 20% of persons that are killed in vehicle crashes, are pedestrians. Most of the crashes take place in the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas. Prince George County typically has very high fatality rates. Other counties with high rates include Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford, and Howard.

Friday is the most dangerous day for pedestrians, especially between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. Young drivers are responsible for the most number of pedestrian accidents, while older drivers are involved with a high number of fatalities. Males are typically the victims in most accidents. About 70% of pedestrian fatalities are male.

 

Maryland pedestrian safety laws and penalties include:

Passing a vehicle stopped for a pedestrian ($80-$500).

Not stopping for a pedestrian in crosswalk ($80-$500).

Failure to obey pedestrian control signal ($40-$500).

Pedestrian illegally on roadway ($40-$500).

Failure to yield right-of-way to vehicle ($40-$500).

 

Bicycle Safety

Current Traffic Laws for Bicyclists:

Persons riding bikes should stay as close as possible to the right side of the road. Some exceptions include avoiding a pedestrian, making a left turn, driving on a one-way street, and operating in a narrow lane.

A passenger can not ride on a bicycle, unless it is designed and properly equipped for an extra rider.

Bicycles are not permitted on roads or highways when the speed limit is 50 mph (or more).

You can not touch or hold onto another vehicle.

A rider can not operate a bicycle while wearing earplugs or a headset that covers both ears.

A bicycle can not be fastened to a fire hydrant, pole, or meter.

Cyclists must obey traffic laws and are highly-encouraged to wear a helmet. Drivers of vehicles must also be cautious and courteous. Typically, when a crash occurs between a vehicle and someone on a bike, the cyclist is injured. Bicycle crashes have been increasing for the last five years, and more than 80% of those crashes resulted in an injury or death. Most crashes occurred in the Washington DC and Baltimore areas. The months with the highest number of accidents were June, July, August, and September.

 

School Bus Zones

All sides of the bus are at risk when children are waiting to be picked up. Children should stand at least 10 feet away from the bus and never stand or walk behind it. Passing a bus or another vehicle is one of the leading causes of fatalities in a school zone. The most common reasons children are hit include not staying within the bus driver’s sight, dropping an item and picking it up, attempting to get off the bus too quick, and making the assumption that motorists will see them.

Tips for drivers:

Be alert for unexpected events.

Understand what flashing yellow lights and flashing red lights mean.

Watch for children playing in unexpected locations, including bus stops.

When leaving home, watch for children riding or walking to school.

 

Maryland Kids Safety

 

Child Passenger Safety

Children under eight-years-old  are required to be placed in a child-restraint. An exception is made if the child is at least 4’9″. Children 8-16 must be appropriately fastened in a seatbelt, if not placed in a child restraint. The driver must ensure that all passengers are buckled up before operating the vehicle. Note: Children are permitted to be placed in the front seat with the proper protection. Rules apply to all vehicles, regardless if they are in-state or otherwise.

Kids In Safety Seats (KISS) is  funded by the Maryland Highway Safety Office.  Several services offered by the program include reduced costs and special needs assistance for car seats, virtual and in-person car seat inspections, and email, phone, and website free safety information. Selection of the best car seat, and availability of training and presentations are available through their website.

 

Driver Wellness And Safety Programs

3-Hour Alcohol And Drug Education – The program is mandatory if you only have a military license or have a non-US license. A certificate is provided when the program is successfully completed. A list of companies offering the program is available along with their fee schedule.

Ignition Interlock – Persons that have been arrested for impaired driving are offered an option to avoid a suspended license. Driving is permitted, but only under careful supervision. Cameras are included on all new devices. If the alcohol concentration reading is .15 or higher, a one-year  program enrollment is required. A reading between .08 and .15  requires a 180-day enrollment. Written proof of the installation is required, and the participant will be notified of the required length of time that must be completed.

Modified Vision Program –  A restricted license is provided to drivers with correct vision less than 20/70, but not worse than 20/100. Continuous field vision is also required. A daylight restriction may possible be removed after 12 months. The Driver Wellness And Safety Division processes the paperwork. New and experienced drivers have different requirements. Applicants that have never had a valid driver’s license must complete clinical and active driving requirements along with 80 hours of supervised and customized driving.

Reinstatement Of A Revoked Driver’s License – After 12 accumulated points, it is possible to reinstate your license. One revocation results in only a 6-month waiting period. Two, three, and four or more revocations results in 12-month, 18-month, and 24-month waiting periods respectively. If a reinstatement request is denied, an appeal may be submitted.

 

Motorcycle Safety Program

Motorcycle rider training courses are offered to all operators  by the MVA. Skills and strategies are taught and discussed, which leads to a decreased chance of injury or fatality. About 9 out of 10 accidents occur to riders with limited or no training. Although adult training is not required, persons under age 18 must complete a Basic Rider or Alternative Basic course. Many training facilities are available.

Although the number of crashes has decreased in the last five years, the number of fatalities has slightly increased. However most crashes result in an injury or death. And as expected, higher-populated areas have the most crashes and injuries. More than 50% of reported crashes were in the Baltimore area, with warmer months the most dangerous. Operators between the ages of 25-49 generally account for about half of all crashes, with male drivers accounting for about 90% of those crashes.

Helmets are required by the Department of Transportation, subject to specific standards. Helmet manufactures are required to certify compliance with acceptable standards. A windscreen or approved eye-protective device also must be worn. Nineteen  training centers are located throughout the state including Cumberland (Willowbrook Road), Arnold (College Parkway), Westminster (Washington Road), Frederick (Opossumtown Pike), Hagerstown (Robinwood Drive), and Baltimore (Pulaski Highway).

A strategic highway safety program (SHSP) helps reduce the number of highway deaths, and serious injuries on all roads. The number of serious deaths and injuries has gradually reduced over the last 10 years, as implemented changes continue to be effective. The TZD (Towards Zero Deaths) campaign is supported by the MD Chiefs of Police Association, Association of County Health Officers, and several additional organizations. Reducing fatalities by up to 50% by 2030 is the ultimate goal.

Motor scooters and mopeds do not require a class M motorcycle license. However, operators must have a valid driver’s license. An identification decal must be visibly displayed, and approved eye protection and a compliant motorcycle helmet must be worn.  The right side of the road must be use unless  making a left turn, driving on a one-way street, avoiding road hazards or pedestrians, or passing a slow-moving vehicle. Headsets that cover both ears are typically not allowed. The maximum operating speed is 30 miles per hour.

 

Older Drivers

Advanced aging can impact your reaction, sight, and hearing, and subsequently your ability to safely operate an automobile. Several self-assessment guides are available, including “Am I A Safe Driver,” “Test Your Driving IQ,” “5-Question Test,” and “DriveSharp.” Medication assessments, professional evaluations, and MVA screenings are also provided. Driving Safety course offered include AAA Roadwise Driver For Seniors, AARP Driver Safety Program, and AARP Smart Driver TEK.

About 20% of Maryland’s population is over the age of 60. In 10 years, the percentage will increase to 25%. The most common crashes for older drivers are turning left at an intersection with a stop sign, merging onto a ramp with a yield sign, changing lanes on large highways, and turning left at an intersection with a green light and oncoming traffic. The number of crashes and fatalities caused by older drivers has steadily increased over the last 10 years.

The MHSO (Maryland Highway Safety Office) provides summary crash data to the public. An annual highway safety plan is also available for the review of projects.

 

Highway Safety Office Grants

Applications are granted by the Maryland Department Of Transportation Highway Safety Office. Local and state governments, non-profit organizations, and law-enforcement agencies are eligible for grants. Additional information is available online and through the mail.

 

Affordable Car Insurance Rates In Baltimore – Compare Free Auto Quotes

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Auto insurance prices in Baltimore can be very cheap, if you are comparing multiple companies. We research single and multi-car insurance rates in all of Maryland so you save money with our free online quotes. Whether you live in Baltimore, Columbia, Hagerstown or any other part of the state, we help you find the best offers from all of the major carriers. Customized proposals are always included in our quotes. Washington DC and Northern Virginia prices are also offered, along with inexpensive minimum liability limit options. The average cost of Baltimore coverage is about $175 per month, although rates greatly vary between carriers.

Of course, full coverage (collision and comprehensive) will always cost more than basic liability, regardless of the type of vehicle you drive. But there are many cost-effective deductible and liability combinations we show you.  And although a poor MVR report will raise your premium, a clean driving record can easily save you thousands of dollars per year. Non at-fault accidents and comprehensive claims generally do not impact your rate. Multiple comprehensive claims (fire, theft, and vandalism) can raise your premium. The best car insurance for new drivers in Baltimore has slightly reduced from last  year.

 

Bundle Your Coverage

Additional property and casualty products are also offered in the “Charm City,” and the bundling of these products can reduce the premium. Adding your home, personal property, condo, boat, TV, mobile home, or rental property coverage may reduce your automobile rate. A personal liability umbrella is recommended for persons that own boats or rental property. The standard face amount for umbrella contracts is $1 million or $2 million. Deductibles typically range from $500 to $2,500.

Many larger cities have substantially higher premiums than smaller cities, Maryland, however, is an exception. Larger MD metropolitan areas don’t necessarily cost more than many nearby rural areas. But why? Is it because it’s the second largest seaport in the US? Or perhaps it receives hardly any snow compared to other big cities in the East.  There are several explanations that we will discuss below.

NOTE: Nearby towns and cities that also feature competitive rates include Calverton, Rosedale, Dundalk, Catonsville, Overlea, Essex, Pikesdale, Ferndale, Elkridge, and Brooklyn Park. Several nearby Counties that feature lower-than average pricing include Howard, Frederick, Kent, Calvert, Montgomery, and Queen Anne’s. Several of the MD communities with the highest prices include Oxon Hill, Gwynn Oak, Suitland, Capitol Heights, Bladensburg, and Temple Hills.

 

Find Cheap baltimore Auto Insurance Rates

Good Student Discounts Can Save Hundreds Of Dollars

Rural Areas

There are still many rural areas that seem to have better driving habits, and of course, less accidents. Lighting is very good on most streets at night, and incidences of theft are much lower. Teenagers are more conscientious than other larger cities, which can have a dramatic impact on prices, especially if you have a teenager (or two) in your household. Statistically, teenagers are involved in less incidents on the road than most other comparably-sized cities.

Also, the amount of night driving is slightly lower than many other places. Certainly, this helps reduce the volume of fender-benders. Earlier curfews also contribute to a lower incidence of accidents. In cities where curfews are at least an hour earlier than the national average, the number of thefts and accidents is 15% lower. The frequency of auto accidents per capita is definitely lower.

Although there is plenty of nightlife in the city, most residents return home at reasonable hours. The city’s vehicle theft ratio is about 9 per each 1,000 residents. The number seems low, but it’s  approximately 400% of the national ratio. Increased police surveillance would likely reduce the numbers of vehicle thefts. Future legislation may increase the budget needed to hire more law enforcement to protect city residents and local business owners.

Keeping kids “off the streets” helps insurance rates and helps local communities. Recently, young adults and youths have been offered summer-employment opportunities by YouthWorks. Anyone aged 14-21 is eligible, and about 900 different locations offer a wide variety of work options in many industries. A summer program (virtual during pandemics) is usually offered from late June to early August. The Mayor’s Office of Employment Development runs the program.

Several of the local companies and organizations that have helped fund the project include University of Maryland Medical Center, United Way of Central Maryland, Comcast, and Sagamore Development Company.

NOTE: The following zip codes are used when calculating the average Baltimore car insurance rates: 21211, 21213, 21226, 21215, 21230, 21214, 21251, 21217, 21263, 21216, 21287, 21218, 21201, 21202, 21205, 21223, 21225, 21231, 21203, 21233, 21264, 21265, 21270, 21273, 21274, 21275, 21278, 21279, 21280, 21281, 21283, 21288, 21290, 21297, and 21298. Also, Raspeburg (21206), Gwynne Oak (21207), Pikeville (21208), Mt. Washington (21209), Roland Park (21210), Govans (21212), Clifton (21213), Arlington (21215), and Druid (21217) were included.

 

Baltimore Has The Worst Drivers? Is It True?

Partially true. There are several articles that rank our drivers among the worst in the US. An older CBS article ranks DC drivers 4th and Baltimore drivers 9th, and points out that running red lights and not putting on a turn signal are quite common in the area. Taxi-cabs are cited for having some of the worst habits, although you’ll find this erratic behavior in almost every other big city. New York cabbies may be the worst offender. And Washington DC cabbies aren’t far behind!

Traffic congestion can also be a concern, since the city ranks in the top-40 for the amount of congestion. A recent urban mobility report indicated that congestion is at all-time high levels. Typically, city drivers spend about 60 hours each year stuck in traffic, and uses about 22 gallons of excess fuel. The total vehicle cost is between $750 and $1,000. January and February are typically the months with the most congestion. Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. are the most congested times.

Adverse weather also contributes to the number of accidents. Winter months often feature unpredictable weather and road conditions. Traffic moves slower, but the unpredictable highway surfaces cause a significant rise in accidents and claims. June, July, and September are the rainiest months in the area. July is the hottest month of the summer.

Ironically, cab companies are teaming with local unions in the area to attempt to stop ride-sharing companies from cutting into their market share. Companies like Uber, Lyft and SideCar are able to operate without meeting some of the requirements that others in the same industry must adhere to. However, the State Regulating Commission  recently ruled that these new companies must now apply for a permit. Uber’s popularity continues across the US because of their simple App and low prices. Rides to and from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) are very inexpensive.

Cheapest MD Auto Insurance

Find Cheap Car Insurance Rates In Baltimore

 

Just getting off-topic for a moment,  I grew up in Harrisburg (about 90 minutes to the North) and we regularly made the trek down to Maryland for shopping and buying bagels.  Regardless of the season or weather, it was a family tradition. Although old Memorial Stadium is long gone, the sights of Camden Yards, the National Aquarium and Harborplace still make it almost a second home to me.

And of course, the Super Bowl Champion Ravens can not be forgotten, even though it’s been nine years since the big win.  The parade, celebration, and accolades were memories that all residents will remember. With Lamar Jackson, the chances of additional Super Bowls are high.

 

Sample Auto Insurance Rates In Baltimore County (Monthly)

 

Assumptions: 30-year-old single female who owns her home. She drives a 2016 Nissan Altima approximately 15-20 miles  each way to work, and approximately 15,000 miles per year. There are no moving violations or at-fault accidents within the last 36 months, and her credit score is excellent. We also assume her MD homeowner’s coverage is with the same carrier. Liability limits (including UM) are 100,000/$300,000/$100,000 with $2,500 of PIP. Collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 and $250.

$67 – Progressive Select

$73 – USAA

$92 – Horace Mann

$107 – USAA Casualty

$108 – Erie

$119 – Mutual Benefit

$122 – American National

$128 – Geico

$129 – State Farm

$136 – Encompass

$136 – Penn National

$137 – Safe Auto

$156 – CSAA

$170 – Travelers

$206 – Unitrin

 

Assumptions: 35-year-old married male and 32-year old married female who own their home. He drives a 2010 Dodge Dakota Crew Cab Pickup approximately 10 miles  each way to work, and approximately 35,000 miles per year. She drives a 2017 Nissan Rogue SL approximately 10 miles  each way to work, and approximately 15,000 miles per year. There are no moving violations or at-fault accidents within the last 36 months, and the credit score is excellent. We  also assume their homeowner’s coverage is with the same carrier. Liability limits (including UM) are 250,000/$500,000/$100,000 with $2,500 of PIP. Collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 and $250.

$83 – Progressive Select

$114 – Safe Auto

$126 – Horace Mann

$156 – CSAA

$157 – Progressive Specialty

$165 – American National

$167 – USAA

$174 – Erie

$196 – State Farm

$198 – Garrison Property And Casualty

$203 – Old Dominion

$234 – Nationwide

$238 – Root Insurance

$254 – Cincinnati Insurance

$255 – AIG

 

Assumptions: 50-year-old single male who owns his home. He drives a 2016 Ford F-150 XLT 4×4 approximately 30 miles  each way to work, and approximately 25,000 miles per year. There are no moving violations or at-fault accidents within the last 36 months, and the credit score is excellent. We  also assume their homeowner’s coverage is with the same carrier. Liability limits (including UM) are 100,000/$300,000/$100,000 with $2,500 of PIP. Collision and comprehensive deductibles are $500 and $250.

$69 – Progressive Select

$87 – Horace Mann

$92 – American National

$96 – Erie

$101 – Root Insurance

$108 – USAA

$114 – Penn National

$115 – USAA Casualty

$118 – Geico Casualty

$128 – IDS Property Casualty

$131 – CSAA General

$132 – Mutual Benefit

 

Progressive Is One Of Many Companies With Attractive Rates

In the example above, Progressive’s prices were the most competitive of the handful of carriers we checked. In fairness to all of the other companies, if we changed our sample male age to 55, added a spouse and an additional vehicle, and perhaps a moving violation, the results would be different. Actually, very different. Many carriers offer their most competitive pricing to persons age 55 (and over) that have at least 35 years of driving experience.

Or, if we added a few teen drivers, each with an accident or ticket, that scenario may show another carrier with much better prices. Since your personal situation can be very fluid with the changing of vehicles, drivers and residences, comparing multiple companies every few years is recommended. If you move more than 30 miles away from your previous residence, comparing new rates should also become a priority. Also, when one or more youthful drivers are removed from the policy (marriage, move, etc…) it’s always wise to re-evaluate how competitive your current rates are.

Snapshot From Progressive

Progressive also offers their “Snapshot” program, which is an electronic device attached to your vehicle that monitors how you drive. It can save you money, depending upon how often and far you drive. Although the largest reductions will generally be retirees and persons that don’t drive large distances, workers that carpool may see some reductions as well. If you are a safe driver, and stay within posted speed limits, you may also be able to lower your premium.

It takes about 10 days to receive the device, and easily plugs into your vehicle’s diagnostic port, which is located under the dashboard on the driver’s side. The device begins to blink one it is installed correctly. But don’t lose the device, since there is a $50 replacement fee.

MD Auto Insurance Savings

You Can Save Money!

There are specific insurers that simply offer great rates in Baltimore if you are under age 40. Others may include an extra discount when you reach age 50 that no other company offers. Or, it may be a situation where a combination of age and the car you drive happens to exactly fit a specific profile that a carrier is looking for. Thus, they charge 15% less than everyone else.

 

Shop Around

 

A key point to understand is that when we stress the importance of “shopping around,” it’s because it ultimately will save you money. If there was a simple and accurate way to identify the cheapest prices, other than requesting a quote from us,  we would certainly let you know. Just about every day, either a premium, underwriting guideline, policy coverage or billing mode is changed. But when these changes occur, we are notified and immediately adjust our quote engine.

Although we review all available carriers, several of the insurers that have attractive rates include Geico, Progressive, AAA, Erie, Travelers, Safeco, MetLife, Liberty National, Allstate, AIG, Esurance, and USAA. Small and large businesses often utilize commercial carriers, and policies often provide up to $1 million in liability protection. Carriers that often have the highest rates in the area include Hallmark, Victoria, Donegal, Dairyland, Foremost, Harleysville, and Titan.

It’s much easier for us to keep track of all of the changes than the average consumer. Thus, when we “shop” for you, you’re easily saving hours of your important time by handling a task that you undoubtedly don’t enjoy. And we don’t just monitor and check for a few discounts. We review all changes and discuss which ones will specifically apply to you. We also monitor the MD Government website to keep abreast of any changes in legislation that will aid consumers. No major legislation was passed in 2022 that would impact vehicle rates.

The consensus seems to be that car insurance rates in Baltimore are attractive. While they may not be the cheapest price in the state, they are priced very competitively when you match them side by side with other large cities. It’s not unusual to find bigger metropolitan areas within 500 miles have significantly higher pricing and more aggressive surcharge and cancellation procedures. For example, Washington, D.C. and Richmond (Virginia) rates are much higher.

 

Pay Your Traffic Citations Early And Online

Nobody likes to get a moving violation. It can impact the cost you pay for your policy, and the resulting fine and possible court costs can exceed hundreds of dollars. But forgetting or neglecting to pay the ticket can result in many additional expenses. The District Court Of Maryland makes it easy to pay the ticket online. By pleading guilty (you may also plead innocent), the process can be completed in less than five minutes.

Complete Maryland traffic citation information is available, including topics about requesting a trial date, appeals, witnesses, expungement, requesting waiver hearing, lost citations, and address changes. Before applying for new coverage with a different carrier,  a copy of your driving record should always be reviewed.

 

Zipcar

What is Zipcar? Available in Baltimore and many other major cities, it’s a service that allows you to rent vehicles by the hour, day, or longer. Typically, the price is cheap, and there are regulations and guidelines that protect consumers. Many City-owned garages house the vehicles, including minivans and transit cargo vans. Occasional driving requires no monthly commitment. For $7 per month, you can pay per hour or per day. For $50 per month, five hours of pre-paid driving is included. Each plan provides insurance coverage, gas, and 180 free miles each day.  A $25 one-time application fee is required for all plans.

The Parking Authority reports that 85% of Zipcar drivers don’t own their own car or truck, and  the vast majority of users can easily find a vehicle to use within walking distance of their home or work. More than 200 vehicles are available in areas such as Charles Village, Mt. Vernon, Station North, and the Central Business District. Residents of the area now have an affordable transportation option, and city workers receive a discount during the work week.

Maryland homeowner’s insurance rates are very competitive in Baltimore. When bundling policies with the same carrier that insures the vehicles, total discounts  can exceed 15%, resulting in hundreds of dollars of savings. Companies with the most attractive rates include Travelers, Erie, USAA, Chubb, State Farm, Allstate, and Nationwide. Many Senior discounts are available. Bundling the policy with other property and casualty discounts may also lower the premium.

 

Impact Of  Previous Riots

Although the riots six yeas ago caused a temporary spike  in claims, and  cost the city more than $20 million, there probably will be no long-term impact on  auto insurance rates. However, if you park your vehicle on the street in the area where most of the riots took place, there may be a slight increase in thefts, vandalism, and glass-breakage. The comprehensive portion of the auto policy can be impacted by specific external conditions.

Any long-term impact on prices will be known within the next 36 months. Other surrounding counties that could be impacted, include Carroll, Harford, Howard, and Anne Arundel. The cities most likely to be affected include Essex, Towson, Parkville, Rosedale, Catonsville, and Lochearn.

 

Baltimore Homeowner’s Insurance Rates

Shown below are annual prices for  zip code 21218. 15-year-old frame home insured for $153,000. $1,000 deductible with $300,000 liability, multi-policy discount, and $20,000 water/sewer backup coverage.

$574 – Esurance

$596 – NGM Insurance

$610 – Donegal Mutual

$621 – Teachers Insurance

$661 – Horace Mann

$664 – Pharmacists Mutual

$670 – Brethren Mutual

$679 – Cumberland Mutual

$722 – Erie

$723 – Everett Cash Mutual

$733 – Frederick Mutual

$783 – CSAA General

$786 – Allstate

$791 – Metropolitan Property And Casualty

$792 – AIG

$837 – Farmers

$949 – Safeco

$1,259 – Nationwide

$1,412 – USAA

 

Local Baltimore Car Insurance Agencies

M&T Agency – 25 S. Charles St. 21201

Kirby Agency – 14 W. Saratoga St. Suite 100 21201

Frederick Group – 326 St. Paul St. Suite 400a 21202

Ugele Agency –  408 E. 25th St. 21218

Welsch Group – 3044 Hudson St. 21224

Morgan Smith Agency – 847 W. 36th St. 21211

Pinning Agency – 3215 Erdman Ave. 21213

Goad Agency – 3229 Erdman Ave. 21213

Bedford Group – 1014 W. 36th St. 21211

Rodgers Agency 6800 Holabird Ave. Suite A 21222

Morris Services – 5010 Ritchie Highway 21225

Cramer And Schmidbauer Associates – 5200 Ritchie Highway 21225

Bayview Agency – 7508 Eastern Ave. 21224

L&K Agency – 5900 York Rd. Suite 200 21212

McJilton Agency – 9 N. Dundalk Ave. 21222

TM Williams Services – 5202 Baltimore National Pike Suite 106 21229

C&E Services – 7324 Holabird Ave. 21222

Bell Agency – 7900 Eastern Ave. 21224

Senate Agency – 5417 Reiterstown Rd. 21215

Leitner Group – 2100 Merritt Ave. 21222

Madison Financial – 5401 Belair Rd. 21206

Custom Agency – 4410 Alan Dr. Apt A. 21229

Hoffberger Agency – 5700 Smith Ave. 21209

Concrete Agency – 6405 Belair Ave. 21206

Platte Agency – 633r Frederick Rd. 21228

Great Oak Group – 1340 Smith Ave. Suite 200 21209

Frank Dippel Agency – 6600 York Rd. 21212

Schoenfeld Associates 6225 Smith Ave. Suite B150 21209

Farrell Sullivan Insurance – 6500 N. Charles St. 21212

Ritchey Associates  – 6600 Belair Rd. Suite 2c 21206

Allied Agency – 7000 Security Blvd. Suite 111 21244

Rolling Services – 2324 N. Rolling Rd. Suite 100 21244

 

Additional Information:

 

The “Baltimore Sun” reported that local drivers are again ranked 193rd in the US when comparing large cities. But there is one little problem. 194 cities participated in the survey! The lone city with “worse” drivers is Washington D.C. The 21218 zip code appears to have been hit especially hard as we notice auto insurance prices in that area is the highest of any zip code in Maryland.

The elimination of  PIP (Personal Injury Protection) would certainly reduce prices. Of course, medical bills and lost wages could not be claimed, which could potentially impact and harm many persons involved in future litigation. PIP currently covers many medical expenses, including surgery expenses, hospitalization expenses, and rehabilitation,therapy expenses. Some disability and death expenses may also be covered.

Maryland made the Top-10 list for “states with the most stolen vehicles.”  In Baltimore, about 2,000 vehicles were stolen last year, with about 1/5th having keys left inside in plain view. Also, many cars were left outside with engines running, as owners assumed it was safe.

Highest number of vehicles stolen in Baltimore

Baltimore Neighborhoods With Most Stolen Cars

The summer months produce the highest incidence of thefts (especially July and August), while February and April are the months with the lowest number of reported thefts. Shown above, is a chart illustrating the areas of the city with the highest claims. Frankford is ranked first in the study completed by “the Baltimore Sun.”

 

Most of the damage from the Spring riots are covered by insurance. However, there may be exceptions, if your policy excludes damage from “rebellion or uprising.”  This exclusion has a greater likelihood of being used on business liability policies, as opposed to personal property and casualty policies.

High Risk Car Insurance Rates In Maryland – Pay Less

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Pay less for your non-standard auto insurance in Maryland. Cheap prices, low down-payments, and same-day coverage is available. High risk car policies can be affordable, if you shop the smart way. A less-than perfect driving record may take time to fix, but we find reasonable rates until your tickets and accidents are off your MVR report. Our 60-second online quote lets you quickly view the most affordable options, including assigned risk plans. We also help you identify which vehicles are the most expensive to insure.

A lapse in your coverage does not keep you from obtaining a policy. Regardless if you have been uninsured for a few days or a few years, new coverage can be offered. Since the consequences of driving without car insurance can be substantial, it’s important to get covered quickly to avoid fines and suspensions.

If you have a DUI, DWI, license suspension, or other major violations, we can help, by providing multiple discounts. Other violations that can substantially increase your premium include excessive speeding, fatalities resulting from an accident, driving without a license, racing, distracted driving, and illegal street racing. Non-moving violations, including parking tickets, do not impact your rate, and will not force you to accept assigned risk coverage. High-risk car insurance rates in Maryland often costs less than consumers realize.

Inexperienced Drivers

Inexperience behind the wheel and below-average credit can also cause premiums to rise. High-powered and exotic vehicles can also be covered by many carriers at standard rates if all drivers are experienced and have a positive claims history. The addition of a youthful driver in the household can impact premiums on all covered vehicles, since there is always a chance the new driver will operate any vehicle in the household.

Your customized online quotes are always free (top of the page) without any obligation. By shopping multiple companies that specialize in drivers that have a propensity to sometimes  drive too fast, or have been involved in recent accidents, you save money. If you need an SR-22 Bond filing, we will simplify the process and show you the best offers. It is important that the DMV be properly notified to avoid additional costly fines and penalties. Written or online communication is the best option.

We can also provide information regarding available defensive-driving courses that can lower your premium. A less than perfect MVR report or lack of driving experience, doesn’t always mean you have to pay non-standard rates. By comparing quotes from several options, the consumer, wins. Inexperience behind the wheel doesn’t help, but we can show you how to obtain the most competitive prices. If you recently obtained your driver’s license, customized plans with low monthly payments are offered.

Sr-22 Bond Rates Maryland

Slow Down And Save Money!

Most Common High-Risk Situations

Multiple Moving Violations – A single ticket won’t significantly impact your rate. Two might. Three definitely will. And it’s not just speeding tickets. Not coming to a complete stop, improper turns, following too closely, failure to signal or yield, and several other minor infractions will still put points on your MVR.

A license suspension could also occur if too many moving violations occur within a short period of time. A carrier could also terminate coverage, if for example, four moving violations occurred within a 12-month period. Parking and non-moving violations do not impact rates. Moving violations that occur outside of Maryland will likely appear on your driving record abstract.

Car Accident Involvements – The key word is “involvement.” Although at-fault accidents have the biggest impact, having too many accidents when fault can not be determined may have serious consequences. If a carrier continues to pay large settlements, your policy premium will be impacted.  Accidents  where both parties are at fault are also a concern to the carrier since large payouts can still occur. Multiple comprehensive claims (fire, theft, or vandalism) can raise premiums by removing a “good driver” or “no claim” discount. Homeowner’s policies, however, are greatly impacted by fire, theft, and vandalism claims.

No Prior Coverage – Of course, it’s against the law to drive without coverage. But you are also immediately considered a high-risk driver, since you’re not acting responsibly. Although specific carriers will offer competitive pricing, it still will be higher than if you were already insured. Typically, three years of continuous coverage (with no lapses) is required to qualify for the maximum discount. Many carriers offer “loyalty” discounts, which reward customers  that renew their existing policy for more than 5, 10, and 20 years. The lifetime discount cap is usually 20%-30%.  Coverage must be maintained by all drivers in the household, and the largest reduction is mostly found on Group plans.

Lapse in Coverage – If your policy lapses for more than 30 days, there is a risk of losing existing discounts, and paying a higher premium when the policy is reinstated. Although the higher rate may not be permanent, it may temporarily  increase the cost of coverage by 10%-20%. A second lapse may have larger consequences. If you discover that your policy has lapsed, immediately contact your carrier or local agent and request a reinstatement within 24 hours. If that is not possible, multiple companies should be compared to find the best option. A shorter duration of the lapse will result in a much better offer. However, if an accident occurs during the lapse, a grace period may not apply, possibly resulting in large out-of-pocket expenses.

Teenagers – If you are a teenager, and covered on a parent’s policy, you are probably eligible for many of their discounts, and an acceptable premium. If you are on your own policy and haven’t been driving very long, you will pay a higher rate. This also applies for any new driver that just got licensed, regardless of their age. Thus, a 50 year-old that has been licensed less than one year, will not receive discounts that most other drivers receive. International residents that move to the US must accumulate driving experience before qualifying for many available discounts.  Delaying the license application process can save thousands of dollars in policy premiums.

Over Age 75 – If you are already covered, then stay with your existing company. If you are shopping for a new policy, your driving record better be squeaky clean. We only recommend changing if your existing policy is not being renewed. Seniors (age 80 and over) that have had recent at-fault accidents, despite a potentially large rate increase, should not change carriers. Many companies will require proof of good health before renewing coverage. This also is often required when renewing a driver’s license. Failing a vision test will result in deactivating a driver’s license. Medical conditions (including recent seizures) may also cause a forfeiture of a license.

Speeding Tickets – One of the leading causes of high auto insurance rates in Maryland. Although all moving violations count, speeding tickets are the most common infraction. And when you have three or more on your MVR, it might be costly. If your driver’s  license was suspended because of excess violations, perhaps using Uber may be more cost-effective. Local transportation costs may be less expensive than owning and operating your own vehicle. And of course, purchasing auto insurance coverage is not required. Higher gasoline costs, however, may increase your costs.

Approximate speeding penalties:

$290 – 1-9 mph over the speed limit

$300 – 10-19 mph over the speed limit

$370 – 20-29 mph over the speed limit

$500 – 30-39 mph over the speed limit

$740 – 40 mph over the speed limit

A “reckless driving” offense may cost as much as $1,000.

Poor Credit – Perhaps not as serious as the other reasons given, but many carriers reward drivers with excellent credit, and slightly increase prices for persons with below-average credit. Of course, a recent bankruptcy will also be a concern to many companies. If your credit score is below average, or poor, several companies do not utilize credit when determining rates. Since viewing your credit score annually  is free (from reputable vendors), it makes financial sense to view your score each year. Many credit card services offer monthly views at no additional cost.

 

Comparison Of High-Risk Auto Rates In Other States

Maryland ranks around the middle, when comparing with prices from other states. There are many metrics that must be taken into account, including moving violations, serious violations (DUI, DWI, hit and run), and the experience of the driver. License suspensions and driving without a license are common infractions among high-risk drivers. The average high-risk car insurance rate throughout the US is approximately $958 per year.

These types of violations also stay on the official driving record the longest. It also can impact the rate of other drivers that reside in the household, and perhaps impact credit scores and qualifying for the lowest available loan rates.

States with significantly more expensive rates include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. States with significantly lower rates for non-standard drivers include Alabama, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Vermont, and Wyoming.

 

What Is An SR-22 Bond And When Is It Needed?

This “safety responsibility” document is often required when your driver’s license has been suspended. The most common reasons are operating a vehicle without coverage, getting convicted of a major violation, such as DUI, hit and run, or reckless operations, or any other violation that takes away your driving privileges. Both owner and non-owner bonds are available, and typically stay in-force for approximately three years (five years for a DUI conviction). NOTE: this document is not insurance. It is verification that the owner has current coverage with an approved and registered carrier. Also, if you don’t own a vehicle, you can still be required to file an SR-22 Bond.

A licensed insurance company files and issues the SR-22 Bond with the Department of Motor Vehicles. A copy of the certificate should always be kept in your possession, the vehicle, or both. If you fail to pay the premium on your Bond, an SR-26 filing is sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles. At that time, the driver’s license is suspended, and a new SR-22 Bond must be filed to reinstate the license and driving privileges. Along with the filing fee of $15-$40, the monthly cost of the Bond typically must be paid for three years.

NOTE: Staying aware of current car insurance laws in Maryland can help you save money and perhaps help avoid a license suspension. Keeping existing coverage active and avoiding a lapse helps avoid expensive non-standard policies. We update all legislative changes on this website.

 

Non-standard Auto Insurance Rates In Maryland

Drinking Plus Driving Equals Higher Auto Insurance Rates

 

DWI or DUI Penalties In Maryland

First Conviction

Criminal and administrative penalties are immediately imposed for a DUI and DWI, including a 6-month license suspension. The reinstatement process involves completing an alcohol abuse and treatment program, and possibly an electronic starter device installed on your vehicle. NOTE: the DUI required blood alcohol level is .08 while the DWI requirement is .07.

An “ignition interlock program” allows some drivers to keep their driver’s license without an administrative hearing. the device is installed on the vehicle and requires you to blow into a device before operating the vehicle. If your alcohol-content reading is above a designated level, the vehicle will not start. The owner of the car (or truck) is also liable for all costs including installation of the device, repairs (if needed), and any monthly charges.

Although incarceration is not likely for a DWI, if a minor was in the vehicle at the time of the offense, a six-month sentence can be imposed. DUI penalties are harsher with  jail time up to two years possible. Maximum fines for  DUI violations are higher ($2,000) than for DWI violations ($1.000). However, additional surcharges, fines and expenses will increase your out-of-pocket expenses.

Second Conviction

The look-back period is five years, so a second offense during that time period is still considered a misdemeanor. However, the penalties still can be quite severe. For example, if the blood alcohol level exceeds .15. a six-month license suspension can be imposed. An ignition interlock system will be required along with an SR-22 Bond filing. The Bond must be kept for three years.

Fines are also higher than a first-offense conviction, with a $3,000 DUI and $2,000 DWI maximum with a minor in the vehicle. The maximum jail times are also higher. A second DWI can result in a 1-year sentence while a second DUI conviction can lead to a two-year sentence.

Third Conviction

A third DUI conviction (within five years) typically causes you to lose all driving privileges for 18 months. However, depending on additional factors, a permanent license revocation could be requested, and is often granted.

Additional criminal-related penalties are very possible. For example, a three-years jail term is possible (four years if a minor was present). A $4,000 fine may also be imposed. Of course, your personal and business credit rating are likely to be adversely affected, along with possible impacts on other family members.

 

What If You Refuse To Take A Blood, Breath, Or Urine Test?

If a driver in Maryland is legally stopped by a police officer who believes you are operating the vehicle while intoxicated, then the “implied consent” law applies. Therefore, you automatically give permission (consent) to have your urine, blood, or breath tested for alcohol content. The testing should commence immediately following the discovery, unless reasonably delayed.  Alcohol test or refusal in Maryland, can result in an automatic 120-day license suspension.

Reinstatement is possible, but your current premium will likely increase. Your MD driver’s license will also be confiscated, and a temporary license will be issued. If you have a commercial driver’s license, it will be immediately suspended, and future driving may be prohibited.  An “Officer’s Certification And Order Of Suspension” form will be created to document details of the incident, and verification that you agreed or refused to submit to testing.

Information will be provided to the offender about the Ignition Interlock Program. An “Advice Of Rights” form is also provided by the police officer, which explains the ramifications of not taking the test, and subsequent fines and penalties. Both the offender and police officer sign and date the form. An administrative hearing may be requested within 30 days, so you can provide evidence why the driver’s license should not be suspended. The request must be in writing, and submitted within 10 days of the “Order Of Suspension.”

Also, it is possible to be arrested if at the time the officer arrives, you are not actively driving the vehicle. For example, if  the accused party is sitting in the passenger seat, but still has control of the vehicle (able to move the vehicle), an arrest can be made. In many situations, despite someone being asleep when found, they are arrested. Any attempt to conceal who was actually operating the vehicle can result in additional charges.

An “implied consent” law allows the field officer to conduct a field sobriety exam. From those results, probable cause may be determined, although you can decline to take the test. However, if you choose not to take the test, an immediate 120-day license suspension will be imposed. If it is your second or third offense, the suspension will be for one year.

 

Cheap high-risk auto insurance in Maryland

Sobriety Checkpoints Are Legal In Maryland

 

DUI and DWI Checkpoints

Sobriety checkpoints are legal and are typically unannounced. Locations and times will often vary and are designed to be unpredictable. However, there are several consumer websites that report roadblock sightings. The average time to complete a check is usually about 20 minutes. After a short interview, suspicious drivers may be subject to sobriety testing.

Search and seizure laws do not apply to DUI and DWI checkpoints, so “probable cause” is not needed. However, details regarding times and locations of  these checkpoints must be publicly disclosed so ample warning is given. Regardless, most consumers are usually unaware of the details, which actually helps keep Maryland roads and highways safer.

Although checkpoints are constitutionally legal (according to the Supreme Court), 10 states do not permit this action since their own constitution forbids it. The 10 states are Wyoming, Wisconsin, Texas, Rhode Island, Oregon, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Idaho, and Washington. In Maryland, an “Alcohol Holiday Task Force” focus on alcohol-related activities be enforcing sobriety checkpoints and completing compliance checks on businesses that sell alcohol.

 

List Of 12-Point Violations In Maryland

Fraudulent application for MVA ID card

Misrepresentation in applying for MVA ID card

Fraud in use of MVA ID card

Fraudulently applying for vehicle registration

Driving without owner’s consent with intent to deprive owner

Possessing canceled license

Possessing revoked license

Displaying license that is not your own

Driving motor vehicle with suspended, canceled, or revoked license

Driving a commercial vehicle with more than one license

Failure to immediately stop vehicle at scene of accident involving bodily injury or death

Driving under the influence of alcohol

Driving under the influence of alcohol while transporting a minor

Attempt by driver to elude uniformed police by failing to stop vehicle or fleeing on foot

 

Pleading Down To “Reckless Driving”

You may be able to plea down from a DUI or DWI to a lesser offense. The less-serious conviction could potentially save you thousands of dollars in fines, penalties and insurance surcharges. A jail sentence also might be avoided. Whether pleading  for the lower conviction is advantageous will depend on many factors that your attorney can review with you. In some situations, it may not be feasible, or can not be justified, based on the facts of the case.

The three levels of improper driving are negligent, aggressive, and reckless. The “willful disregard of persons and property” is the legal definition most used. A $510 fine and 6 points will result if you are convicted of this offense. A demerit point system is utilized if a driver reaches a specific level, and license revocation can occur.

Your car insurance rate is still going to increase, since “reckless operation”  of a vehicle is considered a major violation. However, the rate hike will be less than a DUI or DWI conviction. If multiple prior offenses appear on your driving record at the time of your DUI or DWI,  a reckless operation conviction may still result in a suspended license. Also, until the violation is at least three years old, it may be most cost-effective to remain with your existing insurer.

Maryland Boat And Personal Watercraft Insurance Information

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Purchasing and owning a boat or personal watercraft in Maryland can bring hours of joy and entertainment to yourself, family and friends. Whether you’re at Deep Creek Lake, the Chesapeake Bay, or any of the hundreds of other areas, being out on the water is a great experience. Registering your craft is required.  Cities with the highest percentage of boat-owners are Baltimore, Silver Spring, and Germantown. Different types of vessels that can be covered include charter and performance, houseboats, sailboats, bass boats, runabouts, yachts, and mega yachts.

Although there is no state law (or pending legislation) that requires you to purchase insurance coverage, it makes good financial sense to obtain liability or comprehensive coverage to protect your investment, assets, and possibly financial ruin. If equipped with mechanical propulsion, the boat is required to be registered with the Department of Natural Resources. The Department also must be notified within 15 days if the boat is bought, traded, or sold. Written verification may be required.

You’re not just protecting your investment. You’re also ensuring you won’t spend the rest of your life paying for a preventable mistake. Hurricanes, wind storms, ice and freezing damage, and theft can happen at any time, so it’s important to be properly covered. Unexpected weather changes can also cause severe damage. And unfortunately, vandalism and theft occur frequently to boats and vessels. Proof of coverage may be required at specific marinas and docks.

 

Liability And Physical Damage Protection Needed

If you are financing the purchase, or using the craft as collateral on another loan, you will have to obtain liability and physical damage. There may be maximum deductibles that can be selected and specific mandatory coverage that must be included in the policy. If you do not comply, a “force-place” may be enacted, that protects the financial institution’s interest, but not your own. Therefore, you will pay for a policy that gives you no benefits. A termination charge may also apply.

Also, your policy may not allow you to navigate in all areas, and may also limit the months you can operate the boat. It’s important to review your policy each year and determine the areas of navigation that are covered. If no local areas are available, it may be wise to consider keeping the boat near your favorite area of service.

Popular State Parks for boaters include Assateague, Big Run, Deep Creek Lake, Elk Neck, Fort Frederick,  Greenbrier, Gunpowder Falls, Janes Island, Martinak, Monocacy River, New Germany, Patapsco Valley, Piney Run, Pocomoke River, Point Lookout, Rocky Gap, Sandy Point, Smallwood, St. Mary’s River, Susquehanna, Tuckahoe, and Youghiogheny Wild River. The Maryland Boating Act of 1960 helps protect persons that utilize these Parks. Revenue earned from boating activities are utilized exclusively for maritime and boating expenses.

NOTE: Don’t forget to review our Maryland auto insurance rankings, since you need a vehicle to pull the boat! Most carriers offer a discount when you bundle vehicles, homes, and other ancillary products. The premium reduction is generally 5%-15%. This applies to all policies, and many watercraft options are available. An excess-liability policy can also be easily purchased. The cost of this important benefit is not significant, and your assets will be much better protected.

 

Tips When Comparing Plans

Liability – Protection for other boaters if you have an at-fault accident is critical. Repair and replacement of property, along with coverage for medical bills and lost wages is provided. Many different liability limits are offered.

Area Of Navigation – Understand the area of coverage for your policy. Inland and coastal mile limits should be reviewed.

Emergency Benefits – Battery replacement and recharging, gasoline, oil, and other assistance is typically provided.

Collision Coverage – Replacement or repair of your boat is often needed. The trailer and equipment that is permanently attached is also covered.

Medical Expenses – A boating accident will likely result in significant medical bills. Yourself and passengers are covered, and typically the range of benefits is between $1,000 and $10,000. Private and Group coverage can also be used.

Personal Items – Clothing, phones, fishing and scuba equipment, and other items can be easily stolen or lost in an accident.

 

MD Boat Policy Options

 

Separate Policy

By purchasing a separate policy, you can choose among many companies that specialize in this type of coverage. More options will be available which allows you to customize benefits and deductibles to better meet your specific needs. Many property and casualty carriers offer boat and other ancillary products.

Cheapest Boat Policies In Maryland

There Are Several Ways To Insure A Boat In Maryland

In addition to the boat itself, equipment, personal belongings and a trailer can be included on one policy. Motor coverage is more flexible with a wide variety of deductible choices. Additional items, such as anchors, fire extinguishers, life preservers,  first-aid, kit, seat cushions, oars, batteries, bilge pumps, masts, tarpaulins, and ship-to-shore radios are often covered, but there can be variations and limitations. For example, some personal property, such as food, books, clothes, and fishing equipment may not be 100% covered.

Personal liability and medical payments are the most important component of the policy. It protects the boat owner and family members while legally operating the vessel, and will also pay for medical bills to others caused by accidental means. Several  different limits of liability are available. A personal umbrella may be used in conjunction with this type of policy. Existing in-force Marketplace or employer-provided healthcare benefits will cover medical expenses, but only to yourself.

Additional covered items may include emergency services, total loss and accident wreck removal, and needed repairs following a loss.

If you own a yacht (27 feet or longer), additional coverage and increased liability benefits may be needed. A separate “personal excess liability” policy should be considered, to help protect other household assets. Policies can offer benefits from $1 million to $5 million (and higher). Primary, rental and investment property, vehicles, motorcycles, RVs, motor homes, and mobile homes can also be included.

Homeowner’s Policy

For smaller boats, adding the vessel to your homeowner’s insurance is often quicker, cheaper, and the best option. If the length of the boat is less than 25 feet, and the motor is an outboard with about 20 horsepower, rates are very inexpensive. However, coverage may be limited with low maximums. If a total loss occurs, you may not be able to replace the boat. Sailboats shorter than 26 feet may be able to be added to a homeowner’s policy.

An official endorsement is also available from many carriers. It is added to the homeowner’s policy and often covers boats that are longer or have more power motors than mentioned above. The “endorsement” option may also include medical payments if others (non-family members) are hurt, and liability protection in the event of a lawsuit involving property damage or bodily injury. The limits you choose can be customized to match the boat and your budget.

A navigational waters limitation may be imposed that restricts the areas your boat can operate. Any operations outside of a designated area can result in a termination of benefits. Policy coverage varies, so it is important to review the specifics with the broker. Also, keep updated on any amendments that may be added to the policy by your carrier.

NOTE: An experienced broker or website such as ours, can be extremely helpful when determining if an endorsement is the best option. Although cost should be considered, the protection of your assets, and physical damage to the boat are more important factors. Not all companies offer the specific type of policy you may need. Often, it is more cost-effective to insure your watercraft with a carrier that does not provide coverage for your other property and casualty products.

 

How Is The Rate Calculated?

MD Boat Insurance Quote Online

Maryland Boat Insurance Is Very Affordable

Boat insurance rates in Maryland are based on many underwriting factors. Although not all carriers determine prices in the same manner, the following criteria are typically used by the major companies:

Deductible – Options from $100 to $5,000 are generally available. Higher deductibles reduce the premium. If you rarely use the boat, and for short distances only, a higher deductible is much more cost-effective.

Liability Limits – Don’t skimp here since spending $10 extra may save you $100,000. Also, consider a personal umbrella rider.

History Of Claims – If there have been no claims, you’ll likely receive a discounted price. If you have submitted multiple claims within the last 24 months, you should not consider changing companies. The best rates are offered when there have been no submitted claims within the last 36 months and all operators have at least five years of experience operating boats.

Boat Age And Dimensions – Bigger and/or newer boats will be more expensive. The length is one of the biggest factors in the rating process. Custom-built and special-order vessels will also cost more to cover.

Value – Naturally, the higher the market value, the more costly coverage becomes. Luxury yachts often require a specialized coverage.

Purpose And Use – How will it be used and how often? Will you be going out-of-state or mostly local? Are you experienced in those specific conditions? Are you close to large bodies of water or lakes, or do you have to drive 500 miles to find suitable locations?  The navigational area must be known by the underwriters.

Boating Experience – Just like an auto insurance policy, the more years of experience you have on the water, the lower your premium will become. Of course, major violations (DUI for example) could cause a carrier to deny coverage. License suspensions and/or multiple at-fault accidents will also increase the premium.

Engine Type – Newer and more powerful engines cost more, and are more expensive to insure.  The amount of horsepower and type of engine will impact the cost of coverage.

Housing – Is it kept outside at night and unlocked? Or is it kept inside a locked garage or storage facility? Also, have there been any recent theft or vandalism claims while the vessel was in storage?

Courses and Extra Training – Many carriers offer discounts for online (and in-person) courses that are completed and documented. Your premiums could reduce by as much as 20%, depending on the insurance company. You can also complete multiple courses to maximize your discounts.

Credit Score – Several carriers may offer a discount for excellent credit.

Additional Discounts – Many items, such as fire extinguishers, safety skills training, ship-to-shore communication, gasoline fume detector, diesel engine, hybrid construction, idle assisted steering,  and owning a home will help reduce your premium.  Lengthy experience operating boats also helps. Also, if you are the original owner, an additional reduction may apply. Completing a boat safety course can also reduce the rate.

 

How Are Claims Paid?

 

Typically, a police report is required for fire, vandalism, theft, accident, and related claims. If you are negligent, of course, your liability protection will pay the damages (up to your limits) to the impacted party. You may also own a separate personal umbrella liability policy that will provide additional protection if the damages exceed the limits of your current boat policy. Generally, additional non-commercial coverage can be purchased in increments of $250,000 to $5 million. This type of policy is often bundles with other ancillary products, such as investment property, RVs, motor homes, and snowmobiles.

Actual Cash Value (ACV) Vs. Replacement Cost Value (RCV)

ACV is very common and pays you the current value of the boat at the time of the loss, minus the depreciation. For example, if the purchase price was $20,000 three years ago, you may receive $14,000 ($20,000 cost new minus $6,000 of depreciation. Older boats will be charged much higher depreciation amounts. NOTE: Not all claims are total losses, including hail and lightning damage. A “stated value” or “agreed value” may also be a settlement option.

Free Boat Quotes For Maryland

Protect Your Boat With Comprehensive And Collision Coverage

RCV is the “replacement cost value” and represents the cost to replace the boat at the time the claim was submitted. You may also be offered another boat that is similar in value, although this is rare since availability is typically a problem. If the offer is extended to you, it’s imperative to hire an experienced mechanic to complete a full inspection. If the condition of the vessel is a concern, do not accept the offer.  Note:  The “agreed value” is sometimes used when at the time the policy was issued, a stated amount of coverage is assumed, regardless when the total loss occurs.

Coverage for the hull can vary, depending upon the carrier and type of policy. Generally, private and commercial policies provide benefits for direct physical and accidental loss or damage, along with any applicable salvage charges. Loss caused by a latent defect is also covered on some policies. Direct and sudden events are usually included in policy benefits, subject to a possible deductible. Damages to your own boat caused by negligence of the boat owner are never covered.

 

Excess Or Surplus Lines Coverage

 

Unfortunately, not all boats can be easily covered by conventional insurers. The reasons can vary, but fairly common higher-risk underwriting situations include the driving record of the owner, condition or existing damage, combination of owner-inexperience and size and power of boat, or excess claims paid within last 3-5 years. More than one prior submitted claim that resulted in a total loss will make it difficult to find a competitive quote. Two or more submitted claims may force you to remain with your existing company, regardless how high the rates have become.

However, often a Surplus Lines carrier is able to offer a policy. Since additional risk must be taken, premiums are typically more expensive, often as much as 20%-75% more. Once you have been denied coverage by three different companies, Surplus Lines plans may become available. NOTE: A licensed agent must also provide proof of the three denials and the carrier used to write the policy must be licensed and approved by the MD Department of Insurance.

The “Surplus” companies do not have to meet the same safety and compliance requirements as other auto insurers. Although unregulated, these carriers must meet stated requirements to offer policies in the state of Maryland. Since prices can widely vary, obtaining at least two separate quotes is highly recommended. The MIA website provides additional details.

 

What If My Insurance Company Treats Me Unfairly?

 

Consumers are protected by the MD Insurance Administration, which ensures that companies (and brokers) are acting within the law. Many complaints are claims-related, and often accuse the carrier of not negotiating in good faith and/or offering an unreasonable settlement amount. Both of these practices are prohibited, and each violation is subject to specific penalties.

You can submit a formal complaint in writing accompanied by any supporting evidence that may help your position. The complaint will be personally investigated and reviewed. Some property and casualty claim disputes can initially be filed by telephone. A “Rapid Response” program can also assist you by streamlining the process by avoiding the written portion of the complaint. A final decision is provided to all involved parties. An insurer or producer can be named in the complaint. Participation in the program is optional.

Claim settlement procedures must be handled in a “fair and nondiscriminatory” manner without showing favoritism to any party. State legislation must be followed, and claims settled arbitrarily  are not allowed. Many issues do not require the assistance of the Maryland Insurance administration since they are simply policy issues.

 

Licensing And Registration

 

If your boat has a motorized “propulsion system,” and the principal usage will be in-state, then you will have to  license and register the vessel. This applies to both commercial and private usage. Registration form DNR B-240 is required along with a notarized bill of sale. Initial fees must be paid within one month of the purchase, otherwise, additional fees may apply.

Generally, the annual fee is $24. However, for smaller boats (less than 16 ft), the fee is waived. A special license is required if you were born in July of 1972 or later and a certificate of boating safety education must be presented during the registration process. In lieu of the certificate, an exam can be passed.

If your boat or vessel is primarily used in the state,  and was also locally purchased, a vessel excise tax could be imposed if you don’t complete the registration process within 30 days of the purchase date. If already registered in another state, but the boat remains in local waters for more than 90 days throughout the year, a registration must be completed.

Display of validation decals and numbers is required. The vessel number must be attached to the front sides or bow. It should be the only number displayed in that area. The numbers must read left to right, and also must be separated from letters with hyphens. Characters should be 3 inches or higher with a different color than the boat hull.

 

Additional Helpful Resources:

 

Maryland Clean Marinas – The Department of Natural Resources has rigid pollution prevention guidelines and the owners of these Marinas have agreed to abide by these standards. Marina “partners are also included. Although they are not actual marinas,  they are proponents of major conservation and reducing pollution.

Clean Boater Program – Tools and assistance are offered to help marinas and boatyards protect resources. A “clean boater pledge” assists consumers with reducing marine pollution.

Recreational Vessels And The Clean Boating Act – This legislation requires the EPA to review discharges from boating, and their impact on the environment. Reduction of pollution in lakes, rivers, and oceans is reviewed.

Maryland Auto Insurance Shopping Guide – How To Pay Less

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You don’t have to pay a lot of money for your car insurance coverage. Although rates in Maryland aren’t cheap for most consumers, especially if you have more than one vehicle and/or teenage drivers in your household, affordable prices can be found. Understanding the factors that impact premiums  make the shopping process easier, and help you lower your cost. It will also allow you to switch companies (if applicable) and get a better deal.

Our in-depth guide is available online and can also be downloaded and printed. Our goal is to help you become an informed shopper with access to the most current and helpful information needed to lower your premium. Both big national and smaller local and regional carriers are reviewed in the most safe and secure format. When companies file rate change requests with the DOI, we promptly notify consumers  of any price increases and decreases.

 

The Best Shopping Tips

Compare rates from multiple companies. There is a tremendous variance in prices from the Top-10 carriers. Rates can often change, and the type of car you drive, and where you reside, can increase or decrease your premium by as much as 50%. Remember that all price quotes are free. Also, some carriers specialize in high-risk situations, while other carriers are most competitive in niche markets, such as antique vehicles or households with superior credit scores.

Typically, within minutes, you can review premiums from several carriers. The format is simplified and you can easily edit liability limits, deductibles, and other benefits in seconds. Comparing multiple vehicles is also an available feature if you are contemplating leasing or purchasing different cars or trucks. Due to recent shortages of manufacturing capability, used vehicle prices have substantially increased, and less new vehicles are being manufactured.

 

Check deductibles – Of course higher deductibles will always lower your cost. But sometimes the difference will be much more than you realize. In many situations, you could raise your deductible, have an at-fault accident every other year, and still come out ahead. With older vehicles, it won’t make as big of a difference. But for any car or truck that is less than three years old, the savings between a $200 deductible and a $500 deductible can be substantial. $1,000 deductibles are very cost-effective for luxury vehicles, and often $2,500 is the best option.

The difference between a $100 deductible and $50 deductible will be negligible. $1,000 and $2,000 deductibles for luxury vehicles has become more popular. All policies allow you to choose different deductibles for each vehicle. Thus, to help reduce the premium, you may be able to select higher deductibles on the cars or trucks that the youthful drivers mostly operate. Deductibles can be changed upon request. With most companies, the insured can change their coverage online by creating a personal account. Most carriers have apps that can be easily created and set up.

Classic or antique vehicles often are covered as a “stated value” and deductibles may not apply. If you own a car or truck that is 25 years or older, and the market value is appreciating, a special type of policy may be more suitable. Although an appraisal may be required, and a limitation on miles driven will apply, you’ll be very happy with the coverage and premium. And if the vehicle is totaled, you will know in advance the amount of reimbursement you will be receiving. Every five years, a new appraisal should be obtained. A slight increase in value should not substantially impact the cost of coverage.

 

Rely on professional unbiased information – With more than three decades of experience helping consumers, I’m confident our website passes the test. But the internet is full of potholes and danger signs when you’re searching for better insurance rates. Many websites are not reliable, factual, US-based, or all three! And if you are ever asked to provide personal financial data, immediately exit the website.  Also, just as importantly, our website does not gather or keep any personal or financial data about visitors. You are never placed on a marketing or mailing list, and driving records are never checked unless requested.

 

Utilize  the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and DOI (Department of Insurance) websites. They offer free unbiased information about carriers, pricing, and several other helpful topics. Throughout this website, you will find several direct links that provide current information that may reduce your premium. Loss ratios, market shares, and recent rate filings are available for consumers. Price comparisons of several additional products are also offered, including the most current homeowner’s insurance rates for all counties.

 

Update coverage – Liability limits should be periodically increased to keep pace with inflation. Policies that were originally issued with state-minimum limits should be raised to the next level. Collision and comprehensive deductibles should be increased if historically there are very few at-fault accidents. Deductibles can always be changed to fit the type of cars and drivers in the household. Removal of collision coverage should be considered for vehicles that have high mileage and no outstanding liens. Once removed, coverage can be added again.

 

Discounts Make A Huge Difference

Understand discounts and how they can help you – Not all discounts are created the same, and each company handles them differently. Once you understand the ones you will qualify for, it will make the shopping process easier. Also, verification may be required for certain discounts, but not for others. Occasionally, additional documentation may need to be provided, especially college or high-school grade transcripts for a good-student discount. Transcripts also may have to be updated annually.

For example, if you are the parents of a student, the “good student” and “student away” discounts will reduce your premium. Since youthful operator rates are the highest, these are two discounts you don’t want to ignore. If you’re not sure if you are receiving them, check your next declarations page when it is received. Also, keep current when forwarding your son or daughter’s good grades to the carrier. Often, graduate school  may continue to qualify for the discount.

Beware of fraudulent insurers – Although very unlikely, there are bogus companies that are specifically created to fool the public and create the illusion they are a legitimate insurance carrier. We always painstakingly check that the companies we use are fully licensed in Maryland to do business.  Typically, we only use the top-rated carriers for quoting. If you require additional data, there are many reputable research sources we can provide. A.M. Best and Standard & Poors ratings are easily available, along with DOI reports.

“Complaint ratios” will show you which carriers receive the most consumer complaints. Carriers with higher ratios often have a larger percentage of unsatisfied customers, so proceed with caution. A complete ratio comparison is available from the Department of Insurance. Larger carriers often have the lowest ratios. Newer carriers typically have larger ratios.

Never pay for a quote – There are actually several websites that require an upfront “fee” to shop different carriers for you and provide online prices. This practice is unscrupulous, and probably barely legal. Naturally, you should never pay for quotes. They always should be free! And if you are ever asked to pay an administrative or application fee, take your business elsewhere. Any request to provide your personal banking or credit card information should be ignored.

Several discounts that are not often utilized include:

Employer or membership – Your employer may offer a 5%-15% premium reduction with an option to payroll-deduct the cost of coverage. Also, credit unions, Chamber of Commerce, Sams Club, and Costco may offer reductions to members. Credit cards occasionally feature attractive features.

Policy renewal – Depending upon the number of years you have been continuously covered with a carrier, a renewal discount may be applied one or more times. For example,  increasing discounts may be offered at the 5, 10, and 20-year anniversaries. Age-65 reductions may also be offered. This feature can also be very advantageous when multiple drivers on the policy have had recent at-fault accidents.

Driver Education Courses – Completion of courses may provide small but permanent premium reductions. Senior discounts may be larger with additional course options offered. AARP and other Senior services can provide a list of approved vendors. Younger drivers with limited experience can often benefit from courses. The savings can be substantial since prices for inexperienced drivers are often very expensive.

 

What Impacts My Rate?

Maryland Teenager Driving Insurance Plans

Younger Drivers Always Increase Your Rates

Age – Naturally, drivers under 21 will pay higher premiums. The lowest prices are found within the 50-70 range, although the 30-50 range is usually one of the lowest-cost age brackets. Persons over the age of 85 will be closely scrutinized for possible medical conditions, and you should never change carriers (at that age). If over age 75 with an at-fault accident within the last 36 months, stay with your existing company, regardless of rate increases.

Driving Record – The obvious choice. The more tickets and accidents you have, the higher the rate becomes. But conversely, long periods of time with no claims activity will be rewarded with lower rates. If more than three years, the reduction will be greater. Accumulation of  “no claim” reward points is a concept that may be soon implemented. Accident-forgiveness for the first at-fault accident is a common perk for claim-free policyholders.

Where You Live – In all states, including Maryland, there will always be specific counties that cost more than others. Usually, high-theft/crime areas will be the most expensive. Quiet urban areas (many times) will have the lowest prices. For example, the best car insurance rates in Baltimore might still be higher than the worst prices in Chevy Chase. There can be tremendous variances from one are to the next.

Male Or Female – Although the Affordable Care Act eliminated gender-rating for health insurance, it does not apply to car insurance. Thus, males will cost more, until age 30. Then, there is very little or no difference. However, for persons under age 18, the male/female disparity in pricing is often substantial. A 16 year-old male can easily pay $400-$800 more per year than a female the same age. For Seniors, there is no significant difference in prices.

Usage Based – One of the newer reductions offered by several carriers. Nationwide’s “SmartRide” and Progressive’s “Snapshot” programs are two examples that  study driving behavior through telematics devices that are installed in your vehicle. If you constantly speed, or roll through stop signs, your premium will not be helped. The data is collected to help determine which drivers are the safest, and which drivers have the highest propensity of having an at-fault accident.

Are You Married? – Yes, it does make a difference. Married drivers tend to be involved in less at-fault accidents, especially between the ages of 25 and 70. Each new research project that investigates this trends always confirms previous results. Even married Seniors in their 80s have better claim numbers that unmarried Seniors. No, this doesn’t mean you should get married as soon as you get your driver’s license!

Credit – Admittedly, this is a fairly controversial rating criteria. Should the amount of money you owe on your credit cards, or past borrowing history impact what you pay for car insurance? Many carriers believe it is relevant, and therefore utilize data from credit reports in their underwriting criteria. Credit scores higher than 700 typically generate a discount with selected carriers. A score above 800 will earn the highest available discount. Recent bankruptcies can have a negative impact on your premium, depending upon the carrier.

Reviewing your credit before you apply for coverage could save you money and time. If errors are present, they should be corrected before you submit an application for coverage. Consumers can check their credit report annually (without paying). Insurers can utilize information to lower premiums, but not increase them. A free credit report can be submitted to Equifax, Experian, or Trans Union.

Age And Make Of Vehicle – If you own a newer car, it will probably cost more to cover. If it’s a high-performance sports car, it may cost more. And of course, older vehicles that are worth less, and less susceptible to theft, will be cheaper to cover. The cost of repair (parts and hourly wages) will also impact rates. The composition of the outside of the vehicle may impact the cost of repair, and ultimately, the cost of your collision coverage. Vehicles with fiberglass exteriors may be surcharged.

Do You Have Prior Coverage? – If you have existing coverage, you have satisfied Maryland’s car insurance liability requirement and will pay a lower premium than someone without previous immediate coverage. If there is a small lapse, it’s possible you still may earn the lower rating. If there has been a lapse of 30 days or longer, unfortunately, you will pay more. Longer lapses may require a license reinstatement.

How Often And How Far You Drive – The typical retiree will pay a lower premium since the number of miles driven is less and the chance of having an at-fault accident or claim is reduced. Another factor that can help rates is if the number of vehicles exceeds the number of drivers. Since all vehicles can not be used simultaneously, one or more cars may be discounted. However, the “multi-car” discount will be lost if less than two vehicles are covered. Generally, the discount is between 10% and 20%.

Education – Several carriers discount their rates for customers that have college degrees. The discount is small, and many companies that previously offered the discount, now no longer offer it.

Home Ownership – Policyholders that own a home or condo may be eligible for a reduction. Typically, homeowners  are considered more financially responsible than renters.

 

Selecting The Best Coverage

The “best” coverage may not necessarily be the cheapest. The consequences of under-insuring can be as costly as over-insuring. But regardless of which options you select, the state minimum liability limits required by Maryland law must be included. Periodically, these limits increase. High-risk drivers typically see the largest rate increases.

Currently the lowest allowed coverage is $30,000 per person, $60,000 per occurrence and $15,000 for property damage. PIP (personal injury protection) must be at least $2,500, and uninsured motorist protection also must be included at the 30/60/15 level. Collision and comprehensive benefits are only required by financial institutions when a vehicle is financed or used as collateral. NOTE: $15,000 (property damage) is insufficient, considering that most new vehicles on the road cost much more.

We highly recommend limits of at least $25,000 or $50,000. $100,000 (or higher) may be required if you have a personal umbrella (excess liability) policy. Corporate and business excess liability policies will require higher underlying coverage limits. Typically, the minimum required bodily injury  (per person) limit is $250,000.

There are two options when selecting your PIP benefits. “Limited” PIP does not cover yourself or any member of the family age 16 or older. Specifically-listed drivers also are not covered. Other passengers are not impacted, and the savings is about 35%-45% compared to “Full” PIP.  The more comprehensive PIP option covers yourself, family members that reside with you, passengers and pedestrians with no limitations.

Cheapest Way To Buy Car Insurance MD

Don’t Drive Like This With Your New Vehicle!

Although, as previously noted, “full coverage” (collision and comprehensive) benefits are not required by law, they often represent the most expensive portion of your premium. By increasing your deductibles, substantial savings could result. However, the increased risk may or may not be worth the savings. The presence of youthful drivers in the household will increase the chances of paying multiple deductibles within a short period.

For example, if raising the deductibles from $250 to $500 results in savings of $300 per year on your policy, the increased risk makes financial sense since you’re unlikely to have an at-fault accident each year. However, if raising deductibles from $500 to $1,000 results in savings of just $100 per year, your “break-even” point has drastically changed. $2,500 options should only be considered if you are willing to potentially lose $5,000 of savings with two quick accidents.

Each household situation is different and must be studied on an individual basis. Also, a larger deductible means higher out-of-pocket expenses must be quickly paid. If liquid assets are not available, once again, it may not be the best choice.  (This Consumer Guide For MD Car Insurance) may help) However, you can change deductibles at any time, assuming it does not impact a pending physical damage or liability claim.  If you  expect to sell your vehicle within the next three months, do not remove collision or comprehensive benefits.

 

Additional Information – Questions That Should Be Asked

While it would take up too much space to cover them all, we have provided many of the questions that should be asked.

Is substitution transportation (rental) covered if I have an accident? And what about damage incurred?

Are towing and jump starts included? If covered, what is the maximum payout?

Are drivers that reside in my household covered? Are there any restrictions?

Am I covered driving outside of the country? Are there counties that are excluded?

What is the “complaint ratio” for the company (calculated by Department of Insurance)?

How often do rates increase? Can you provide a history of increases from the last 60 months?

Can drivers outside of the household remain on the policy? If so, what are the restrictions?

Will the first at-fault accident be chargeable? If so, how much is the surcharge?

 

Which Companies Have The Least Expensive Prices?

Of course, rates will be substantially different, depending on many factors. Company A might be the cheapest option for a single person with two moving violations living in Baltimore, but the most expensive option for a retired couple with a perfect record living in Annapolis or Ocean City! That’s why we encourage everyone to view our free quotes so you view a more personalized comparison.

Regardless…Shown below are the companies that typically offer very competitive prices in most ares of the state. The list is in alphabetical order.

Allstate

Armco

Cincinnati

Cumberland

Elephant

Encompass

Erie

Geico

Harleysville Preferred

Horace Mann

IFA

Metlife

Nationwide

PURE

Progressive Select

State Farm

Teachers

Travelers

Unitrin

USAA

Naturally, different cities are not likely to have identical  prices, and in specific areas, certain carriers will be more competitive. For example, although Farmers has solid pricing in College Park and Laurel, in Bethesda, Gaithersburg, and Silver Spring, PURE often has the lowest rates. Also, specific companies may offer attractive high-risk rates, but below-average prices for preferred drivers with no moving violations or at-fault accidents on their MVR report.

 

What About Motorcycles, RVs and Trailers, ATVs, Boats, and Antique/Classic Vehicles?

Not every carrier offers specialty coverage. However, we have listed below some of the reputable companies that can issue a policy for some of your unique situations:

Motorcycles/Scooters – Geico, GMAC,  Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Auto, State Farm, USAA and Zurich.

RVs/Trailers – AIG, Allstate, Chubb, Cincinnati, Erie, Geico, Hartford, Liberty Mutual, State Auto, State Farm, Traverlers, and USAA.

ATV – Allstate, Amica, Erie, GMAC, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, State Farm, Travelers and Zurich.

Boats And Watercraft – Allstate, Erie, Liberty Mutual, Markel, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, Travelers, Unitrin, and Zurich.

Collector/Antique – AIG, Amica, Cincinnati, Erie, Geico, Hartford, Liberty Mutual, State Farm, Travelers,  and USAA.

 

Additional Information:

 

Your Car Is Totaled

Typically, if your vehicle is declared a total loss, within 10 days you will receive a written offer from your carrier. The cost of repair must exceed the actual cash value (acv) for the offer to be extended. Otherwise, you are entitled to have your vehicle repaired and restored to its prior condition. If safety is a concern, this should be immediately discussed with your insurer. NOTE: If your vehicle is stolen, your carrier is given 30 days to provide a “fair” offer.

 

Recent Surveys

Based on recent surveys and research (N-Wallet) of all major insurers, the lowest prices are found in the following areas: Williamsport, Thurmont, Fairplay, Queenstown, Trappe, Emmitsburg, Adamstown, Vienna, Boonsboro, and Ocean City. However, many other factors can influence rates, including availability of discounts and safety devices on vehicles. Also, every three months, new calculations are completed and results change.

A recent national study concluded that Maryland has the lowest projected rate increase for vehicle owners following a $2,000 bodily injury claim. The average rate hike is 22%, which, of course, will gradually decrease and totally disappear following 2-5 years of no reportable incidences. The worst states, with increases above 50%, were California, New Jersey, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Massachusetts.

Car Insurance Rankings And Reviews In Maryland – Free Quotes

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Who are the biggest writers of car insurance policies in Maryland and where do they rank? And do the largest companies offer the cheapest rates? Biggest is often the best, but not 100% of the time, as you quickly see with our free quote request. Compare multiple companies in minutes and view your personalized price report for all vehicles and carriers. Our side-by-side comparisons instantly show you how you can save money on your current coverage. The helpful and accurate reviews will show you which policies are the most budget-friendly.

We have listed below the 50 (We expanded our Top-40 list)  insurers that issue the most auto policies in the state (based on premium dollars). There are about 160 companies that write business, although most carriers outside of the Top-50 do not issue a significant number of contracts. We utilize information from J.D. Power, consumer rating agencies, and claim data reports to help determine your best options. We also update information biannually for single, couple, family, and self-employed policies.

 

1. State Farm Mutual

2. Geico Casualty

3. Erie

4. Geico General

5. Allstate Indemnity

6. Government Employees

7. Allstate Insurance

8. Nationwide Affinity

9. USAA

10. Progressive Select

11. Nationwide Mutual

12. USAA Casualty

13. State Farm Fire And Casualty

14. LM General

15. MAIF

16. Geico Indemnity

17. Nationwide General

18. Progressive Specialty

19. USAA General

20. Liberty Mutual Fire

21. American States Preferred

22. Allstate Property And Casualty

23. Encompass Home And Auto

24. Garrison Property And Casualty

25. Trumbull Insurance

26. Progressive Advanced

27. Travelers Home And Marine

28. Agency Insurance Co Of MD

29. Elephant Insurance

30. Amica Mutual

31. Metropolitan Group Property And Casualty

32. Esurance

33. CSAA General

34. Peninsula

35. Progressive Direct

36. Travelers Property And Casualty

37. CSAA Affinity

38. Brethren Mutual

39. Mid Century

40. State Auto Mutual

41. Amco

42. IDS Property And Casualty

43. Pennsylvania National Mutual

44. Progressive Classic

45. Selective Insurance

46. Encompass Insurance

47. State Auto Property And Casualty

48. Mutual Benefit

49. Cincinnati Financial

50. Unitrin Auto And Home

Each year, the Maryland Insurance Commissioner must publish a written report detailing the impact that both auto and homeowner’s prices have on consumers in the state. The General Assembly and Governor receive the findings, and typically, the results are made available to the general public. Brokers and reputable websites (like us) utilize this information to help customers find the best offers in their areas. We customize proposals so they can match your personal budget and benefit needs. If vehicles or drivers in your household change, the cost of coverage will also change.

 

Pay-Per-Mile

If you move, change vehicles, add or subtract drivers, or change coverage, we can easily adjust our quotes to maximize savings. Prices can increase (or decrease) if you move to a different county. Note: “Pay-Per-Mile” companies are becoming more popular. The driver pays a low per-mile rate that can often save hundreds of dollars per year in premiums. This low-mileage coverage may be ideal for Seniors who rarely operate a vehicle. Pay-as-you-drive (PAYD) plans determine pricing on how you drive, along with how far you drive.

College students, persons that work from home, and persons that regularly utilize mass transit systems, are often ideal candidates for this type of coverage. You can also use a separate policy if its cost-effective to use just one vehicle for these types of benefits. Calculating your cost is very simple so you can determine potential savings before you sign up.

“Pay-Per-Mile” policies are often available through the following companies:

Esurance

MetroMile

Mile Auto

MileWise (Allstate)

Noblr

SmartMiles (Nationwide)

 

Quick Observations About Several Carriers On The List

Insurance Companies In Maryland

Elephant Insurance Really Owns An Elephant!

Elephant doesn’t write business in many states. But this British-domiciled company is expanding, and we expect them to offer coverage in twice as many states within 10 years. And yes, they really do own an elephant! And they are also annually recognized for treating employees well.  The parent company (Admiral Group) is one of the biggest insurers in the United Kingdom, so the financial backing is available. Expansion to all parts of the US is unlikely, although additional states will be added by 2024.

Amica is one of the oldest and most established companies, although not as well-known as some of the other “name” options. They systematically maintain high ratings for customer-service and financial safety (J.D. Power and A.M. Best) and tend to avoid major price fluctuations. They offer “no-frills” policies in may areas. Typically, you can only purchase coverage online, but their internet quoting system is very functional. 24/7 customer service is available, and consumer satisfaction for claims is generally very positive. The Baltimore Regional office is located on Columbia Gateway Drive.

Erie is another “quiet” company that doesn’t have a large advertising budget. But  in many pockets of the state, they have very low rates. Their offices are often smaller 1-2 person operations, but it doesn’t  impact their service. While Northwestern is the “Quiet Company” for life insurance, Erie is the “Quiet Company” in the property and casualty business. They also offer competitive term life insurance coverage for face amounts of $250,000 and less. Often, their term rates are competitive with major carriers such as Protective Life and Banner Life. There are many Erie agents conveniently located throughout the state.  Erie writes business in 12 states (including Maryland) and is  the 15th-largest property and casualty carrier in the US.

Geico has terrific commercials, although their prices aren’t so terrific in all areas of the state. And in case you were wondering, “G-E-I-C-O” stands for Government Employees Insurance Company. The original owner sought to cover as many government employees as possible, so the name has not changed. Berkshire Hathaway owns Geico, and the world headquarters are located in Chevy Chase. Coverage is offered countrywide and in many areas, the prices are the lowest among major carriers. Boat coverage is available for all state waterways.

Metropolitan, perhaps better known as MetLife, is the nation’s largest life insurance company. Although they no longer utilize agents, their group property and casualty business is quite active, especially through large companies. “Met P&C” offers attractive payroll-deduction options to many corporate clients. Reductions are often as much as 10%, along with getting an easy payment method. Many retired MetLife employees continue to payroll-deduct auto and home premiums through their pension checks. Although Farmers recently purchased the auto and home business, coverage is still offered.

State Farm lives up to their “Good Neighbor” nickname since they seem to be on every corner!  Always verify you are getting their discounts since there are  many. In the past their offices have sold health insurance (not their own product), although an experienced broker is a much better choice for purchasing Exchange plans. Their investment and rental property rates are also very competitively priced. Additional commercial plans are available through local brokers and corporate offices. Small business and banking products are also offered.

Zurich  may not be a familiar name, but you probably recognize the Farmers Group (and their catchy commercials). Zurich is the parent company to Farmers, who happens to be the parent company to 21st Century. The combination of their assets and market-share propels them to the Number 12 spot. Farmers commercials are very popular and easily-recognized. Farmers agents typically work very closely  with the local community, and offer extremely competitive rental property rates in many areas.

Ameriprise (no longer in the top 50) offers lifetime renewals (subject to certain conditions). Also, if you are a member of Costco, a small discount applies to your premium. Ameriprise also provides financial planning through their field force of brokers. 401k and IRA rollovers are popular products offered along with many retirement-oriented products for Seniors. Individual stocks can also be purchased and sold from certified financial planners. Fidelity, Ameritrade, and other investment companies can also provide excellent investment advice. Self-management  is also a popular option through their many online tools.

Brethren Mutual is a 100-year-old company that provides coverage in Maryland, District Of Columbia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The main office is in Hagerstown on North Edgewood Drive. Along with the standard auto and home policies, Brethren Mutual also offers personal umbrella, commercial umbrella, commercial auto, workers’ compensation, farm auto, and farm umbrella policies.

Allianz (also no longer in the top 50) insures more than 70 million persons (mostly outside the US) and was founded more than 100 years ago. They own Fireman’s Fund, which is a large property and casualty insurer, and provide investment products for many financial planners. Their tax-deferred annuities have been very popular since the 1990s.

Cincinnati Financial  is, of course, based in Ohio. But they offer respectable rates in many states, including Maryland. Mostly available through independent brokers (and our website), they also offer a wide range of, as you may expect, financial products! CinFin (their industry-recognizable name) was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the 50 most trustworthy financial companies in the US. When bundling their auto and home policies, rates are very competitive.

Encompass  is marketed through 2,600 independent brokers. Coverage is offered in 39 states, and market share has been slowly expanding. A,M. Best has assigned an “A+” rating to the carrier and several of its subsidiaries. Along with auto and home insurance products, additional lines of business include personal umbrellas, home businesses, motorcycles, RVs, boats and watercraft, and identity theft.

A “Lifestyle Endorsement” provides the following benefits: extended care facility coverage, cost of alternative school (if needed), advanced payment reimbursement, traveler’s coverage, live-in home care reimbursement, open peril coverage for sports and hobby equipment, and increased jewelry coverage.

 

Md car insurance companies set rates

Maryland Department Of Insurance Monitors Companies

Reform Act Of 1995

The Reform Act of 1995 requires that companies must offer pricing that is not unfairly discriminatory or excessive. If a Maryland car insurance rate is high, unless it is considered unfair and unjustified, it will remain in place. Normal competition among carriers will also naturally force down any unnatural pricing. If a rate is artificially-priced too low in an effort to secure market-share, generally, the premium will come back up quickly. The concept of “competitive rating” eliminates the process of requesting prior approval of rate changes.

If an insurer wishes to increase or decrease rates, they are no longer required to wait to receive approval after officially filing a request. This allows companies to react quicker to changes to market, economic or natural conditions that impact claims and expenses. Presumably, when less claims are filed than originally estimated, often we will see a small rate reduction. However, the competitiveness of other companies in that zip code (or county) will have an impact. Also, it’s possible that a period of low claims will be a result of unseasonably-favorable weather, instead of underwriting reasons.

Often,  a “holding company” owns several insurance companies that offer similar but different products. Several of the larger holding companies include State Farm, Geico, Allstate, and Nationwide. The 10 largest companies generally represent 80%-85% of all policies written in the state. These carriers typically feature separate companies for their preferred, high-risk, and commercial business.

This legislation also applies to homeowner’s insurance in the state. About 120 companies write this type of business, although the biggest 10 carriers account for about 80% of market share. When companies are not willing to offer competitive pricing in some areas, it’s important that the reason is justified and backed up by financial loss-ratio data. To maintain a competitive environment, typically, products and carriers must be able to easily enter the market, and the number of writers and their concentration of policies must be monitored.

The Administration monitors homeowner’s prices to ensure “healthy” competition. Obviously, there are going to be differences in premiums from one carrier to another. Almost always, this is entirely justified. The old practice of redlining (more popular in the 1980s and 1990s) is of course, illegal. This occurred when carriers were extremely reluctant to write business in specific areas. Often, it was urban areas with higher crime rates.

 

Future Changes To Top-50

Over the next decade, it is unlikely that you will see major changes to the list. Although some of the larger carriers, such as Geico, USAA, Allstate, and Progressive may shift several positions, it’s unlikely that one specific company will leapfrog five spots and gather a significant increase in market share. The exception occurs when corporate takeovers, mergers, or sales quickly move one company above many others.

However, Elephant Insurance (part of Admiral Group) could become a viable force in the state in about 5-10 years. Although their home office is not in the US, they have slowly been expanding and gaining market share. If they do start writing policies in Maryland, we’ll publish an in-depth analysis about their initial rates, and the way they have conducted business in other states. So far, in other areas, their pricing is competitive, but brokers and agents are more comfortable recommending other companies.

Elephant offers some unique discounts for their policyholders. We published an article detailing the best discounts for your car insurance  that will help anyone, regardless of which company provides their coverage. While some discounts are automatic, there are several you should ask for, including “good credit,” “good student,” and “55 and retired.” Headquartered in Richmond, they offer 10-minute online quotes, and  a “repair Assistance Program” that offers a streamlined process.

 

What About The Companies With The Lowest 2022 Rates?

Compare cheapest car insurance in Maryland

Save Money On Your MD Car Insurance And Be Happy!

 

Prices, of course will dramatically vary, depending on age, where you live, how many tickets you have, the type of vehicle you drive and several other factors. However, we created a few scenarios (below) that provide a baseline comparison of rates among different companies licensed and approved to write business in the state.

The MD Insurance Administration provided the raw data. Premiums shown are for a six-month period. Seven random companies were chosen among the carriers offering the most competitive offers. In future years, more companies will be participating. Also, additional age and vehicle scenarios will be used. Newer vehicles will also be used in the quoting process.

Situation 1 – 30 Year-old Male in Hagerstown area. Vehicle is 2006 Subaru Forester with $100,000/$300,000 liability and $250 and $500 deductibles on comprehensive and collision:

$814 – AIG

$978 – Allstate

$765 – Amco

$967 – Amica

$810 – Cincinnati

$771 – Cumberland

$916 – Encompass

$944 – Erie

$1132 – Farmers

$734 – Geico

$643 – Horace Mann

$1224 – Metropolitan Group Property & Casualty

$961 – Nationwide

$675 – Peninsula Insurance

$1341 – Travelers

$1037 – USAA

 

Situation 2 – 50 Year-old Female in Cumberland area. Vehicle is 2010 Ford Explorer  with $250,000/$500,000 liability and $250 and $500 deductibles on comprehensive and collision:

$796 – Amco

$983 – Amica

$815 – Cincinnati

$647 – CSAA

$791 – Cumberland Insurance

$665 – Erie

$676 – Geico

$537 – Horace Mann

$774 – Meridian

$794 – Metropolitan

$650 – Mutual Benefit

$893 – National General

$1012 – Nationwide

$674 – Old Dominion

$851 – Travelers

$839 – Unitrin

$597 – USAA

 

Situation 3 – Married couple (ages 35 and 32) with two non-driving children in Oakland area. Vehicles are 2005 Nissan Altima and 2010 Dodge Dakota  with $250,000/$500,000 liability and $250 and $500 deductibles on comprehensive and collision:

1422 – Allstate

1377 – Amco

1018 – American National

1112 – CSA General

1252 – Encompass

$1213 – Erie

$1513 – Farmers

$1430 – Foremost

$1254 – Geico

$764 – Harleysville

$951 – Horace Mann

$1416 – Meridian Security

1308 – Metropolitan Direct

$774 – Old Dominion

$806 – Peninsula

$1189 – Selective Insurance of SC

$1496 – State Farm

$1536 – Travelers

$1037 – Unitrin

$1313 – USAA

 

Situation 4 – Married couple (ages 29 and 29) with two non-driving children in the Annapolis area. Vehicles are 2011 Chevrolet Silverado and 2007 Ford Taurus  with $30,000/$60,000 liability and $250 and $500 deductibles on comprehensive and collision:

$1495 – AIG

$1204 – American National

$1626 – Cincinnati

$1977 – Erie

$1500 – Geico

$1848 – Horace Mann

$1562 – IDS

$2229 – Meridian Security

$2230 – Metropolitan Direct

$2015 – Mutual Benefit

$2610 – Nationwide

$2408 – Old Dominion

$2612 – Progressive

$2243 – State Farm

$2565 – Teachers Insurance

$2380 – Unitrin

$1992 – USAA

 

Situation 5 – 65 Year-old Male in Queen Anne’s County. Vehicle is 2012 Ford Escape XLS with $100,000/$300,000 liability with $250 and $500 deductibles on collision and comprehensive.

$745 – AIG

$951 – Allstate

$452 – American National

$632 – Cincinnati

$664 – CSAA

$890 – Emcompass

$591 – Erie

$471 – Geico

$462 – Horace Mann

$606 – IDS

$670 – Metropolitan Direct

$545 – Mutual Benefit

$548 – Old Dominion

$596 – Penn National

$716 – State Farm

$521 – USAA

 

Buying Business

Sometimes, business is “bought,” by artificially and temporarily lowering rates. When this phenomena occurs, initially, prices decrease, and new policy written business often sharply increases. Of course,  liberal underwriting can also contribute to many policies being written that should have been declined or charged a higher rate. Ultimately, much of the business falls by the wayside, but just enough is kept in-force to make the process somewhat profitable. Retaining the most profitable business is critical to the insurer to maintain competitive rates.

Within the next 12 months, we will also be publishing our customized ratings, based on customer comments and experiences, proposed rate changes, past fluctuations in prices, and anticipated changes in policy and coverage. We will be utilizing written and voicemail responses from 500 random Maryland residents recently contacted. No names, personal, or financial data will be requested or used.

 

Maryland All-Terrain Vehicle Coverage – Companies Offering Policies

Agency Insurance

AIG Property Casualty

Allstate Property And Casualty

Amco

American National Property And Casualty

American Property And Casualty

Amica Mutual

Chubb National

Cincinnati Insurance

Donegal Mutual

Encompass

Erie

Esurance

Foremost

Geico Indemnity

Hartford Casualty

Markel American

Meridian Security

Metropolitan Casualty

National General

Nationwide

Pharmacists Mutual

Privilege Underwriters

Progressive Casualty

Rider Insurance

Selective Insurance

State Farm Mutual

Travelers Property Casualty

 

Additional Information:

Speaking of lists…A recent study revealed the states with the rudest drivers. Maryland was rated 32nd (above average) well behind nearby New Jersey and Washington DC. Interestingly, MD drivers seem to despite Pennsylvanians the most while DC drivers list Maryland residents their biggest nemesis on the road. By the way, North Dakota and Maine were determined to be the the most well-behaved states.

Not a positive ranking, but you should still know. Baltimore was selected as one of the 10 most dangerous cities when driving in rain or snow. The study, released by Allstate, highlights areas of the country with a combination of bad weather and high incidences of accidents. Certainly, this season’s snowfall is not helping, especially in Eastern cities that are experiencing record snowfalls.

Maryland Teenage Driving Rules And Insurance Requirements

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Keeping Maryland’s teenagers safe while driving is a priority. Crash rates are at their peak during a young driver’s initial several years behind the wheel. The State Graduated License System is administered by the MD Motor Vehicle Administration and is designed to allow newly-licensed drivers to gain more experience before taking the wheel themselves. Ultimately, it can save both lives and money by imposing stricter sanctions than many other states. During a teen’s initial months of operating a vehicle, crash rates are the highest, so comprehensive training is critical.

The MD Rookie Driver program is designed to help potential drivers that are not (and never have been) licensed. Although the vast majority of participants are under the age of 18, there is no age prerequisite. The concept is simple – Encourage help and supervision by more experienced persons, and educate and train through three levels of licensing (instead of one or two). Often, persons new to the area, legal immigrants, and licensed drivers wanting to refresh their skills, will enroll in these types of programs.

This program applies to all persons applying for a license and is part of the graduating licensing system (GLS). The levels of completion are a learner’s permit, provisional license, and full driver’s license. After the learner’s instructional permit is obtained, a manual is provided along with an online tutorial and knowledge test. A rookie driver practice guide is available once the permit is obtained. When a provisional license is obtained, some restrictions still apply. Once all requirements are fulfilled, proof of conversion to a full license is provided by mail.

 

RoadReady Supervised Practice Driving App

The “RoadReady Supervised Practice Driving App” helps new drivers prepare for their initial driving experiences. The free app can be downloaded to assist tracking driving time with a quick click of a button. The app is available for iOS from the iTunes Store and Android from Google Play. The app features the following services:

Time-tracking

Monitor teen’s progress

View areas of improvement

View driving statistics

Receive pointers from parents

Learn about safe driving

Understand goals

View summary reports of driving

Track different driving conditions

Keep driving log

Teen crashes unnecessarily take lives, and can often be prevented. Several of the most common-occurring traits include driving too fast, consuming alcohol before or while driving, single-vehicle accident involvement, driving in the evening, not using a seat belt, driving through stop signs or red lights, driver error, and additional teenagers also as passengers. Crash rates for new drivers are 10 times higher than adults, so proper training is critical. Immaturity and inexperience are major factors that lead to highway incidents.

Typically, more males than females are involved in these types of accidents. The 18-20 age group has the highest crash percentage, and Baltimore County leads the state in vehicular accidents. Montgomery and Prince George Counties had the next highest reported related crashes. Fridays and Saturdays are the most common days for these types of incidents. Tuesdays and Wednesdays  are often the safest days to drive.

Additional young driver safety resources include Driver-Zed program, AAA Keys2Drive, Center For Injury Research And Prevention, Driving Skills For Life, and Governor’s Highway Safety Office.

 

Get Your Learner’s Permit

If you’re at least 15 years and 9 months old, you’re on your way to obtaining a permit. A School Attendance Certificate form must be provided and signed by a parent. The form can be found here. Of course, you must reside in Maryland and show proper identification along with passing a written and vision exam. A current manual will be provided that will be needed for the written exam. The sample exam consists of only five questions and takes less than two minutes to complete. About half of first-time applicants fail the exam, so reviewing the online test tutorial is recommended.

The free test tutorial can be very helpful since about half of all applicants fail to pass the first attempted exam. Several sample questions (multiple choice) are below:

You are car A and the traffic in front of you has stopped. You should…

When a law enforcement officer signals you to pull over, you should…

When driving in fog, it is best to drive with…

When sharing the road with large trucks, other drivers should…

In work zones, you should…

A flashing yellow light at an intersection means you should…

The maximum posted speed limit should be driven only…

Double solid yellow lane markings mean that…

 

20 minutes is provided to successfully pass the actual knowledge test, and a minimum score of 88% correct is required. Several topics are included, with a total of 25 questions for each section. Topics reviewed include proper stopping distances, meaning of road signs, how to proceed at a railroad crossing, stooping for school buses, hydroplaning and skidding, merging into traffic, construction zones, and funeral processions.

Some of the topics required to know include licensing requirements, signals, signs and pavement markings, and coping with different road conditions. A sample exam is also available online that will help determine your level of preparation needed to pass the test.  AAA provided the exam link and questions. NOTE: If you have not yet reached age 16, form DL-300 is required (Learner’s Permit School Attendance Certification).

During the practicing stage, an adult (must be 21 years or older) must be sitting in the front seat with no other occupants. Documenting and discussing practice sessions is highly recommended and helps the new driver understand unfamiliar situations that may have arisen. A 3-hour alcohol and drug education program is offered by several providers and can be very helpful to novice drivers. Underage drinking is a countrywide problem in all states.

 

Under Age 18?

If under the age of 18, cell phone use is prohibited! If you use a cellphone or other wireless product, a suspension could be implemented.  The permit  is effective for nine months and there must be no violations or at-fault accidents during that time. And of course, liability insurance that meets the minimum state requirements must be in effect at all times. If a policy ;apses, reinstatement could be extremely expensive.

Tip: There are many car insurance companies in Maryland that offer affordable prices for teens. Our guide may help you find the best options. You can view our most recent analysis here.  Naturally, there are many different policies, depending on your driving record, the type of car you own and other factors.

Proof of residency, age and social security number will be required during the registration phase. Documents must be original and readable. A faxed or copied document can not take the place of the original. Also, there can be no alterations or it will be rejected and a duplicate will be requested.

Maryland Driving Laws Explained

Texting While Driving In Maryland Is Forbidden

Once the learner’s permit is issued, it is valid for two years, so there is ample time to practice driving (supervised, of course!) and thoroughly understand rules of the road. The minimum amount of time the permit must be held is nine months and there can be no moving violations during this time. However, if you are 25 years old (or older), your period of time is 45 days, assuming all requirements have been met.

Get A Provisional License

Getting a provisional license is the second step in the three-step process. Some of the requirements include being at least 16 1/2 years old, completing an approved driver-education course (and making sure it is electronically submitted) and completing 60 hours of supervised driving. A special log must be provided that documents times and details. Supervised operation of the vehicle is not required, but using a cell phone (including hands-free devices) is not permitted, and no passengers may be in the vehicle.

A provisional licensee that has not reached their 18th birthday is also not able to drive past midnight, unless a passenger is over age 20 and has been driving for at least three years. Some of the most common exceptions include driving to or from work, participating in an approved volunteer program, an athletic event that requires participation (not observing!), and a class or event that is school-approved.

Also, passengers must be over the age of 17 at all times, unless they are a member of the family or there is an adult present in the vehicle. Although many of these rules and laws are restrictive, by delaying the full-licensing, MD highways become a little bit more safer. Note: Baltimore County usually has the most accidents involving younger drivers. Montgomery, Anne Arundel, and Prince George Counties also rank high. Saturdays and Fridays are the most accident-filled days.

During this time, if an operator receives probation or a conviction, the 18-month process starts over, as all driving skills and law tests will have to be taken again. Attending a “driver improvement program” will also be required. Additional violations will result in a license suspension. After four violations, the license will be revoked. Violation of an alcohol restriction will result in mandatory participation in the ignition interlock program. If the driver declines, an immediate six-month license suspension will result.

 

Finally! Get Your Full License!

Assuming your learner’s permit did not expire, (if it did, you have to pay fees again and start the process over) you’re ready to obtain full 2023 driving privileges. This assumes you had the provisional license for at least 18 months with no violations.  If the applicant is under age 21, then no alcohol-related incidences must have occurred. If all other requirements have been fulfilled, the a full license is issued. Hooray! Cell phone and texting laws should also be reviewed.

Restrictions on night-driving and passenger-requirements are removed, although a parent or guardian should always set some “ground rules.” For example, limitations on the number of passengers in the vehicle or length of travel distance are two common ideas. Also, it is possible for the parent or guardian to revoke the license of any person under age 18, if written consent is provided.

Correspondence is sent through the mail and  once the renewal charge is paid, the certificate is issued. One of the most important items to remember is regarding the insurance on the vehicle. The minimum requirements must be met (bodily injury per person/accident and property damage). Otherwise, a severe fine and/or suspension could result. A leased or financed vehicle may require higher limits and collision and comprehensive coverage. Current required bodily injury limits are $20,000 per person and $40,000 per occurrence, along with an additional $20,000 of property damage. It is not recommended to immediately purchase and title a vehicle in the new driver’s name.

 

Some Important Tips

You’re behind the wheel and it’s just you in the vehicle. It’s a huge responsibility you owe to yourself, and just as importantly, others on the road. Although a “good student” discount reduces insurance rates, acting responsibly (which means no texting or talking while driving) must be clearly understood. It’s an exciting time, but also a time to be cautious and extremely cognizant of other vehicles. Distractions must be minimized, and road conditions must always be considered.

Drive A Cycle In Maryland? Be Safe!

Motorcycle Safety Programs Are Available

We also recommend taking one of several optional education programs that are available throughout the year. The Motor Vehicle Administration does not formally specifically suggest using specific providers, although they do establish some of the regulations that govern the companies that offer these classes. Some of the available programs include:

Driver Improvement

Motorcycle Safety

Alcohol And Drug Education

Wellness And Safety

Rookie Driver And Education

Fees and costs, locations, dates of course offerings, and prior materials needed will vary, depending on the program. Additional details are available by contacting us or the Motor Vehicle Administration.

 

Impact Of Young Drivers  On Your MD Car Insurance Policy

Also, as we have discussed in several other pages on this website, the state minimum liability requirements must always be met. Currently at $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident and $15,000 of property damage, when someone under age 21 is present in the household, it’s very important to raise these coverages. Recommended limits are at least $50,000/$100,000/$50,000. Leased vehicles typically require higher limits.

Although your rates increase because of adding a youthful risk, many companies gradually reduce the cost, as the number of years of driving experience increases. Break points usually occur at three and five years, so by the time they have graduated college, two cost reductions will have been applied. And of course, good grades always make a big difference. An additional discount is generally applied if a policyholder is under age 30 and gets married.

 

Safety Programs

There are numerous safety programs for young Maryland drivers  offered by the  Motor Vehicle Administration. We urge parents to utilize these free Maryland programs to help educate their new young drivers in the household. Some of the most popular topics include Bicycle Safety, Regional Traffic Safety, Distracted Driving, Aggressive Drivers and Kids, The School Bus And You. Many defensive-driving courses are offered through local companies. Several available Driving School providers include: Allsafe, EZ, Easy Method, A Widmyer, Uncle Sam, B & E, and AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Motorcycle owners can choose between  a Basic or Alternative Rider course. Although completely voluntary, for persons under age 18, it is mandatory. There are about 20 training centers located throughout the state. New and veteran riders will find the course to be very helpful. Special skills and unique mental strategies are taught to drivers to help them operate more safely. Currently, 9 out of 10 riders that were involved in accidents, were not formally trained. More than 100,000 riders have participated in these types of programs. It is important to be properly trained, licensed, and  to be familiar with the cycle you are driving.

Helmets should always be worn. Substantial injuries (and medical expenses) can be saved with the helmet properly fastened. Vehicle drivers should also be aware of cyclists, and also must yield the right of way when turning left in an intersection. Extra space should be given, especially in rainy, snowy, or windy conditions. Occasionally, packs of motorcycles may be participating in an organized event, and extra caution should be used. Note: Drivers are likely to be at fault when involved in a crash with a motorcycle.

 

MD Teen Safe Driving Coalition

The Maryland Teen Safe Driving Coalition is a collection of dedicated professionals in the law-enforcement, traffic, and medical professions, along with teenagers and parents that are concerned with reducing the number of young deaths from traffic incidents. Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of deaths to teens, and the Coalition works to improve roadway safety and driving techniques.

Supporters and partners include State Farm Insurance, Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, AAA, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Students Against Drunk Driving, National Transportation Safety Board, and the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration.

 

Additional News

Town And Country Driving School, who for many years  helped residents of the state complete their on-road requirements, has shut down. However, their documents and records are currently being uploaded to the Motor Vehicle Administration. If you were in the middle of completing a course but were not able to finish, you can contact (410) 787-7769 for assistance regarding finishing the program.

If you have lost money, or have not received an expected refund,  a surety bond claim form can be completed and forwarded to the underwriting company. Often, within 4-10 weeks, a reimbursement is received. Meanwhile, drivers can complete their testing at another licensed school. Your existing records from the Town And Country Driving School can be used and you will only have to complete the remaining requirements.

Voice To Text May Be Big Distraction To Drivers

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According to a  recent study by AAA, voice to text features, which most automakers offer in their latest vehicles, may be highly distracting and is as dangerous as texting with your hand. The study, conducted at the University of Utah, found that voice to text software is just as distracting as talking on a handheld cell phone. Dozens of states have already banned the use of handheld cell phones to prevent accidents, and additional safety measures have also been enhanced. The three types of distracted driving are cognitive, visual, and manual.

A similar study by the Southwestern Regional Transportation Center showed similar results and conclusions. Spoken texts are convenient, but still present safety concerns. This type of risky behavior is responsible for thousands of highway deaths each year.  48 states currently ban text messaging for drivers. Arizona has no law banning drivers from texting, and Florida has only implemented a limited ban.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) provides a listing of these states along with numerous crash collection data. Maryland has passed a preemption law and was not one of the states banning usage of handheld cell phones (while driving). Novice and school-bus operators, however, may see legislation aimed specifically at them. It is expected that within the next 10 years, all states will pass more stringent legislation. Novice drivers, however, are typically subject to stricter regulations and tougher enforcement penalties.

The major concern is driver response times and its impact when suddenly faced with a swerving vehicle or unexpected pedestrian in the street. Concentration levels are lower and reaction times are definitely impacted. The severity of accidents increases with higher numbers of injuries and fatalities. Response times also apply to animals unexpectedly appearing on roads and highways. Higher speed limits result in shorter times to react, and the resulting risk of property damage and human injury is much higher.

 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has set guidelines regarding distracted driving which includes both the use of a handheld phone as well as voice to text technology. The study suggested that stricter rules could be in the pipeline for the way for hands-free devices are used, since currently they are not banned in any state. However, we expect legislation to be enacted within the next 12-24 months.

The NHTSA defines distracted driving as an activity that diverts attention from driving activities. Common activities include talking on your phone, reaching for an object, eating, talking to passengers in the vehicle, and viewing controls on the navigation or entertainment system. Texting, of course, is the most serious distraction, and substantially increases the risk of crashing. Utilizing voice software does lower the risk.

 

Nissan’s Gadget

Nissan previously released a “hands-free text messaging assistant”  (NissanConnect) that utilizes all voice commands, so supposedly, the driver is not impacted or distracted. However, there is a voice-activation button located on the steering wheel that must be activated. Once that is done, voice commands can be used, and no further button-searching is needed through the single dash-mounted system. The intuitive technology may also be equipped with Door to Door Navigation and Android Auto.

Control buttons are all steering wheel-mounted, which is a major positive feature. For example, by saying “read to text,” you can hear any existing messages. By saying “send text,” you will be able to send messages that are saved in your NissanConnect system. If there is an emergency and your air bags deploy (or you can manually utilize a button), a live person can be contacted to send assistance. If the vehicle is stolen, it can also be located. Depending on the car manufacturer, many vehicle disabling options may be available to use if the vehicle is stolen.

You are able to send only custom-created messages, although you are able to reply without taking your eyes off the highway (where they belong). The display screen is always on, although it should not be looked at. Currently, this device is compatible with an iPhone. At this time, we recommend purchasing this product even though additional research is  not completed. We also expect the cost to gradually decline.

Newer models receive three years of complimentary NissanConnect services (three years) and a 6-month trial of NissanConnect Services Premium Plus. The app is offered through the Apple App Store, Google Play, and NissanConnect EV and Services. “Nissan Intelligent Mobility”  is also free to the consumer before purchasing a vehicle. Dealerships will provide free training and information.

 

Park The Phone Before You Drive

The “Park The Phone Before You Drive” campaign was launched four years ago. This initiative has helped increase awareness of the dangers of using a cellphone while operating a vehicle. Increased mobile device enforcement (including checking texts at red lights and using cell phones in travel lanes) is helping keeping drivers and their passengers safer. The law enforcement community was heavily involved in this program.

 

AAA Urges Auto Industry to Set Limits

AAA urged auto makers and makers of portable electronics to limit voice controls to driving tasks such as  operating the air conditioning, cruise control and windshield wipers. The NHTSA has proposed distracted driving guidelines which were released a few years ago. They urge automakers to deactivate web browsing as well as manual texting while the vehicle is moving. Currently, many manufactures do not allow the driver to manually change audio settings (bass, treble, volume, and fader) if the vehicle is in motion.

These moves would save lives and money, but passage of specific legislation would not be popular, and changing of existing laws has not been seriously discussed. Also, each year, car and truck manufacturers are adding new gadgets and devices that make online browsing, and other related activities much easier, and not more difficult. Although quite helpful in emergency situations, they are often a tempting distraction that can cause an accident. Less than  a one second lapse in concentration can result in serious consequences.

 

Driving And Browsing Do Not Mix!

Driving while web browsing is one of the most dangerous combinations that face new drivers and we’re surprised that there is not a safety-system that shuts down the internet while the vehicle is moving. Once again, we expect future legislation to address that. It’s also possible that auto manufacturers will take an independent initiative to solve the problem. The Maryland Department of Transportation has a distracted driving page on their website (found here) that  provides information on future changes in the law.

If you text when you are driving, you are at risk

Texting And Driving Don’t Mix

Unfortunately, these guidelines are not in the best interest of automakers who feel that keeping drivers connected will help them win market share and bring in new customers. Once web browsing is eliminated by one big car company, it is likely that most or all of the American companies will follow. And consumers like discounts on  car insurance rates or any change that lowers premiums. Getting rid of browsing could ultimately help insurance prices as well.

The Alliance of Automobile manufacturers, representing 12 automakers is not commenting on the report until their experts have had a chance to review the details of the findings. They did say that the group views hands-free controls as a positive technological development as it keeps a drivers eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Since most new vehicles contain this feature, the familiarity to drivers has drastically increased.

The Alliance also warned that if the government put too many restrictions on the technology being built into cars, drivers might revert back to using a handheld phone. We don’t necessarily agree with that prediction, since new technology and innovations also take safety into consideration. The cost of these added features has also reduced in recent  years. Many sub-compact vehicles also include similar features in their basic package.

 

How the Study Worked

The researchers at the University of Utah tested 150 people who were between the ages of 18 and 36. The average age was 24 with an average of seven years driving experience. All participants were outfitted with brain sensors while they drove a modified Subaru. They were asked to perform six different tasks while driving. Those tasks were:

·         Adjusting the radio station.

·         Listening to a book-on-tape.

·         Having a conversation with a passenger.

·         Using a handheld cell phone.

·         Using a cell phone with a hands-free device.

·         Sending an email with voice-to-text software.

Participants were also required to drive while they took a standard test that is used by psychologists to measure brain function. The test included items such as memorizing numbers and doing math problems. an additional voice-to-text driver distraction study was completed which showed similar results.

 

The Headset Option

Keep Eyes On Road While Driving

Concentrate On The Road And Avoid Accidents

The headset that drivers wore during the test had a light in the corner of their field of vision. This light would turn red or green randomly which prompted the driver to push a button on the steering wheel. Their reaction times to the light were carefully measured.

When using voice to text software,  the majority of drivers displayed numerous signs of being distracted. The response times for voice to text were just as slow as when participants were using a handheld phone, and drivers were not checking their surroundings as much when working with voice to text technology.

The study also found that drivers were less distracted when doing math problems as part of the psychology test. Of course, we certainly don’t suggest that high school drivers do their math homework while driving!

 

New Features Increase Risk

While one of the authors of the study said that their testing did not show definitively that voice to text was unsafe, they did suggest that these new features come at a risk and that some tasks were proving riskier than others. But the evidence seems to help conclude that driver response times are negatively impacted or impaired when most tasks were studied.

AAA is planning another phase of the study that will look into more specific types of voice-activated features such as Twitter and Facebook. Naturally, driving is a full-time task that should require all of your attention. What’s next? Cooking dinner and paying bills while driving?

Additional Information:

Using a handheld cell while driving in Maryland is still a punishable offense.  The fine is $83 for your first offense, but nearly doubles to $160 if you are caught three times. The exception to the law, is of course if you have to contact 911 because of an emergency situation.

Texting while driving had already been banned. School bus drivers had also previously been prohibited from using a cell phone (or electronic devices) while driving. Currently, it is not expected that the laws will be changed or modified. As new devices and software become available, existing legislation will be reviewed, and adjusted if necessary.

April is “Distracted Driver Awareness Month.” The US Department of Transportation is offering free information at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Free online materials and brochures can be found regarding the three main categories, which are visual, physical, and cognitive. One of the main themes that the Department is trying to convey, is that these types of accidents are 100% preventable.

Full Coverage Or Just Liability On Your Vehicles? Compare Options

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Full coverage or just liability insurance on your vehicles? This is a common dilemma that many car-owners face when one or more cars (or trucks) are no longer financed. It’s great to save hundreds of dollars per year (or thousands) on your car insurance rates. But is the risk worth it? Can you afford to replace a vehicle and start making monthly payments? Is state-minimum coverage enough? In most states, liability coverage or a financial responsibility bond is required. Do you have an emergency cash fund that can pay the deductible and other related expenses?

And when is the best time to remove your comprehensive and collision coverage? Which deductibles are the most cost-effective? Although full coverage protects against a wide variety of risks, your total out-of-pocket costs may be higher, depending upon the drivers and vehicles in your household. Liability is legally required in all states. Collision and comprehensive benefits are not. In most states, the minimum required bodily injury liability limits are at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, although higher coverage is recommended.

If you remove full coverage from your vehicle, collision and comprehensive benefits may be returned, assuming there has been no damage to the car or truck. Selecting “comprehensive only” is also an option, especially for older vehicles that are regularly driven. The most common comprehensive deductibles are $0, $50, and $100. The most popular collision deductibles are $250, $500, and $1,000. Luxury and commercial vehicles often have a $2,500 collision deductible. Commercial fleet or self-insured policies often include higher deductibles to reduce costs.

 

Important Facts To Consider

 

Your financial situation may be the most important variable. If you’re in a position which you can neither afford to make an additional car payment, or are not able or willing to pay thousands of dollars for repairs, then removing collision coverage would not be a good idea. You will be faced with either paying to repair a vehicle with money you don’t have, or spending $200-$600 per month that was not in your budget. The number of available vehicles in the household also must be considered, since an alternative mode of transportation may not be available. Utilizing ride-share companies can reduce the number of miles driven on your vehicles.

The availability of Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing companies help, but does not completely solve the problem. Although occasional driving issues are solved,  these types of companies can not offer distance-driving needs. Hiring a driver or a limousine service also will not likely eliminate your concerns. However, if driving privileges are temporarily or permanently  revoked, these options will need to be considered. Note: Uber also is heavily involved in food and meal delivery, and has recently increased their share in the prescription delivery market. $0 delivery fees are available in many areas.

Leasing a new vehicle will cost less, and low and no down-payments are always available. Of course, maintenance and repair costs for the term of your lease (assuming between 24 and 42 months) should be very low. Many new lease agreements now offer 100% maintenance coverage for either 24 or 36 months, resulting in a low lease payment as your only out-of-pocket expense. Routine maintenance (oil changes and tire rotation) are often provided at no charge. Most major repairs are covered under the standard 36-month warranty, and extensions are offered on most leases.

Take Collision Coverage Off Insurance?

Consider The Age Of Your Vehicle

Naturally, the age of the vehicle is perhaps the biggest factor. Typically, when the age is between 8 and 10 years old, it’s the right time to look into removing collision and/or comprehensive benefits. At 12-years-old and higher, it generally is cost-effective to remove some of the coverage. At the 14-year mark,  the value has depreciated to a point that it no longer makes good economic sense to have any physical benefit other than liability coverage (and perhaps fire and theft).

Low-mileage vehicles should be considered on an individual basis. Despite the age of the vehicle, much of the resale value may have been retained because of the lack of driving and demand for this type of car or truck. Also, especially with older vehicles, the collision and comprehensive deductibles do no have to be identical. Often, the collision deductible is much higher than the comprehensive deductible. $500/$0, $500/$100, and $250/$0 combinations are common.

Antique and custom vehicles may be able to be insured for their market value. An appraisal will be needed, but the cost of coverage is typically less than a car or truck. The wear and tear will impact your choices. Vehicles in poor condition only need liability protection. However, if the car or truck can not pass a required inspection, that vehicle will not be allowed to be driven, and liability coverage can be removed (assuming the vehicle never becomes drivable again).

 

Each Company Offers Different Savings

 

The amount of savings will vary from one carrier to another. For example, if you own a pair of vehicles that are seven years old, you would be at the point where altering your coverage should be examined. Company A may charge you $1,500 per year for your premium while Company B only charges $1,300.  Having additional lines of business with the same carrier may help to reduce the premium. Several customer-loyalty discounts are offered by most carriers that can reduce the premium up to 20%. Group payroll-deduction (if available) may provide additional savings. MetLife previously offered low-cost group rates until Farmers purchased their book of business.

If you place “liability only” on both vehicles, Company A’s rate may change to $900 while Company B’s rate may only reduce to $1,100. We wrote an article about the best car insurance companies in Maryland that may help. All of the companies we listed are very highly-rated. Additional carriers are available for small and large group payroll-deduction. Underwriting guidelines are often more relaxed with employer-provided policies. Seniors with more than one at-fault accident in the last three years may be more susceptible to cancellations.

Thus, in this example, keeping full coverage is beneficial when you are insured with Company A. Yet, when a different set of deductibles is used (on the same vehicles), another carrier now charges a lower premium. And although we didn’t consider any additional companies, there may be up to 10 more carriers that now have better rates. A helpful factor is that insurers are required to post rate-increase request publicly. And although the entire amount may not be approved by the DOI, you will have as much as six months advanced notice. It’s also possible that a carrier will not change pricing for more than 12 months.

Carriers that often offer low premiums for vehicles with full coverage (collision and comprehensive coverage) include Progressive, Nationwide, Geico, Allstate, Penn National, Donegal, and Esurance. Carriers with low rates for vehicles with only basic liability coverage include Allstate, Erie, Progressive, Nationwide, and Farmers.

 

Do You Have Alternate Transportation?

 

An important consideration is to create a scenario where you remove collision coverage from your car or truck and you’re involved in an accident that is your fault. Your vehicle is totaled. Of course, the damages to the other party are paid by your insurer and you have no out-of-pocket cost (assuming you have sufficient bodily injury and property damage limits).

However, you are now without transportation on one vehicle. How much of a change in lifestyle will that cause? If you don’t think your household can afford an additional $250-$750 per month for replacement transportation, then you better leave your collision and comprehensive coverage in tact. Otherwise, consider removing them. And revisit this option each year as your financial situation changes. Leasing a vehicle is often less expensive than purchasing an older financed vehicle, that also requires full coverage.

For a temporary fix to a situation where you need a quick replacement, leasing a vehicle will allow you to avoid a large down-payment and keep your monthly premium in the $200-$350 per month for very reliable options. Maintenance expenses will be nominal and you can walk away from the lease without any obligation (or elect to purchase at the end of the lease). However, you build no equity and are starting from scratch when the least period ends. NOTE: If your residual value is lower than the market value of the vehicle, you may be able to sell the vehicle for a small profit.

 

Condition And Mileage

 

A 12-year old vehicle purchased new for $35,000 may still be worth $10,000. It also may be worth less than $5,000. Some of the major determinants of the value are mileage, condition (including exterior body damage and interior), reliability, and demand for that specific make and model. If the vehicle has held its value, it’s worth keeping collision coverage in place. But your own perception of the current market value may differ greatly with the actual Blue or Grey Book value. Accurate estimates are provided free online.

For example, a 2015 Toyota Camry (very popular older car) in excellent condition with about 100,000 miles could be worth as much as $6,000-$7,000. But the same vehicle in rough condition with $175,000 miles may only be worth about $1,000. That’s a big difference. We use Edmunds to help determine the market value of any vehicle referenced in our website, although there are several other reputable resources. Prices generally reduce each year, so it’s important to constantly update values.

NOTE: Since the value of your car or truck reduces every year, your premiums may also slightly reduce. But once a vehicle is about 10-15 years old, the reductions in your rate may stop, or perhaps start increasing. Typically, that’s a good time to consider stripping the “full coverage” and calculating the savings with “liability only” coverage. You can also keep fire, theft, and vandalism benefits (only) and delete the collision coverage. Towing and substitute transportation benefits are often packed with the collision coverage.

 

Who Is Driving  The Vehicle?

 

Maryland Car insurance Help

Is A Teenager Driving Your Car?

A major determinant in the decision is simply who the principal driver is of the car in question. If it is a teenager or someone with very little practical driving experience, you may wish to hesitate or postpone taking collision coverage off. After all, the risk of an at-fault accident is high. If there are multiple inexperienced drivers in the household, more than one vehicle will be impacted.

Conversely, if the vehicle is rarely driven, and the risk of an incident is fairly low, having just liability, medical payments and uninsured motorists protection (only) may result in substantial savings. There is always the risk that as soon as you delete the collision coverage, you’ll have an accident. However, if the other driver is at fault, their coverage will pay for the repair to your vehicle.

If you are currently covered with a company that bases its rates on the number of miles the vehicle is driven, the cost of keeping collision coverage may be nominal. This would occur if the number of miles driven is less than 3,000 and especially if an additional vehicle is in the household. When the number of vehicles in the household exceeds the number of drivers, typically, the average miles driven is lower.

 

Will You Be Selling The Vehicle?

 

Tips For Selling Your Car

 

This is another big factor. If you are selling the car, there’s a good chance you will not be the owner within the next few months or perhaps longer. In this scenario, since it is such a short period of time, it would not be advisable to change the policy. The extra money you pay for a few months is not worth the  risk you would take of not only losing the sale, but getting stuck with a badly damaged car and having to pay for a newer vehicle. In this scenario, leave liability, collision and comprehensive benefits on your vehicle.

If subsequently you decide to keep the car (or truck), it may be a better time to consider removing coverage. The cost of collision and comprehensive coverage can be substantial over a period of 5-10 years (or longer). If a youthful driver is present in the household, the cost will be higher. The existence of a high-risk driver in the household will also raise the premium. Although a driver-exclusion may be available, the risk of the driver operating your vehicles is a valid underwriting concern of the carrier.

You should also be concerned with a potential buyer test-driving the vehicle. In most states, if they have an accident and cause damage, your insurance will be liable and responsible for covered expenses. If you have “just liability,” you’ll have to pay for the repair of the vehicle out of your own pocket before selling it. You also may lose a few potential sales if the buyer can’t test-drive the vehicle. However, it’s possible that their coverage may pay for physical damage while operating your vehicle.

 

How Quickly Do Vehicles Lose Their Value?

 

A new car or truck instantly depreciates once it is driven by the new owner. The percentage is approximately 6%-12%. For the next four years, the average depreciation is approximately 12%-22% per year.  If you purchase a used vehicle, the rate of depreciation will be slower. Higher-value vehicles are more expensive to insure, but retaining collision coverage is a more popular option. Deductibles of $1,000 and above are more common with luxury vehicles.

Vehicles that appreciate are typically antique or classic. Special policies are offered for these types of cars (and trucks) that allow you to insure for the market value of the vehicle. An appraisal may be needed. Classic car rates are typically about 35% less than standard rates. Coverage is guaranteed to match the value of the vehicle. You can utilize several reputable resources to determine the value of your vehicle. Examples are the Kelley Blue Book and N.A.D.A.

 

You Can Keep Comprehensive Coverage Without Collision Coverage

Higher-mileage vehicles that are more than 10 years old are popular options for removing collision and retaining comprehensive benefits. Your premium will reduce, and the vehicle can still be repaired from an accident that is not your fault (assuming the other party has coverage). Common claims that are covered under the comprehensive section of the policy include falling objects, fire, theft, vandalism, weather damage, and many animal-damage incidents.

Savings will vary, depending upon the age and value of the car or truck. Vehicles that are financed or leased will not be able to remove this coverage. The most cost-effective situations are when the vehicle is worth at least $10,000. Glass-breakage may be covered at 100%, regardless of your deductible. Note: Keeping full coverage on a vehicle may allow you to include several free benefits, including towing, small amounts of life insurance, or accidental medical coverage.

 

Additional Information:

Increasing your potential out-of-pocket expense on the most expensive vehicles to insure, will of course, save the most money. Of course, if you have a propensity for hitting other vehicles, then keep low deductibles!  The following vehicles (below) should always be considered for increased collision and comprehensive deductibles. For example, increasing deductibles by $250 could easily result in annual savings of $250 or more.

Dodge SRT Viper, BMW 760Li, Nissan GT-R Nismo, BMW M6, Audi A8L, and the Mercedes GL63 AMG.