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Save Money On Your Homeowner’s Insurance

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Get the best homeowner’s insurance rates in Maryland and pay less! Although prices seem to typically rise each year, there are several options that will help you lower premiums, and put more money in your pocket. As one of your most important assets, you need to protect the value, and make certain major repairs and damage are covered. Get instant pricing online for any properties you own by using our free calculator.

Prices have been increasing in recent years, and some of the rate hikes have been substantial. Although coverage on the dwelling and contents grow to keep pace with inflation, premiums typically should not go up this fast. A combination of weather-related claims and higher incidences of theft have been partially to blame. 2022 prices have remained fairly level, or slightly increased. Coverage amounts on dwelling and personal property have also slightly increased to keep pace with inflation and building costs.

Nationally, Maryland rates rank 0th (from lowest to highest). The  states with lowest average prices are Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Missouri, Florida, Minnesota, Kentucky, Kansas, South Dakota, and Tennessee. The states with the highest average prices are Maine, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Delaware, West Virginia, Utah, Idaho, Vermont, Nevada, and New Jersey.

There are many ways to save money on your homeowner’s insurance rates in Maryland. And no, selling your house and moving to an apartment is not one of them! We help explain these rate reductions and show you how you can reduce your premium, and still retain and leave unchanged the core components of your policy. Although we are better recognized for writing about the best auto insurance companies in Maryland, we believe you’ll find our list of home discounts quite helpful.

 

Bundle Up!

 

The multi-policy discount will benefit you in two ways. Firstly, you will immediately see a 10%-25% reduction in your rates (the discount fluctuates between carriers) when you insure your vehicle and home with the same company. And of course, your auto insurance premium will also greduce, possibly as much as $100-$300 per year. Since vehicle insurance rates are generally higher than homeowner’s premiums, the discount is very helpful.

Secondarily, having  several lines of business with a company somewhat insulates you against cancellation or termination of policies. Of course it won’t prevent your policy to be canceled after three house fires! But it will provide additional leverage if the number of claims you submit places you in a high-risk category for cancellation. Typically, three submitted claims within a 5-7 year period can create an underwriting flag that may result in a cancellation.

But if you currently insure your automobiles and house with separate companies, combining them could make a tremendous difference in what you pay. In addition to the multi-policy discount, it’s very possible that by simply comparing car insurance rates with multiple insurers, the savings could be hundreds of dollars of savings every six months when you receive the renewal statement. Combining contracts is often a big money-saver, and provides limited insulation from an underwriting cancellation.

 

Retired Discount

 

MD Discounts For Home

Discounts For Your Maryland Home Insurance

Another big premium-saver occurs if all of the adults in the household are retired. Usually, at least one of the household members must also be 55 or older. If someone works part-time, that still may be acceptable. The rate reduction is typically in the 5%-15% range, but it is applied every year, so it’s easy money that gets put back in your pocket. Generally, retirements before age 55 do not generate a discount.

Sometimes, there will be higher reductions for persons 65 or older. The assumption is that you spend more time inside the home. At this time, there is not a major reduction given to applicants over the age of 75. However, positive claims results may sway insurers to offer a price reduction. Discounts for home monitoring may also be introduced within the next few years.

As actuarial data is studied, it’s possible a change could be made in the next five years. The biggest concern is potential health-related issues that could cause or contribute to an accident or extra liability exposure. Condo and renters policies will often offer these same Senior discounts, although the amounts may be slightly less. One of the largest factors in determining renters policy premiums is the incidence of theft in the surrounding area of the policyholder, and of course, claims history.

 

Alarm Systems

 

Of course, an obvious money-saver is owning an alarm system, especially a system that is professional-monitored.  Every major Maryland homeowner’s insurance carrier offers this discount. The “central” system will save the most money. Typically, this type  will notify a local police and/or fire department if there is an attempted break-in or the smoke detectors go off. Usually this will reduce your premium about 15%. Occasionally, the reduction may be as much as 25%, depending on the effectiveness of the system. Many system upgrades are offered by manufacturers, which could result in additional savings.

A “local” alarm system is still armed by the owners of the home from a keypad usually located  near a major entrance. However, additional keypads can also be purchased. If the alarm is tripped, an incredibly loud buzzer will go off. I know it’s loud because each of our children (when they were younger) reminded us of that (by accident)! Since the police are not automatically contacted, the discount may only be 5%. These types of systems can be easily upgraded, and installation is very simple..

Many new and inexpensive alarm systems have become available within the last five years. Several popular options are Frontpoint, Vivint, ADT, SimpliSafe, Protect America, Link Interactive, Scout, Nest Secure, LifeShield, and Brinks. Homes without alarm systems are three times more likely to be burglarized than homes with an alarm system. “Ring” doorbell/alarm systems are very inexpensive and can be quickly installed with easy exterior door and window coverage.

 

Central System Is Best

 

A “central” alarm may not cost anything to install, but there will be a monthly monitoring fee. This can range from as little as $25 to as much as $150. Usually, these fees are negotiable, so shop around if you are considering buying this type of system. A local experienced company will likely offer you the best service. Never purchase a system from any type of telemarketing call you receive. Their sole purpose for calling is to obtain your credit card information.

And what about the fake alarm stickers and cameras you can purchase to place around the perimeter of your home? I don’t know of any carriers that will consider them, but it may not be a bad idea if you can’t afford an alarm. You can probably order a set of four or eight stickers very inexpensively. And the fake alarm camera does look real and is typically high enough that nobody will want to touch it. However, after about three years of  snow, rain, wind and hail, your fake “system” may need to be replaced.

 

Look Above Your Head

 

Discount Auto And Home Insurance Maryland

This Is A Very Expensive Roof!

Are you thinking of getting a new roof? If you need one, and actually replace your existing roof, many home and auto insurance companies in Maryland will cut your premium. The main reason is that the risk of damage to the roof will have reduced, and often there are warranties from the roofing companies that may pay some damages, if the shingles were faulty. Each  roofer is different and, of course, don’t buy a new roof just for the discount!

A new home (as well as a new roof) generates a big discount, often as much as 25%. Newer houses typically translate into fewer claims and a smaller chance of problems. Therefore, your rate is substantially reduced. Also, newer, and more modern shingle designs provide more protection and last longer, which helps reduce your premium.

Impact-resistant roofing materials are also a great way to cut down on potential claims. Hail claims are greatly diminished since pellets typically bounce off the roof without causing damage. It’s also possible that fallen small and medium-sized branches will not cause harm either. Each carrier has their own set of underwriting criteria, so check with the carrier before making changes to the roof.

There are also multiple options regarding how comprehensive you want your roof coverage to be. By electing a separate deductible and/or higher out-of-pocket expenses (if you submit a roof claim), you’ll save money each year, since roof claims are among the most common. However, all carriers do not offer this benefit option and the amount of premium reduction varies.

 

Additional Unusual Discounts

 

Although not as common, several companies offer a credit if most (or all) of your wiring has been recently inspected and upgraded. Since the risk of fire reduces,  everybody wins. Expect about a 2%-5% reduction every year. Proof of service and installation will probably be required. And of course, a professional electrician would have to handle the installation. Adding LED lighting will also save money, and provide more exterior light at no extra cost.

A “claim-free” reward is offered by almost every carrier, and it can easily save hundreds of dollars each year.  Although larger claims must be filed, often it’s better to raise your deductible since it’s not advisable to constantly submit smaller claims. Multiple weather or natural disaster claims are treated more favorably by underwriters than fires, thefts, and vandalism.

Many years ago, a $100 or $250 deductible was common, and recommended by most companies and brokers. But now, a $500 or $1,000 deductible is much more cost-effective since it’s unlikely you will be submitting claims under the $250 threshold. As earlier mentioned, the quantity of submitted claims, as opposed to the amount of claim dollars spent, is often what underwriters take into consideration when determining to renew or cancel an in-force policy.

If you reside in a gated community (not a condominium community), because of the increased safety, a small discount may be applied to your policy. If your vehicle is parked under a roof or in a garage, the auto insurance policy may reduce. Home improvements occasionally will lower the premium if the structure becomes more safe.

And finally, scheduled jewelry riders are expensive. Depending on how many pieces you insure, and their combined value, you could easily add hundreds of dollars of extra premium to your policy every year. Check and verify that you still own all of the jewelry and want it scheduled. Also consider cheaper riders that provide extra coverage without all-risk coverage.

Although storing your jewelry in a safety deposit box isn’t fancy, and of course, not very accessible, the cost is fairly low (sometimes free, depending on how much business you have with the bank). Safety is not an issue and you don’t necessarily have to schedule the items on your policy since they are protected. The annual cost is approximately $50-$100. Certificate of Deposit holders may earn a waiver of the fee.

 

Sample Homeowner’s Insurance Rates In Maryland (Annual)

 

Washington County (Hagerstown) – Home insured for $198,900 with $1,000 deductible and $300,000 liability

$462 – Donegal Mutual

$494 – Cumberland Mutual

$497 – Farmers Insurance

$510 – Farmers Mutual

$512 – NGM Insurance

$569 – Unitrin

$570 – Cincinnati Casualty

$608 – Travelers

$629 – Teachers Insurance

$632 – Penn National

$655 – Allstate

$656 – CSAA

$774 – Erie

$782 – State Farm

$903 – Amica

 

Harford County (Bel Air) – Home insured for $278,100 with $1,000 deductible and $300,000 liability

$535 – Unitrin

$616 – NGM Insurance

$631 – Farmers

$651 – Donegal Mutual

$690 – Travelers

$714 – Cumberland Mutual

$732 – Cincinnati Casualty

$741 – Penn National

$799 – Frederick Mutual

$823 – Teachers Insurance

$826 – Hartford

$842 – Nationwide

$854 – Safeco

$880 – Mutual Benefit

$883 – CSAA General

 

Anne Arundel County – Home insured for $370,000 with $500 deductible and multi-policy discount

$464 – Safeco

$723 – Brethren Mutual

$780 – Farmers

$910 – Frederick Mutual

$971 – Peninsula

$1,002 – Teachers Insurance

$1,048 – AIG

$1,148 – Travelers

$1,174 – Esurance

$1,187 – Horace Mann

$1,213 – Erie

$1,296 – State Farm

$1,394 – Allstate

$1,457 – Nationwide

$1,491 – Amica

 

Carroll County – Home insured for $350,000 with $500 deductible and multi-policy discount

$464 – Safeco

$583 – Brethren Mutual

$762 – Farmers

$793 – Frederick Mutual

$898 – Erie

$846 – Travelers

$847 – Pharmacists Mutual

$915 – Penn National

$960 – Liberty Insurance

$987 – AIG

$1,071 – Unitrin

$1,123 – Esurance

$1,212  – State Farm

$1,237 – Cincinnati

$1,627 – USAA

 

Baltimore County – Home insured for $247,000 with $1,000 deductible

$701 – Pharmacists Mutual

$721 – NGM Insurance

$725 – Erie

$728 – Donegal Mutual

$763 – Farmers

$799 – Cumberland Mutual

$800 – Penn National

$831 – Esurance

$843 – Travelers

$852 – Teachers Insurance

$863 – Liberty Insurance

$895 – Unitrin

$910 – Horace Mann

$955 – Encompass

$1,008 – State Farm

 

Sample Condominium Insurance Rates In Maryland (Annual)

 

Queen Anne’s County (Stevensville) Contents covered for $50,000 with $500 deductible and $100,000 liability

$185 – Selective Insurance

$207 – Teachers Insurance

$219 – Horace Mann

$230 – State Farm

$233 – Penn National

$248 – NGM Insurance

$251 – Allstate

$251 – Cincinnati

$279 – Mutual Benefit

$284 – American Property And Casualty

$291 – Encompass

$308 – Chubb National

$313 – Hartford Fire

$358 – USAA Casualty

$389 – Nationwide

 

Talbot County (Easton) Contents covered for $50,000 with $500 deductible and $100,000 liability

$176 – Cincinnati

$207 – Teachers Insurance

$219 – Horace Mann

$230 – State Farm

$233 – Penn National

$237 – NGM Insurance

$257 – Allstate

$257 – Meridian Security

$279 – Mutual Benefit

$285 – AIG

$296 – Donegal Mutual

$313 – Hartford Fire

$321 – Encompass

$326 – Travelers

$338 – Lititz Mutual

 

Cheap homeowner’s insurance rates in Maryland are available and we’re committed to helping you find the lowest prices. Through a combination of smart shopping and utilization of available discounts, we are confident you’ll save money. Of course, when you bundle your home and auto policies with the same company, expect a generous discount.

The MD Homeowner’s Insurance Administration Guide released current annual rates which we have listed above. Prices are updated each year. Topics of the guide include tips for buying a policy, obligations after a loss, types of policies, coverage included in policies, factors in the cost of coverage, force-place coverage by lenders, why coverage is needed, and assistance for persons that can not secure coverage.

Vehicle Discounts That Will Lower Your Rates

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Are you paying too much for your auto or truck insurance in Maryland. Perhaps you’re not qualifying for many of the available discounts. Whether you’re insured with State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, or Esurance, you always are going to look for ways to reduce your premiums. Maryland drivers have many available reductions that can potentially save hundreds of dollars per year. Also, new programs are periodically introduced that can lower prices of coverage for young and Senior drivers.

Safety, bundling, loyalty, and group discounts are the most common ways to reduce prices, and they provide consistent savings. Group and employer-provided policies to active and retired workers can reduce rates by 5%-15%. Additional savings are provided when policies are paid through active payroll or retirement checks or deposits. Prepaying  premiums can also result in large savings with selective carriers. Utilizing paperless billing options may also provide savings with many carriers.

We briefly discuss the major options in our complete guide, so perhaps you can get in on the savings! Our website is designed to reduce your auto insurance rates by offering sound advice and free comparisons (in the quote box near the top of the page). You can also compare costs with multiple carriers for vehicles that you are contemplating buying, but have not purchased yet. Many deductions are also available that are not discussed, including Military membership (active or retired), pay-in-full, paperless, low-income (in some states), and electronic debit.

The “base rate” that carriers charge for policy coverage is the starting point that the consumer pays. Surcharges increase the rate, and generally are the result of moving violations, at-fault accidents, or high-performance vehicles. Discounts will reduce premiums, based on the amount of risk that can be eliminated. If a risk is permanently removed, the premium reduction will be larger.

These are the types of discounts we teach you to ask for. Newer vehicles may feature discounts that you previously did not qualify for, and low-mileage reductions have also been added by many carriers. Leased vehicles may be eligible for additional perks by the vehicle manufacturer. However, extended warranty options generally need to be purchased.

Slow Down!

Reduce Your MD Car Insurance Rates With Discounts

Don’t drive so fast! We know. That’s not really a discount, but by slowing down, you’ll likely save a lot of money. Here’s how: Insurance companies will routinely check your driving record. Any claims that involve vehicles you own will also be checked. Although the first violation may not result in a premium increase, additional moving violations may be treated differently by an underwriter.

Although they are looking for major violations such as a DUI, DWI, hit and run, reckless operation or license suspensions, they will document other minor violations. Future eligibility of discounts can be impacted. Multiple speeding violations can result in bigger rate increases, especially if a driver’s license was suspended. Excessive speeding can also result in an immediate lice suspension.

Going through a stop sign or failing to yield will hurt your record just as much as a speeding ticket. And since it takes about 36-42 months to be erased from your official record, you may be forfeiting a lot of money. Fortunately, parking tickets do to have any impact on your policy. Registration infractions also do not impact the cost you pay to cover your vehicle. However, the car or truck you drive must remain legally-registered or the vehicle will not be allowed to be operated.

Even if you’re not considering changing carriers, having a ticket on your record may keep you from qualifying for “good driver” discounts that every company offers. So, although you won’t be charged more for the blip on your driving record, it may keep you from earning a rate reduction. And it has the same effect. For example, you may become ineligible for up to 20% in superior driving discounts and deductible-reduction options. Although they can be earned again, the delay may be as long as 60 months.

If you have more than one moving violation (especially more than two), it will become very difficult to find lower prices. Not impossible, but harder. As the violations slowly disappear from the BMV records, you’ll start to pay less for your coverage. When your record is clean, you’ll notice even bigger savings, and possible eligibility for additional discounts. Multiple comprehensive claims (fire, theft, or vandalism) may also negatively impact your cost of coverage.

 

Impact Of Youthful Drivers

A sports car and a youthful driver in the household can be a very expensive combination. No, we’re not going to tell you to get rid of either one! However, often, higher rates are a result of a particular vehicle being assigned to the wrong driver. For instance, if your son or daughter don’t drive that sports car very often (and we assume they do not), perhaps they should be assigned to less- expensive vehicles on your policy. The savings is often significant.

However, several companies do not assign specific drivers to specific vehicles. Younger drivers can operate any vehicle in the household, unless specifically excluded. If the child is away at school most (or all) of the year, a rate reduction is possible. If the vehicle is housed at the location of the school, the discount may not be offered. Students in graduate school or medical school will also be eligible for a premium reduction. However a medical resident in a hospital will not be eligible.

You may have a specific designated vehicle that is mostly driven by one or all of your children. It’s probably an older vehicle. If that fits your household situation, it’s important to make sure your broker or agent knows that. You’ll save a lot of money by assigning the right driver to the vehicles that will minimize the rates. And of course, knowing teenage driving rules in the state helps. Our article (here) will help you better understand the rules and regulations.

Since it’s not automatically completed by the carrier, often, you do have to ask. And since underwriters often re-rate policies every few years, it’s important to verify that you’re not being overcharged by having the wrong persons assigned to the wrong vehicles. Also, renewing a specific reduction (good-student, for example) may not be automatic. Each six months, continuation of existing discounts  should be verified. It’s also wise to compare your new declarations page to the previous page, to verify that no discounts have been removed.

By having your teenagers stay away from your expensive cars, you’ll come out ahead. He/she can still drive the higher-valued vehicle, but must not drive it on a regular basis. Naturally, each driver in the household would be covered in every situation. By getting rated as an “occasional”  instead of “principal” driver, the premium reduction could be very large. If their driving preference changes, the insurer should be notified. If one of the vehicles is titled in a child’s name, a separate policy may be needed.

 

Your Zip Code

Do you live in a zip code that is located in more than one county? Perhaps you’re located near the border of Howard or Montgomery County? Or perhaps Baltimore and Harford Counties? You may not be aware that many insurers utilize your county of residence to calculate your rate. Sometimes, if you live in a zip code close to another county, you may be accidentally (and unintentionally)  receiving rates based on the wrong county. If you recently moved, and did not notify the carrier, current pricing may not be accurate. Also, distances to/from work may need to be adjusted.

MD Auto Insurance Comparisons

Don’t Gamble By Neglecting To Shop Different Companies

There are several carriers that calculate prices on the county, instead of the zip code. Since many households are located near multiple counties, it’s important to ensure you are being rated correctly. Often, the area that is within a large city limit, will receive the higher prices. If you are in a “township,” you may be incorrectly placed in the wrong rating area.

Statistically, rural areas have fewer claims than urban areas, and the number of vehicle thefts is typically substantially lower. Vandalism and glass breakage claims are also less frequent. Other weather-related comprehensive claims are not impacted, including hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and snow storms. Epidemics (COVID)  result in fewer vehicles driven, and may result in a small reduction offered by insurers.

This is another reason why it’s always smart to shop (we recommend comparing at least three other carriers) if you move from one area to the other. You may find you were very satisfied with your pricing on one side of the state, but faced a large increase after you moved. Sometimes, MD car insurers simply handle more claims in a given area (and it may be just coincidence) and therefore must charge a higher rate. Often, the higher prices are cyclical, and premiums eventually reduce.

Several MD zip codes with the lowest rates include: 21701, 21702, 21703, 21704, 21705, 21709, 21740, 21741, 21742, 21749, 21601, 21620, and 21690.

 

Are You A Senior?

If you have reached age 65, most companies will reduce premiums by as much as 10%, although often, some (or most) of the discount is applied at age 55.  Senior defensive driver courses can also be quite cost-effective since the completion of an authorized and approved course can often result in savings as much as $100 per year. Typically, the cost of the course costs much less, or is free. The rate reduction also continues for multiple years, unless a change in health impacts driving ability, or a loss of driving privileges occurs.

A resource guide for aging Seniors is also provided by the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).  Some of the topics discussed are aging driver education and rehabilitation, older driver statistics, recognizing changes, safe mobility, driver wellness, including health skills and making good choices, and training workshops. A hard-copy can be sent if requested. Training workshops are offered throughout the year at many locations. During pandemics (COVID), online options are offered.

 

Vehicle Factory-Installed Items

Although most insurers automatically apply discounts for most factory-installed items, such as air bags, head-injury protective devices, anti-lock brake systems, alarm systems, traction control, and favorable crash-test reports, occasionally, a device or feature is missed. Therefore, once the vehicle is added to the policy, it’s advisable to check your declarations page for any missing items. You can also request to receive a complete list of passenger vehicle discounts that are available from your existing carrier.

We understand it’s not always easy to find the cheapest rates. But a combination of smart shopping and maximizing the best discounts that are available, will help reduce what you pay and put more of your hard-earned money where it belongs. In your own pocket!

An early signing/renewal discount is often applied if you continue your policy a specific number of days before the new policy period begins. The discount is typically 10%. However, as interest rates remain fairly low, many insurers are reducing the discount. However, discounts continue for long-term customers.

 

The Importance Of Comparisons

It  becomes more important to compare prices if you move to or from a different state, where there can be huge differences in premium. And you also may be faced with a situation that a company offered some of the lowest rates before you moved and was now substantially more expensive than all of the other carriers after you changed locations. It is not uncommon to see price differences of 20% or more within a 10-mile radius. Also, age restrictions may impact availability of some discounts.

Also, the minimum liability requirements for your new state may be substantially higher than your previous requirements. Recently, many states (Ohio, for example) have raised their minimum legal limits. If you are planning to move, we can provide the new legal bodily injury and property damage  mandates that you will have to have. Or if you just moved to this state, there may be a specific part of your previous policy that is no longer applicable. If you have a personal excess liability umbrella policy, minor changes may have to be made, if you move from one state to another.

Comparing prices from different Maryland companies will help you reduce your costs by at least 10%. Underwriting criteria can be very different and costs  in particular areas of the state can change very quickly. We make it easy for you to find, and subsequently view the best choices. We do the research, numbers-crunching, and verifying of the accuracy of prices, so you can be confident that our quotes will save  hours of time and aggravation. We also review customer loyalty discounts from major carriers, and show you which companies offer the biggest reductions.

Examples include early renewal and several bundling options.

 

Summary Of Best Auto Insurance Discounts

Affiliated/organization – Offered through work, school, paid and unpaid memberships, or organization. 15%-20%.

Anti-lock brakes – 5%-10%.

Anti-theft/alarm system – factory-installed and privately-installed systems qualify. 5%-25%

Automatic bill-pay or E-bill – electronic payments from checking or savings accounts. 3%-5%.

Defensive-driving – Completing qualified classes and training (national Safety Council is one resource) provides the discount. 10%-15%.

Good student – Typically, a 3.0 GPA is required (or a “B” average). 10%-15%.

Homeowner – Must own, and not rent a home. 5%-15%.

Hybrid – Hybrid and electric vehicles. 7%-10%. Each year, the cost of these types of vehicles slightly reduces.

Low mileage – Depending on the carrier, less than 7,500 miles driven per year may qualify. Less than 5,000 miles driven will increase the discount. 5%-20%.

Military – Active and retired qualify. 3%-7%.

Multi-car – Two or more vehicles are covered by the same carrier. 5%-20%.

New-car – Purchasing a current model year (must be new) will reduce rate. 5%-10%.

Paid-in-full – Paying full 6-month premium. 2%-10%.

Safe driver (accident-free) – Awarded to drivers that don’t have at-fault accidents. 5%-30%.

Senior – Age qualification varies, but typically between ages 55-65. 5%-10%.

Student away – Depending on the distance to school (without a car), a savings may apply. 10%-20%.

 

Additional Information:

Since youthful drivers are the most expensive risk to cover, any additional discounts can make a substantial difference. In addition to the traditional “good-student” and “student-away” discounts, teen driver-safety courses are now being accepted by many carriers.

TeenSMART is one of several available driver crash reduction programs that reduce the number of claims, accidents, and injuries. Some of the national carriers that recognize TeenSMART (not in all states) include Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Central, and AAA.

Compare The Best Auto Insurance Companies In Maryland – Rating And Review

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Who are the best car insurance companies in Maryland?  Which carriers charge the lowest rates and settle claims the quickest? There may not be a single right answer to these questions, since there are many very reputable Maryland insurance carriers. We review the largest companies to give you  personal information and data not found on most other websites. And of course, you can compare rates and get the lowest prices by requesting a free quote at the top of the page.

Regardless if you have current coverage, or are uninsured, we help you find the best and most reliable options. Most drivers (new and experienced) are eligible for special discounts that can substantially reduce rates. Regional and national carriers typically offer policies in most areas of the state. Group property and casualty products are offered by selected companies, and often premiums receive a corporate discount.

 

Biggest Online Carriers

 

Progressive has catchy commercials but also very competitive rates. In most areas of the state, if you have more than one vehicle and a reasonably-respectable driving record, you’ll be happy with their rates. Their “Name Your Price” option allows you to customize the premium you want to pay with the coverage you can buy. Although they are an Ohio-based company, they have great online claim service along with mobile units and drive-in claims offices. Their portfolio of products has gradually increased over the last 10 years, and now includes preferred and high-risk policies, along with several ancillary products.

Like most companies, rates can greatly fluctuate, depending on where you live. Do you have a home, RV, boat, motorcycle or snowmobile? Then you’re lucky, because Progressive will cover those risks, and perhaps give you an additional discount for bundling your policies. Prices are also very competitive for condos and rental property. Coverage can be customized, depending on required benefits. Seniors that drive limited miles will receive a substantial discount.

Additional coverage is provided for your travel trailer, ATV, golf cart, Segway, and other personal watercraft. You can also purchase protection for mechanical repair, wedding and events, electronic devices, auto refinancing, home warranty, home security, travel, auto and home in Mexico, and ID theft. Financial products offered through the website include short-term health, Medicare plans, home financing and refinancing, universal, term, and whole life insurance, and personal loans. Note: Life insurance rates are more competitive when purchasing from a major carrier.

Snapshot

Their “Snapshot” device, which attaches to your car, may also save you money. Thus far, more than $900 million has been distributed to policyholders. It is, of course, optional. Since it is “usage-based,” your premium is based on how well you drive. Information is collected regarding how quickly you brake, how fast and when you drive, and how often the vehicle is used. Hard brakes and sudden acceleration may impact your rate.

Excessive speeding, sudden stops, and crossing lanes will also have a negative impact on your premium. The average savings is approximately $140-$150 per driver. Trip logs, trip details, and a dashboard that provides tips and discount details, is provided. A “road test” is available that allows potential customers to test Snapshot without changing companies.

There are several drive-in claims centers in the state. The two largest are located in Silver Spring (Old Columbia Pike) and Glen Burnie (Cromwell Park Drive). An additional office is in Frederick (Thomas Johnson Drive). You can easily leave your car at these locations, and drive your rental vehicle away. When the repairs are completed, you can return to the same location. Several car dealerships offer valet service, although most vehicles may not be eligible.

 

Online Free Auto Insurance Rate Quotes

Are You Burning Through Money On Auto Insurance?

If you are comfortable with working with your insurance company online, Esurance is a great choice. They’re currently in 43 states, and Maryland is one of those states. Customers seem happy with the initial rates they are quoted, and the coverage choices match what other carriers offer. Usually, you can also reach them by phone if any service is needed, whether it is billing, coverage, or claim related.

Allstate is the parent company so you are in “good hands” with Esurance. Regarding their rates…they seem to be very competitive when the household has multiple drivers and vehicles. Policies have been available in the state since 2000, and both preferred and high-risk options are offered. Offered discounts can be easily bundles for maximum savings.

If you stay away from tickets and accidents, the price you pay should stay fairly stable. Motorcycle, renters and other types of coverage are also available. And the “DriveSafe” voluntary program is offered when a teenager resides in the household. It will help limit the number of texts and emails when the vehicle is is moving. Customized alerts can provide information regarding excessive speeding, erratic driving, or texting while driving.

“CoverageMyWay” is a fairly new automated system that generates customized quotes based on the information you provide. Through a combination of independent algorithms, specific recommendations show you the most appropriate coverage you should have. Many other carriers also offer similar services under a different brand name.

Progressive Claim Centers can be found at the following locations:

Arlington (Fairfax Drive)

Baltimore (Eastern Avenue)

Frederick (Thomas Jefferson Drive)

Gaithersburg (Downing Street)

Glen Burnie (Cromwell Park Drive)

Hunt Valley (McCormick Road)

Laurel (Cherry Lane)

Leesburg (Fort Evans Road)

Mechanicsville (Oxley Drive)

Oxon Hill (Oxon Hill Road)

Rockville (King Farm Boulevard)

Salisbury (Eastern Shore Drive)

Silver Spring (Old Columbia Pike)

Springfield (Commercial Drive)

 

Geico (Government Employees Insurance Company), since 1973, has been available to non-government employees. And that’s good news, because their rates are typically very good in most parts of the state. They are owned by Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway, so there’s plenty of money to pay claims! More than 28 million vehicles are covered and  more than 17 million persons have an active policy. 24/7 service is provided by 17 national offices and local representatives. US Military (past and present) are eligible for special discount programs.

They offer many of the best auto discounts as any other carrier and also have one of the largest portfolios of products they insure (including mobile homes and life insurance). And yes…they still offer a discount if you are a government employee or are actively employed or retired from the Military, Reserves or National Guard. Some documentation is required, but the reduction will be effective when your policy begins. Like many companies, they offered credits to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic since most customers drove less. The discounts averaged about $150 per household.

Additional lines of business offered include collector autos, RVs, ATVs, boats, and motorcycles. Coverage for mobile homes, floods, investment and rental property, and landlord-tenant  buildings are also provided. Business owners can utilize professional and general liability, along with special commercial property and casualty rates. Policies are also offered for identity theft, pets, overseas travel, special jewelry.

Since Geico is based in Maryland, there are plenty of approved facilities for your vehicle to be repaired. Generally, an adjuster will meet you at the approved location, review the damage, and issue the estimate at that time. After all repairs are completed, you can pick up your vehicle. The “repair facility guarantee” provides lifetime coverage (as long as you own the car or truck) on the work that was completed.

 

USAA previously offered coverage to US army officers (only). They now offer coverage to anyone or their immediate family that was a member of the armed forces. They routinely win awards of providing superior service and handling claims quickly and efficiently. If you’re insured with USAA, you conduct your business online or by phone. But it seems to work and their rates are very good in some areas of the state. Surprisingly, their homeowner’s premiums are also quite competitive.

Bundling policies provides an immediate 10% discount, and alternative flexible billing options are offered without any extra charges. A unique Military installation discount is available along with length of membership and vehicle storage discounts. Other discounts include family discount, limited driving miles, driver training, and vehicle storage. The mobile app provides easy access to live customer service representatives.

A large financial center is located in Annapolis (Prince George Street) that provides property and casualty products along with life insurance, healthcare options, banking and certificates of deposit, and loans for vehicles and residences. Portfolio management, 529 plans, and other financial instruments are also offered. Additional services to local residents include an available notary, signature guarantees, military separation information. This location also serves the US Naval Academy, Coast Guard (Baltimore Sector), and Fort Meade.

Maryland Auto Insurance Carriers With Best Rates

We Shop The Best Companies For You

National Companies

State Farm is an established experienced carrier that provides more of a local presence in Maryland than the online companies. You can visit physical offices located throughout the state and easily sit down with an agent and discuss specifics. That doesn’t mean their rates are going to be the lowest on the block, but they usually are worth looking at. Your area may have an office every few blocks or much more spread out. It depends where you live.

They have a wide selection of non-property and casualty products such as life insurance. Agents tend to stick around for many years and typically have more experience then other agents. Of course, sometimes, with a “captive” company, the value of the administrative assistant and support staff are just as important. Popular State Farm discounts available in Maryland include vehicle safety, student away at school, steer clear, passive restraint, multiple line, good driver, good student, multi-car, and drive safe and save.

NOTE: The “drive safe and save” program is very popular. A 5% discount is offered upon initial enrollment. You must have a qualifying vehicle and agree to share specific information. The potential savings could reach 50% on certain parts of the policy by using  OnStar communication devices or In-Drive (if installed). A smartphone app can also be utilized. Lower mileage will result in increased savings and the information collected from the previous 18 months determines the amount of discount.

 

Travelers is one of the largest insurance companies, but many people don’t realize it. They are a large provider of business and commercial coverage along with the standard auto and homeowners policies. You may have seen their commercials where the red umbrella is usually prominently displayed. They offer identity fraud protection along with special events and wedding coverage. And, of course, their rates are usually worth comparing. In Maryland, policies offer $50 per day and $1,500 per month for substitute vehicles (rental), and  15 miles of roadside assistance coverage.

The Travelers Companies are based in Hartford (CT) like many other carriers, and offer additional financial products. They are also listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW), and their payroll-deduction plans are very popular with many educational institutions. Some of their diversification can be seen in the specialty risks they insure, such as construction, oil and gas, renewable energy, technology, and transportation. They are also the first nationwide carrier to offer a discount for hybrid vehicles, and also the first company to underwrite travel and space contracts.

With more than 13,000 available brokers, it’s easy to obtain free quotes through our website, and then subsequently receive local or online service. Help is also available to teen drivers, who can qualify for three separate discounts: Good Student – 3.0 GPA or “B” average needed. Driver Training – Teens under age 21 that complete a driver-training course. Away At School – Students that attend school more than 100 miles from home can qualify.

 

Nationwide is not only on your side but are also one of the five largest car insurance companies in Maryland. Like Progressive, they are based in Ohio but have become a large player in the US. You can easily find local agents, and most of them have quite a bit of experience in the business. Their rates can rapidly change, depending on what rate increases or decreases they propose to the State Department Of Insurance.

Like many companies (including Metlife), your deductible will reduce if you continue to drive accident-free. Customer satisfaction is usually very high (in the 93%-96% range) and you can insure your home, boat and many other items with them. Combining policies usually will result in a discount. Their Ohio rates are very attractive if you move there. Other affiliated property and casualty companies (wholly-owned subsidiaries) include Harleysville, Lone Star General Agency, Nationwide Assurance, Nationwide Lloyds, THI Holdings, Victoria Fire And Casualty, and Titan Insurance.

Although quite diversified,  with their multiple property and casualty, and financial products, Nationwide has exited the health insurance business. In the past, their products competed well in the states they were licensed. However, don’t expect a return, especially since many private plans are guarantee-issue.  However,  an expansion of products that includes specialty, high-performance, and off-road vehicles is possible.

 

Elephant Insurance Rates In Maryland

Don’t Forget Elephant Insurance! They Don’t!

Elephant is one of many new kids on the block. Yes, that really is name of the company, and they actually feature low-cost rates in many areas of the state. They specialize in efficiency and paperless transactions to cut costs. And with more than 2 million customers (most are outside the US), they know a little bit about managing expenses and charging low rates. Payments for policies are handled locally (Baltimore). Additional products offered include homeowners, condo, renters, condo, motorcycle, life, and umbrella.

Elephant is part of the much larger “Admiral Group,” which specializes in unique price structures. As the third-biggest insurer in England, they are starting to expand their operations in selected states.  Right now, they don’t have much market share, but they are worthy of consideration in a few years. As their underwriting guidelines improve their loss ratios, better pricing will result. Based in Richmond, their expansion in the US has been slow, with other carriers gathering market share.

Many discounts are available, with several that won’t be offered by most other carriers. For instance, when you request and receive an online quote, a 15% discount will be awarded. Also, utilizing electronic signatures will reduce premiums. Paperless statements  also reduce the rate by up to 3%. Emailed bills and correspondence can be easily saved. Also available is an option to pay for a full year, instead of six months or three months. Paperwork is reduced although the savings is not substantial.

 

Liberty Mutual‘s first Maryland office was opened in 1918. Wow! Yes, they have been around for a while. They now have eight offices located throughout the state and are generally a very reliable and serviceable company. They don’t often have the lowest rates, but you could do much worse with many other carriers. Both personal and business products are offered, including excess liability, general liability, inland marine, voluntary benefits, equipment breakdown coverage, and workman’s compensation insurance. Currently, they are the sixth-largest property and casualty carrier in the US.

They are also a very active company. In addition to sponsoring the US Soccer Federation and US Rowing teams, they also acquired Malaysian Insurance Company a few years ago, and increased marketing of their core products. As a Fortune 500 company with more than 50,000 employees, we expect Liberty Mutual to continue expanding in Maryland and many other Eastern states. Their television advertising also has been very effective, with many of the commercials filmed in front of the Statue Of Liberty.

Although there are several service and administrative offices located throughout the state, if face-to-face meetings are preferred, sales offices can be found in Towson (West Road), Frederick (Corporate Drive), Crofton (Defense Highway), and Rockville (King Farm Boulevard). Auto, home, and life products are available. Of course, online quotes directly from our website do not require a personal visit to an office.

 

Farmers is one of the largest car insurance companies in the nation even though they are owned by Zurich, which is based in Switzerland. Originally, you had to be a farmer to purchase their coverage, but thankfully that has changed. But they still do offer coverage on farms, tractors, and other similar items. Recreational, business, and life insurance products are available, although rates may not be as competitive as other specialty carriers. Coverage for your pets is also available!

Farmers’ rates are good in some areas and high in others. Yes, we realize, that doesn’t help too much, but for whatever reason, their prices are all over the board. If you like to buy your policy online, they own 21st Century Insurance, who has some of the best TV commercials in the industry. You won’t receive the personal  broker treatment with 21st Century, but they are a reputable option. Specific cities where prices are the most competitive, include Bowie, College Park, Laurel, Hagerstown, Easton, and Chestertown.

And like many other carriers, they now offer their own credit card (Farmer’s Rewards Visa).  Although you can earn points paying premiums on their products, don’t let it influence your decision whether to purchase one of their policies. NOTE: Rideshare coverage, although not yet available in Maryland, is offered by Farmers in other states. As new legislation is introduced and passed, this type of benefits will be offered by many companies. Currently, background checks are required, although fingerprint checks are not yet required.

 

Amica is a company you probably never heard of. As a direct provider, consumers have to contact them directly for quotes, rates, coverage details and applications. Home and life coverage is available along with a wide variety of riders. Their rates? Typically, they are competitive, although usually, they aren’t going to be among the best few offers available.

Based in Rhode Island, Amica is more than 100 years old. Their A++ rating from A.M.Best Company is the highest available. They have more than 40 offices throughout the country, although they are mostly administrative and claim locations. As the nation’s oldest mutual insurer, they typically rate very high for customer satisfaction in most states. Also, with more than $5 billion in assets, they are financially stable.

Their mobile app is one of the most user-friendly in the industry, and you can conduct most business transactions on your Android, iPhone, or most other mobile devices. Also, The Ward Group, who researches “best practices” of insurance companies, recognized Amica as one of its top-50 performers in the business. Three subsidiary companies are Amica Life Insurance, Amica General Agency, and Amica Property and Casualty Insurance Company.

 

Allstate (see Esurance in Online section)

 

American Family does not write business in Maryland. Will they ever enter the Marketplace? Maybe by 2025. Currently, American Family offers property and casualty coverage in the following states: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. Their home office is in Wisconsin.

During pandemics, including the recent COVID-19 virus, American Family offered a 10% relief credit towards the auto premium. New and existing customers were eligible for a six-month period.  With driving substantially reduced during a pandemic, many carriers offer this type of credit.

With more than 90 years of experience, this carrier specializes in offering competitive rates when the auto and home policies are bundled. Annual revenue is more than $8 billion, which includes business from The General and Homesite. Farm coverage is also available. “KnowYourDrive” is a free downloadable app that provides an immediate 5% discount. The app monitors driving habits and can reduce your premium by as much s 20%.

 

Erie has been writing car insurance policies in Maryland for more than 6o years. Standard property and casualty products are offered along with business plans for small company owners. policies are offered by selected agents throughout the state, although online purchases are also available. Classic autos (at least 10 years old) and antique autos (at least 25 years old) can be covered at very favorable rates. Special interest autos can also be insured. “Auto Plus”  (extra benefits)is available to passenger auto policies for a very low premium.

Competitive off-road coverage rates are also available for  mopeds, golf carts, snowmobiles, trail bikes, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and off-road motorcycles. Physical damage and liability benefits are offered, with special provisions available for storage part of the year. Billing can be included in the primary vehicle policy.

Erie Agencies are located in Rockville, Reisterstown, Columbia, Mitchellville, Laurel, Lonaconing, Finksburg, Owings Mills, Oakland, Cumberland, Silver Spring, Timonium, Elkton, and Sykesville.

 

That’s a lot of companies and naturally, if we wanted to bore you, we would have added a few dozen more, including life heavyweight MetLife. Our free rate comparisons can be utilized by providing some basic information on top of the page.

 

News From The Past:

Four new laws are now effective for October. House Bill 0235 places a maximum limit of four licenses for distributors and manufactures of electric or non fossil-fuel burning vehicles. House Bill 0846  waives the required commercial skills test for some veterans and members of the military. House Bill 0430 changes the penalties for blood test results showing  .08 of alcohol or higher. House Bill 0415 requires the MVA offer consumers the option of having a heart donor designation on their license.

Regulatory power of self-driving cars may become the responsibility of the State Police and the Motor Vehicle Administration. The MVA favors legislation that would transfer authority, and thus, make Maryland roads much safer. Avoiding accidents remains a major concern for persons that oppose the bill. Uber supports the legislation.

Maryland Auto Insurance Laws And Regulations – Requirements And Rate

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Maryland mandatory car insurance laws, rules, and regulations are set by the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). Auto insurance is required in Maryland. The state legislation stipulates that registered vehicles must carry the required published liability limits from an insurer licensed to do business in the state. Each mandatory state has minimum requirements and Maryland’s is $30,000 bodily injury per person, $60,000 for more than one person, and an additional $15,000 for property damage (30/60/15).

Higher limits are offered by all companies, although rates will vary. These limits extend to family members and persons given permission to operate your vehicle. Changes can typically be made on the anniversary date, or during the policy period if a claim is not pending. Maryland is considered an “at-fault” state for vehicle accidents, and is also a mandatory vehicle insurance state.

Transportation network companies that have between 26 and 300 operators have higher limits. These requirements are $50,000 bodily injury per person, $100,000 for more than one person, and an additional $25,000 for property damage.  Commercial coverage is available from many carriers with much higher available limits. New residents must notify their current carrier to convert to a state-approved policy. Vehicle insurance is validated when you renew the registration. Coverage must be in effect before a vehicle is registered and insurance plates must be returned before a policy is canceled.

 

PIP Is Required

Uninsured motorists coverage and personal injury protection (known as PIP) are also required. PIP provides up to $2,500 of medical and disability costs arising from an accident. Both family and non-family occupants of the vehicle are covered (Full PIP). The $2,500 may be utilized for reasonable and necessary medical expenses that occur within 36 months of the accident and up to 85% of incurred and provable lost wages. Compensation is also available if the injured party was not employed.

Persons that do not sign the PIP waiver and also are not eligible to reject coverage, receive the benefits described in the previous paragraph. Rejection of PIP is also an option. Coverage can only be waived for yourself, listed drivers on the auto policy, and family household members that are 16 years of age (or older).

There is also a “limited” alternative that excludes benefits to your family if they have reached age 16. However, the cost-savings is not significant. It should only be considered if you have private or group comprehensive healthcare benefits. Sustained injuries are covered regardless who was at fault. PIP payments are often paid quicker than reimbursements from a private or group health insurance plan.

We help you understand different regulations in the state, and the impact any changes may have on your driving or the cost of your auto insurance. It’s important to “stay legal,”  and take advantage of any new laws or legislation that could help you save money. If you finance or lease a vehicle, requirements are often different. For example, leased vehicles typically require higher liability limits and more restrictive collision and comprehensive deductible options than a financed vehicle.

We also help you provide an FR-19 (Insurance Certification) which is required when you register or renew a vehicle. It’s important not to lose your certificate because only the original is considered valid. A copy will not be accepted if you are required to show proof. The FR-19 is valid for 30 days and must be provided by a licensed carrier and/or an authorized agent. The form is only used in several states (also Delaware), and serves a different purpose than an SR-22 Bond form. The MVA is located at 6601 Ritchie Highway Glen Burnie, MD. 21062.

 

Insurance Requirements

Your insurance must be certified and a written statement is required to verify that you will not drive without the proper coverage. This certification is the FR-19 and can be obtained directly by your insurer or a qualified broker. The form does not cost the driver any money and the original should be faxed or filed electronically with the MVA. A copy of the form is not accepted. It’s always a good idea to keep a copy at home or at your office. Also, updating the form every few years should be considered.  A USAA FR-19 is very popular.

Driving without the required insurance is not only illegal but it could be very time-consuming and expensive. About 12% of all Maryland drivers do not have coverage on their vehicle. For example, if your insurance lapses for three months, your fine will be $570. Even a one-month lapse will cost $150, with an additional $7 charge for each additional day.  The maximum per vehicle is capped at $2,500. There will be an additional cost for reinstating your car registration and to obtain new license plates. Although we can assist, it may be very time-consuming for you.

If you drive while the registration is suspended, the car may be impounded, and additional fines and penalties can be imposed. The Central Collections Unit will respond if prior notification requests are ignored. A 17% collection fee can be added to the outstanding fines. If a vehicle has been sold, your auto carrier can provide a letter that gives the date of loss and the date the vehicle was returned to the owner. Note: Geico, Allstate, USAA,  and State Farm insure the most vehicles in the state.

If you received a fine for a driving violation, and you can not immediately pay the entire amount, a suitable payment plan can be arranged. The CCU (Central Collection Unit) has many office locations that can begin the payoff process with a small initial payment. A credit card or cash can be used, but not a personal check. However, if you neglect to make the required payments, the vehicle will not be able to be driven, and no other vehicles will be allowed to be registered.

 

Penalties

Additional penalties can include paying a $25 restoration fee, not being able to renew a suspended registration, having your license plates confiscated, and paying a $1,000 penalty and risking jail time if  false proof of coverage is provided. If insurance lapse notifications are ignored, the Central Collections Unit (CCU) can collect an additional 17% of all outstanding fines. If your license plate or vehicle is stolen, a copy of the police report should be submitted so verification of the plates and date stolen can be verified. Once the plates have been found or recovered, MDOT should be contacted.

Vehicles that are repossessed, impounded, sold, totaled, junked, or sent out of the US, may require a letter from the insurance company, letter from the lien holder, bill of sale, or from the facility involved in the transaction. Information can be emailed, faxed, or sent via regular US mail.

Hopefully, you won’t have any outstanding unpaid tickets, because they will also have to be paid in full. The three convenient payment options are: 1. Mail your payment (money order or check) to MVA (Insurance Compliance), PO Box 2278, Glen Burnie, MD. 21060.  2. Pay in person with money order, cash, check, or credit card. 3. Pay by phone through an interactive system that is available 24/7. Uninsured motorists fees can be paid with a credit card.

The moral of the story? Don’t go anywhere in your vehicle unless it is insured. Once you are on the road again, you can compare auto insurance rates in Maryland on our website. Checking prices every few years ensures you are not overpaying for your coverage. Bundling auto and home policies provides a discount and possible substantial savings.

 

New Drivers

If you’re a potential new driver…Congratulations! Your first step is to obtain a Maryland learner’s permit. You must be at least 15 3/4 and pass a vision exam and a written test by correctly answering at least 17 of the 20 questions. There are also several forms of identification required. Proof of both residency and identity are required.  You should also take the driving test before your learner’s permit ends. If you wait too long, you’ll have to start the process over again which will be costly and time-consuming.

Compare Auto Insurance In Maryland

Maryland Car Insurance Rates Are Affordable

Once you are licensed, of course, you must purchase your auto insurance with at least the minimum liability limits earlier discussed. You can also be added to an existing policy if the car you will be driving is owned by someone else (assuming a parent). Insurance ID cards should always be kept with you while you are driving. Keeping copies in your wallet/purse and glove compartment will satisfy just about all situations. NOTE: The National Driver Registry will be contacted, to ensure a current license is not suspended or revoked.

If you lose your ID card or your driver’s license, they should be promptly replaced. You can go to a local license and title bureau to have a duplicate made. You also can request a copy from the BMV although the process may take longer than visiting the local bureau. Temporary ID cards may be available in specific situations.

If you are a new resident of the state, you have up to 60 days to obtain a valid license (30 days for a commercial license). When you apply for a new license at a BMV location, there are a number of items you will need including identification and proof of residency. It’s possible that a vision exam may be required. Older seniors may have additional criteria to meet although a routine physical is not required.

You should also review your entire auto insurance policy with a local broker. Rates will be different in Maryland and you may want to adjust some of your coverage, including deductibles. Available discounts will differ from your old policy, so you may qualify for some new reductions. Your driving distance to your employer my also have changed, resulting in a different premium.

 

Rookie Driver Program

“Graduated Licensing”  is used to give young persons more experience at early ages. A driver education course and on-road experience helps develop confidence and experience. There are now three levels of training. They are  “Learners Permit,” “Provisional License” and “Full License.”

Learners Permit

You can obtain a permit at 15 years and 9 months. You must verify your identity and show proof of school attendance. For applicants under age 18, a guardian or parent must cosign the application. Minor applicants may be required to submit multiple documents, including a tax return or health insurance ID card. Two tests are required (vision and general knowledge) before the permit is approved.

There is an available  manual with sample tests and training that can help you prepare. Driver safety facts, highway signs, and traffic laws are three of the most important topics discussed in the manual. A basic understanding of these topics is required to pass the exam. A vision screening and knowledge exam must be passed before a license is issued.

Provisional License

The provisional license requires an age of at least 16 years and 6 months. An approved driver’s education and training course must be taken and completed and 60 hours of supervised hours on the road must be documented. Driving between midnight and 5 am is prohibited, unless accompanied by  someone who is at least 21 years-old. Maryland auto insurance license changes  can be made at any time upon your request.

There are also restrictions that require all passengers be at least 18 or over. And as expected, any moving violation will result in additional training, suspension of license, or both. This will likely cause a large increase in your auto insurance premium. You must be 18 to get your full license and if you have not reached age 21, there can be no violations on your record.If you meet all of the necessary requirements, your provisional classification will be upgraded to the full classification.

 

New Driver Guide

A “Rookie Driver” guide is also furnished to help prepare both parent and child. Lessons (with checklists) are provided to help cover all situations.  Guides are available free and should always be utilized. Several covered topics include:

Vehicle Entry Check – Before getting into the vehicle, check for broken glass, physical body damage, fluid leaks, and conditions and air pressure of tires. Also inspect the inside of the vehicle for unseen damage.

Dashboard controls – Understand where and what controls are, including headlights, turn signals, all brakes, steering wheel, door locks, mirror adjustments, heating/AC, hazard light, windshield wipers, horn, and seat adjustments.

Additional Topics – Entering traffic from different directions, turning at intersections, understanding lane positioning, backing up, parallel parking, entering traffic or merge lanes from shared left lanes, driving through a roundabout, driving when bicycles are in the same lane, passing vehicles, operating your vehicle in wet, icy, or snowy conditions, and passing other vehicles.

 

License Plate Options

Order Lic. Plates In Maryland

Get A Standard Or Personalized Maryland License Plate

If you wish to add a little scenery to your license plate, you have two options. An Agricultural Plate or a view of the Chesapeake Bay will convert your drab plate to a more appealing option. These plates have an initial $20 fee plus an annual $5 fee. The Chesapeake Bay plate has a yellowish-orange background while the Treasure plate features a blue background. If you lose existing plates, you can order a replacement for a $20 fee.

So far, no options are available for residents that are wishing for a Baltimore Ravens or Orioles plate. Although they would undoubtedly be very popular, most states do not have plates featuring local professional sports teams. The same applies to all of the colleges and universities in the state. We anticipate that these may become options within the next 10 years so stay patient!

Combinations of letters, numbers, and spaces are permitted, although the letter “O” will change to the number “0.” Depending on the type of plate, the number of available characters can change. Since personalized plates have become so popular, it’s possible your first choice may already be taken. Delivery of new plates typically takes about three weeks, and once received, the prior plates should be returned to an MVA office.

The following license options are available:

Agricultural or Chesapeake Bay – An initial fee is charged along with an annual fee. Proceeds from the annual fee  benefit the Chesapeake Bay Trust and/or the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation. The following vehicle Classes are eligible: A, M, EFT, EPO, and G.

Amateur Radio Operator – A copy of your FCC Amateur Radio Operator’s License is required. Passenger cars, trucks weighing 10,000 pounds or less, and multi-purpose vehicles are eligible.

Combat-Related – Only available to veterans or active members of the military that have won awards or honors. Documents needed may include  military discharge papers, Purple Heart certificate, or written documentation from the National Personal Records Center. Vehicle Classes eligible are A, M, and EPO.

Disabled – Passenger and motorcycle plates may be ordered. Placards, which are easily movable, are available for vehicles. If you have a temporary disability that will last for three weeks (or more), an application may be submitted with requested documentation. A “disability certification of information” section of the application will have to be completed by your physician. The universal wheelchair symbol is used to identify disabled persons.

Gold Star – Surviving spouses, siblings, parents, or children of fallen members of the Armed Services may apply for this plate. Passenger cars, multi-purpose vehicles, motorcycles, and trucks weighing less than 10,000 pounds are eligible.

Military – Dozens of versions are available, including Afghanistan Campaign, Air Force, Airman’s Medal, Asiatic Pacific, Coast Guard, Combat Action, Congressional Medal Of Honor, Gold Lifesaving, Honorably Discharged Veteran, Iraq Campaign, Korean Service, Kosovo Campaign, Navy Cross, Purple Heart, Silver Star, United States Army, United States Air Force, United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, and World War II Veteran.

Organizations – More than 500 organizations offer personalized license options. Logo and non-logo are available. Several available options are ABATE, Allegheny Community College, Baltimore City Fire Department, Chesapeake Bay Power Boat Association, Friends Of The Salisbury Zoo, Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association, Mount St. Mary’s University, Old Line Garrison, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Seneca Valley High School, Sheet Metal Workers, Sons Of Norway, Steamfitters Local, Temple University Alumni, UMBC Alumni Association, and Washington Nationals.

Personalized – Let your imagination take over! Vanity plates are very popular, with up to seven characters available. Offensive or duplicate requests will be declined. Typically, the process of approval takes about 4-7 weeks.

 

Driving Record Abstract

Do you need a copy of your driving record? You can order your official records for $12, as long as you pay online or by electronic check. Of course, identification will be needed. If you prefer to order a copy via US mail, you can pay by personal check, as long as your driver’s license number and phone number is on the check. Your three-year driving record can be requested, or a complete record of all information in the MVA data base.

The original issue date of the license, registration record, and certified copy of title can also be ordered. You may also use your phone to show your car insurance ID card. Mobile apps are also provided by many carriers. Maryland auto insurance laws do not place a  limit on how many times you can request a copy.

An “MVA Request For Record” form can be downloaded, printed, and mailed for quick service. If a business needs multiple records, a different form is needed (DL-015). If you move to another state, you can still order your abstract. Also available, is an expungement request form (AJ-058), which will remove a conviction from your driving record after three years. However, certain conditions must be met, including no other moving violations during the last three years, no license suspensions, and no prior convictions of major violations, such as DUI or hit and run.

 

Vehicle Inspections Maryland

Schedule Your Emissions Test

 

Vehicle Emissions

Vehicle emissions testing in Maryland is mandatory and helps clean the state’s air and water. An OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) test is required for vehicles that were manufactured in 1996 or any later year. This applies to standard cars and light trucks. The actual procedure to verify emissions is very quick and quite accurate. Pollutants can be easily detected with on-board diagnostic testing. The tool connects to the on-board diagnostic computer to check for potential emission issues. If you have a heavier vehicle manufactured after 2007, the same test would apply.

The procedure creates a direct connection with the vehicle on-board computer which is usually located underneath the dashboard. Failing components and dashboard warning lights are obvious signs of problems. NOTE: If your car or truck had a new battery installed within the last week, wait about a week so that a false emissions reading is not given. Also. Hybrid vehicles must be scheduled for testing within 36 months of the model year.

A gas cap and tailpipe examination are also required for vehicle model years 1977 and newer. This includes cars, light-duty trucks and heavy-duty trucks. Any holes in the exhaust system (or leaks) will cause a failure in the test. It’s also important to have the proper gas cap, and to ensure the seal is snug. Otherwise, it will not pass. And of course, the catalytic converter must be working properly. A missing or loose gas cap will also result in a failed test.

The MVA sends written notification about two months before the scheduled test date. You can schedule the test at any time, once the notice is received. Testing facilities are conveniently located throughout the state. After paying the $14 fee, once a successful test is completed, a certificate will be issued indicating the results of the test. Following a failed test, the cost of a second test is free.

 

Distracted Driving

Don’t text while you drive! But you know that already. There are many other tasks you should also avoid, such as eating or drinking, taking on your cellphone or Smartphone, reading a map, looking at passengers, or adjusting your radio settings. When your eyes are off the road, often you are endangering yourself, your passengers, other drivers, and innocent pedestrians. And of course, it is illegal to use a hand-held phone or electronic device while operating a vehicle in Maryland.

A first-time conviction can result in a maximum fine of $83. However, the second conviction can increase the fine to $140, and the third conviction can increase the amount to $160. If an accident occurs, points can be added to your driver’s license.  Simply writing or reading a text message while driving is also illegal, and the resulting fine is $70. If death or serious injury occurs,  up to a $5,000 fine can be imposed and a three-year prison sentence.

The four most common types of distractions are visual, cognitive, manual, and auditory.  Although not all distractions are illegal, they can cause an increased chance of having an at-fault accident. Most major Metropolitan areas (Baltimore and Washington D.C.) have the highest concentration of distracted driver crashes. The times of the day with the most reported crashes are early evening and  late afternoon. Fridays have the highest frequency of incidents while Sundays have the lowest. Males typically text more than females and account for 80% of the fatalities.

Jakes Law mandates that a driver that caused serious death or injury while texting or speaking on a handheld cell phone can be convicted with a resulting prison sentence of  36 months and a fine of $5,000. The legislation became effective four years ago, and was named after five year-old Jake Owen, who was killed in a car accident in Baltimore in 2011. The driver was talking on the phone at the time of the accident, and was previously texting. The driver served no jail time and only received a $1,000 fine.

 

Senate Bill 743

This legislation is the first state law that requires peer-to-peer car rental companies to adhere to state insurance, tax, and safety regulations and laws. Although not endorsed by all interested parties, the law offers the needed regulation that benefits consumers. An 8% sales tax applies to p2p carsharing companies, although it increased to 11.5% in 2020. When conducting business at an airport, the usual airport fees will also be imposed, and required insurance licenses must be maintained. Also, the national safety recall law must apply to any vehicles operating in Maryland.

Parity among peer-to-peer carsharing companies is the ultimate goal, so that all parties comply with the same regulations, tax laws, and guidelines. Companies that operate at airports are subject to separate contracts and any applicable airport fees. National safety recall laws must also be followed, including the grounding of vehicles.

 

Review

Auto insurance laws in Maryland are designed to keep drivers and passengers safe and protect victims in accidents. Minimum liability limits are established for all registered vehicles. By knowing the regulations, you’ll save money on your insurance. This website regularly updates any changes regarding legislation or carrier underwriting. If your policy is non-renewed, we also review your best options.

 

PAST UPDATES:

Undocumented immigrants can now register vehicles, purchase auto insurance coverage and drive on state highways. Of course, the required written and driving tests must be taken and passed. Thus, immigration status will no longer be a reason to deny driving privileges and minimum safety standards for all persons will have to be met.

In a recent comprehensive study of Maryland car insurance rates (research provided by NWallet), the cities with the lowest prices include: Fairplay, Williamsport, Hagerstown, Smithburg, Rocky Ridge, Hancock, Maugansville and Cascade. Prices, however, will vary, depending on age of persons that are listed on policy, the number of reported violations and accidents, and type of vehicles that are covered.

After facing mounting  criticism and concern from policyholders and the Insurance Administration, State farm will no longer raise premiums for non at-fault accidents and utilizing the emergency road and hazard service on most policies. Also, many previous rate increases will either be rescinded, or a refund will be sent to effected policyholders.

An unusually-high number of consumer complaints related to rate increases led to the investigation. While it is legal to increase premiums for these types of situations, most other carriers refrain from increasing prices. Also, the correspondence sent by State Farm to customers was determined to be confusing, with some details missing.

Low Cost Maryland Car Insurance Rates – Reduce Your Auto Premium

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Cheap online auto insurance rates are available to Maryland drivers. If you think you’re paying too much to insure your vehicles, maybe you are! Buying coverage from a reputable website that does all of the shopping for you will save you time, aggravation, and a lot of money. A  “low cost” Md policy doesn’t mean you have to forfeit valuable coverage either. Both immediate coverage and the lowest down-payments are available, along with 24/7 customer service assistance for claims, billing, and additional services. Online quoting and bundling auto and home plans for large discounts is offered to all applicants.

Competitive pricing and attractive offers can be found. But looking in the right place and understanding when the best time to shop are critical. This page allows you to quickly compare options, and perhaps better understand how and when you can save the most money.  Property and casualty prices frequently change, so we ensure the rates you view are always accurate, the carrier’s best offers are shown, and we make it easy to learn about required coverage. Below, we have provided many of our most helpful tips to help you instantly reduce premiums. Additional Senior discounts are also offered.

 

Don’t pay to receive online rates. Quotes are always free from reputable Maryland websites. By the time you are ready to apply for coverage, you will be asked for specific billing details, such as debit or credit card information, or perhaps your home address if you are to be billed at home. But until you reach the final step in the process, keep your wallet or purse in your pocket and don’t obligate yourself to anything that isn’t informational. If you are asked to pay an enrollment fee, decline the request. No major carrier charges an enrollment fee for covering vehicles.

Your social security number? It’s not needed for policy comparisons. Neither is your checking account information. If you are ever requested to provide personal financial data before you view prices, immediately leave the website. If you notice numerous punctuation and spelling mistakes, along with content that doesn’t seem to make sense, the website may have been quickly created overseas, and you should immediately exit.

Clicking on “attachments” from untrustworthy websites is never recommended, along with viewing emails from unverifiable sources. Often disguised as consumer-friendly emails, spam and potential viruses are sent to consumers every day. The “free quote” links are often websites that are not related to auto or home insurance. Also, many property and casualty quoting sites are not US-based, and may have malware embedded into the content.

 

Shop until you drop? Well, perhaps, but don’t go that far. For example, when you provide basic information at the top of the page on our website, you’ll soon be able to compare costs of almost all of the top car insurance companies in the state. And that’s what you want. Prices change (and also state laws) so its helpful to compare offers from multiple carriers instead of just one. Other ancillary products can also be compared, including homeowner’s, motorcycle, boat, RV, mobile home, and investment property. Additional investment products, including mutual funds, IRAs, and annuities, may also be offered by affiliated companies.

We select the best options for your area. We also present your choices in a simple and understandable format. If you’re over age 55, often, special discounted rates may apply. Also, if you drive your vehicle less than 5,000 miles per year, you may also be eligible for special pricing. We customize quotes, so you are able to view the lowest possible prices in your zip code. Whether you have an antique automobile or a Ferrari, we will help. Also, prices on older vehicles can often be lowered because of recently-introduced discounts.

Every 36 months, your policy should be reviewed for newly-available discounts, coverage updates, and required state-mandated benefits. It’s possible that changes in your household may generate new discounts, and vehicle updates may also provide additional information that reduces the policy premium. When you change vehicles, newly-added safety discounts may apply.

 

If you request a quote from a captive agent that represents only one carrier, your chances of finding the cheapest rate are drastically lower, since they represent only one company. You owe it to yourself to take advantage of all of the available opportunities. There are no counties in the state where a single insurer offers the best options. Thus, properly shopping is a must. And since prices systematically change, comparing costs every 2-4 years is highly recommended. However, it is not advisable to change companies if you have any drivers in the household under the age of 18, or any household driver has had two at-fault accidents within the last two years.

Save Money

Good Student Discounts Will Reduce Your Rates

Take a close look at the website (including ours). There should be specific reference information relevant to the state you live in. Naturally, if you live in Georgia, it doesn’t matter about a recent law change in Illinois, since it won’t impact your driving or what you pay for your coverage. If you live in Annapolis, you don’t need to see prices in Fresno! But you should be able to read an article about Baltimore! At least 75% of the content should pertain to Maryland or the nearby Washington DC area.

For example, a previous emissions law change in Baltimore, or a statewide decrease in rates from State Farm would certainly be information you would be interested in learning about. And if prices were increasing in Montgomery County, or decreasing in Frederick County, you would want to know about it. But if the state of Nevada raised their licensing fees, would you really need to know? Occasionally, information from neighboring states is monitored if it impacts local driving.

Although minimum liability limit changes are important to out-of-state residents, they do not impact MD drivers unless you will be moving to those states. Likewise, legislation that is passed in other states does not impact local drivers.

If the website you are visiting contains less than half of its content on Maryland car insurance issues, it’s time to move on. As you may have noticed, we concentrate on only one state. Typically, websites that write about numerous states, don’t adequately cover any of the states as well as other resources. If a new legislation was passed increasing minimum liability limits, you might never know until months later. We update our content every day! It’s hard work, but it benefits our customers, and provides time to adjust to changes that impact your policy.

 

Review the cost of coverage before buying or leasing your next vehicle. Sometimes you can’t avoid “sticker shock” from the price of a new car or truck. But you can avoid a major surprise of your auto insurance rate increasing substantially more than you expected.  During the process of comparing vehicles that may be purchased, you can also easily review the cost of adding a specific vehicle to your policy. Often, a car that has a higher sticker price may be less expensive to cover than expected. Driver-safety enhancements have been added to most new vehicles, which as helped to stabilize rates.

Although make and models can vary, several of the least expensive vehicles (that are commonly bought or leased) are Jeep Wrangler, Chevrolet Equinox, Honda Civic, Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Sentra, Subaru Outback, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, and Toyota Highlander. Newer models offer advanced safety features that can also offset the price increase of insuring a newer vehicle. Backup cameras, automatic braking,  and lane-change warnings  have become standard features in many base models. Self-driving vehicles are available on a limited basis, although within the next 10 years, availability should increase.

 

GM Vehicles in Maryland

General Motors’ Chevrolet Cobalt

 

Watch for recalls of vehicles in Maryland that impact the vehicles that you own. For example, a few years ago, the personal injury lawsuit against General Motors regarding ignition switches on Saturns would have been helpful and pertinent information to know. Investigations by federal regulators on other cars (such as Cobalts and G5s) should always be monitored. And when a manufacturer makes an announcement that heavy objects should be taken off key chains, it’s critical to be aware of the request.  If you need specific information regarding possible recalls on the vehicles you own, please contact us.

The Lemon Law also protects owners of new cars, small trucks, and multipurpose vehicles. The benefit applies to buyers of new vehicles and also persons who purchased the vehicle while the original warranty was still valid. The covered period is the earliest of 15,000 miles or 15 months. Generally, if the car or truck is not able to be driven for 30 days, because of a covered defect (or returned to dealer four times), a replacement vehicle may be required. All related expenses are typically paid by the car manufacturer.

The car insurance rate of the replacement vehicle should be identical to your previous vehicle, if it is the same year, make, and model. Choosing a different type or year of vehicle can impact the cost of coverage. Naturally, newer and/or more expensive vehicles can increase the premium. reducing the number of covered vehicles to a single vehicle may result in the loss of a multi-car discount. Identical vehicles that are leased or financed will not impact the rate unless minimum liability limits are required by the bank or lending institution.

 

Don’t change a coverage that saves you hundreds of dollars now but costs thousands of dollars later. The most common temptation when attempting to lower your premium, is to reduce your basic liability limits (bodily injury and property damage). While you will save money this year (and every year), what happens if you or a driver in your household has a serious at-fault accident? And then, you are sued for $150,000, but only have $100,000 (per person) of coverage. Your legal fees should be covered but you’ll be $50,000 poorer. While state-minimum liability limits provide enticing premium savings, it’s only occasionally recommended for high-risk drivers.

Also, when considering increasing your liability limits, a personal “umbrella” may be more cost-effective. The price of adding either $500,000 or $1 million of extra protection for all of your assets is a “bargain” considering the extra layer of protection you are receiving. If you own boats, RVs, motorcycles, or rental property, you are more susceptible to a lawsuit, even if it is frivolous. If you have teenage drivers in the household, the risk for a potential large claim is substantially higher. Once they reach age 21, the risk has greatly diminished. When youthful drivers reach age 25 or get married, additional premium reductions result.

 

We provide information for all  discounts that will lower vehicle insurance rates. The most obvious change is raising your deductible. But it’s imperative that the savings warrant the extra risk. We can help you analyze your situation so you’re making an informed decision. For example, purchasing a $200 alarm system for a $25 per year discount is not necessarily cost-effective. Conversely, if you vehicle contains a “passive” alarm already, you will be eligible for a discount. Each year, newer vehicle models are equipped with devices (not all are standard) that help keep you and your passengers safer. Newer airbags are more efficient than older versions.

If you move from one area of the state to another, it’s likely that your rate will change. No company charges the same price for the entire state. Although the difference is not likely to be as much as 50%, it’s not uncommon for the rate to vary by as much as 10%-20%. Urban areas often have higher rates that rural areas. You can always view prices in a specific area before you move to that specific city or county. If a child is moving out of the household, we make it easy to review prices in their new area. Depending on the carrier, a multi-car or multi-policy discount may still be offered.

 

The worst time to shop for lower auto insurance prices is when you just received a moving violation or were involved in an accident. Why? Because, your current insurer has probably not factored that into your current rates. But a new company will have to include your recent activity in their rating. Therefore, it may be difficult to find find a policy that saves a substantial amount of money. Or if you do, the first incident could result in a massive price hike. The second incident could terminate your policy. A license suspension or DUI/DWI will delay the opportunity to get preferred rates for 3-5 years. It is possible, however, that changing companies can substantially reduce the rate, if the new carrier’s underwriting guidelines are favorable.

 

Slow Down And Reduce Rates

Avoid Speeding Tickets And Save Money

For that reason, it’s best to shop for another policy when your driving record is clean. One violation on your Motor Vehicle Administration report may allow you to find a better offer. If you have more than two tickets (not just incidents) showing, your offers will not be competitive unless you just received a large price increase from your existing company. If that occurs, it’s time to compare options. However, before changing carriers, it’s important to have an offer in writing.

 

What about a new company that shows up and offers you a chance to save hundreds of dollars per year without sacrificing any coverage. Assuming that the carrier was a new auto insurance company in Maryland and had no prior track record, it might be best to wait about 12-24 months and see what direction their prices end up. But it is a good idea to monitor their prices a few times per year through our website. Typically, we provide an annual comprehensive comparison that includes all carriers licensed to conduct business in the state.

 

Often, new companies, “buy business,” which means they are quoting premiums that are typically unprofitable to the insurer. But to attract additional needed customers, they need to do this, hoping that most of the policyholders will stay after rates possibly jump in a few years. Your best choice is to resist the temptation to switch to these companies until they have a few years under their belt. Otherwise, your premium may substantially increase after only one year covered with the new carrier. And if you have multiple at-fault accidents, it will be very difficult to find a lower rate for the next few years.

Our quote engine automatically takes this possibility into consideration. Therefore, a newer company with artificially-low rates, may not be as highly-recommended as another company with similar pricing, and a  long history of satisfied customers in the state. Once a positive track record is developed, we more strongly consider the company. At least three years of stable premiums is preferred. Regardless how long the carriers have been conducting business, they must comply with insurance requirements for Maryland vehicles. All policies must be pre-approved for sale, and rate changes must also be submitted to the DOI, studied, and pre-approved.

 

Ask About New Policy Reductions. Every 12-24 months, most carriers either adjust or create new discounts for their customers. As vehicles continuously upgrade safety systems and features, many of these new options save the insurers money. And often, a portion of the savings is transferred to you via discounts through your policy. Existing discounts generally remain, although if full coverage (collision and comprehensive) is removed, it is possible that selected discounts will no longer be offered. Popular “lane change” and “rear camera” features may also help save money. Note: towing and labor, and substitute transportation (rental vehicle) coverage may become unavailable if collision and comprehensive coverage is removed.

 

Cheap online car insurance rates in Maryland are definitely available. We can help you find those low premiums you are looking for so you pay less and save money! We specialize in all cars, trucks and commercial vehicles. Within minutes you’ll get low prices, great service and money-saving discounts.