Archive for the ‘Maryland Car Insurance Rates’ Category

Maryland Teenage Driving Rules And Insurance Requirements

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

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

The Tutorial covers many topics, including seat belts and safety seats, turning left at an intersection, approaching a flashing red light, construction zone driving, when to utilize high beam headlights, how to handle hydroplaning, road sign recognition, recognizing aggressive drivers, and school bus regulations.

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


RoadReady Supervised Practice Driving App

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


Monitor teen’s progress

View areas of improvement

View driving statistics

Receive pointers from parents

Learn about safe driving

Understand goals

View summary reports of driving

Track different driving conditions

Keep driving log

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

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

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


Get Your Learner’s Permit

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

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

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

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

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

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

In work zones, you should…

A flashing yellow light at an intersection means you should…

The maximum posted speed limit should be driven only…

Double solid yellow lane markings mean that…


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

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

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


Under Age 18?

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

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

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

Maryland Driving Laws Explained

Texting While Driving In Maryland Is Forbidden

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

Get A Provisional License

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

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

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

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


Finally! Get Your Full License!

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

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

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


Some Important Tips

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

Drive A Cycle In Maryland? Be Safe!

Motorcycle Safety Programs Are Available

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

Driver Improvement

Motorcycle Safety

Alcohol And Drug Education

Wellness And Safety

Rookie Driver And Education

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


Impact Of Young Drivers  On Your MD Car Insurance Policy

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

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


Safety Programs

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

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

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


MD Teen Safe Driving Coalition

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

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


Additional News

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

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

High Risk Car Insurance Rates In Maryland – Pay Less

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

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

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

Inexperienced Drivers

Inexperience behind the wheel and below-average credit can also cause premiums to rise. High-powered and exotic vehicles can also be covered by many carriers at standard rates if all drivers are experienced and have a positive claims history. The addition of a youthful driver in the household can impact premiums on all covered vehicles, since there is always a chance the new driver will operate any vehicle in the household. Increases can vary between 10% and approximately 25%, depending on the number of vehicles and drivers on the policy.

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

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

Sr-22 Bond Rates Maryland

Slow Down And Save Money!

Most Common High-Risk Situations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Approximate speeding penalties:

$290 – 1-9 mph over the speed limit

$300 – 10-19 mph over the speed limit

$370 – 20-29 mph over the speed limit

$500 – 30-39 mph over the speed limit

$740 – 40 mph over the speed limit

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

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


Comparison Of High-Risk Auto Rates In Other States

Maryland ranks around the middle, when comparing with prices from other states. There are many metrics that must be taken into account, including moving violations, serious violations (DUI, DWI, hit and run), and the experience of the driver. License suspensions and driving without a license are common infractions among high-risk drivers. The average high-risk car insurance rate throughout the US is approximately $1,180 per year.

These types of violations also stay on the official driving record the longest. It also can impact the rate of other drivers that reside in the household, and perhaps impact credit scores and qualifying for the lowest available loan rates. Generally, consumers should compare rates from multiple carriers every 3-5 years.

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


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

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

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

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


Non-standard Auto Insurance Rates In Maryland

Drinking Plus Driving Equals Higher Auto Insurance Rates


DWI or DUI Penalties In Maryland

First Conviction

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

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

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

Second Conviction

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

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

Third Conviction

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Cheap high-risk auto insurance in Maryland

Sobriety Checkpoints Are Legal In Maryland


DUI and DWI Checkpoints

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

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

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


List Of 12-Point Violations In Maryland

Fraudulent application for MVA ID card

Misrepresentation in applying for MVA ID card

Fraud in use of MVA ID card

Fraudulently applying for vehicle registration

Driving without owner’s consent with intent to deprive owner

Possessing canceled license

Possessing revoked license

Displaying license that is not your own

Driving motor vehicle with suspended, canceled, or revoked license

Driving a commercial vehicle with more than one license

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

Driving under the influence of alcohol

Driving under the influence of alcohol while transporting a minor

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


Pleading Down To “Reckless Driving”

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

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

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

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, vision, dental, umbrella, auto and home in Mexico, compact tractors, 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, online banking, and personal loans. Note: Life insurance rates are more competitive when purchasing from a major carrier.


Their “Snapshot” device, which attaches to your car, may also save you money. Thus far, more than $1 billion 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 $230 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.


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 has helped to stabilize rates. Many standard features were not offered 10 years ago. Examples include rear camera mirror, hitch guidance, following distance indicator, front and rear park assist, side blind zone alert, lane change alert, and lane departure warning.

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.

Affordable Car Insurance Rates In Baltimore – Compare Free Auto Quotes

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

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


Bundle Your Coverage

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

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

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


Find Cheap baltimore Auto Insurance Rates

Good Student Discounts Can Save Hundreds Of Dollars

Rural Areas

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

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

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

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

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

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


Baltimore Has The Worst Drivers? Is It True?

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

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

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

Ironically, cab companies are teaming with local unions in the area to attempt to stop ride-sharing companies from cutting into their market share. Companies like Uber, Lyft and SideCar are able to operate without meeting some of the requirements that others in the same industry must adhere to. However, the State Regulating Commission  recently ruled that these new companies must now apply for a permit.

Uber’s popularity continues across the US because of their simple App and low prices. Rides to and from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) are very inexpensive. The average cost of a trip from Baltimore to Rockville is about $74 with an average travel time of 51 minutes. The average cost of a trip from Baltimore to Dulles International Airport  is about $108 with an average travel time of 80 minutes. The average cost of a trip from Baltimore to Hanover is about $28 with an average travel time of 33 minutes. The average cost of a trip from Baltimore to Baltimore-Washington International Airport is about $21 with an average travel time of 31 minutes.

Cheapest MD Auto Insurance

Find Cheap Car Insurance Rates In Baltimore


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

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


Sample Auto Insurance Rates In Baltimore County (Monthly)


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

$67 – Progressive Select

$73 – USAA

$92 – Horace Mann

$107 – USAA Casualty

$108 – Erie

$119 – Mutual Benefit

$122 – American National

$128 – Geico

$129 – State Farm

$136 – Encompass

$136 – Penn National

$137 – Safe Auto

$156 – CSAA

$170 – Travelers

$206 – Unitrin


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

$83 – Progressive Select

$114 – Safe Auto

$126 – Horace Mann

$156 – CSAA

$157 – Progressive Specialty

$165 – American National

$167 – USAA

$174 – Erie

$196 – State Farm

$198 – Garrison Property And Casualty

$203 – Old Dominion

$234 – Nationwide

$238 – Root Insurance

$254 – Cincinnati Insurance

$255 – AIG


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

$69 – Progressive Select

$87 – Horace Mann

$92 – American National

$96 – Erie

$101 – Root Insurance

$108 – USAA

$114 – Penn National

$115 – USAA Casualty

$118 – Geico Casualty

$128 – IDS Property Casualty

$131 – CSAA General

$132 – Mutual Benefit


Progressive Is One Of Many Companies With Attractive Rates

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

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

Snapshot From Progressive

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

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

MD Auto Insurance Savings

You Can Save Money!

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


Shop Around


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

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

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

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


Pay Your Traffic Citations Early And Online

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

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



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

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

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


Impact Of  Previous Riots

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

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


Baltimore Homeowner’s Insurance Rates

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

$574 – Esurance

$596 – NGM Insurance

$610 – Donegal Mutual

$621 – Teachers Insurance

$661 – Horace Mann

$664 – Pharmacists Mutual

$670 – Brethren Mutual

$679 – Cumberland Mutual

$722 – Erie

$723 – Everett Cash Mutual

$733 – Frederick Mutual

$783 – CSAA General

$786 – Allstate

$791 – Metropolitan Property And Casualty

$792 – AIG

$837 – Farmers

$949 – Safeco

$1,259 – Nationwide

$1,412 – USAA


Local Baltimore Car Insurance Agencies

M&T Agency – 25 S. Charles St. 21201

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

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

Ugele Agency –  408 E. 25th St. 21218

Welsch Group – 3044 Hudson St. 21224

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

Pinning Agency – 3215 Erdman Ave. 21213

Goad Agency – 3229 Erdman Ave. 21213

Bedford Group – 1014 W. 36th St. 21211

Rodgers Agency 6800 Holabird Ave. Suite A 21222

Morris Services – 5010 Ritchie Highway 21225

Cramer And Schmidbauer Associates – 5200 Ritchie Highway 21225

Bayview Agency – 7508 Eastern Ave. 21224

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

McJilton Agency – 9 N. Dundalk Ave. 21222

TM Williams Services – 5202 Baltimore National Pike Suite 106 21229

C&E Services – 7324 Holabird Ave. 21222

Bell Agency – 7900 Eastern Ave. 21224

Senate Agency – 5417 Reiterstown Rd. 21215

Leitner Group – 2100 Merritt Ave. 21222

Madison Financial – 5401 Belair Rd. 21206

Custom Agency – 4410 Alan Dr. Apt A. 21229

Hoffberger Agency – 5700 Smith Ave. 21209

Concrete Agency – 6405 Belair Ave. 21206

Platte Agency – 633r Frederick Rd. 21228

Great Oak Group – 1340 Smith Ave. Suite 200 21209

Frank Dippel Agency – 6600 York Rd. 21212

Schoenfeld Associates 6225 Smith Ave. Suite B150 21209

Farrell Sullivan Insurance – 6500 N. Charles St. 21212

Ritchey Associates  – 6600 Belair Rd. Suite 2c 21206

Allied Agency – 7000 Security Blvd. Suite 111 21244

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


Additional Information:


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

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

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

Highest number of vehicles stolen in Baltimore

Baltimore Neighborhoods With Most Stolen Cars

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


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

Maryland Insurance Safety Programs, Services And Driver Improvement

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


Driver Improvement Program (DIP)

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

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

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

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

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

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


Vehicle Occupant Protection

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

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

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

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

Helpful Hints:

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

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

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

Placing the belt over the pelvis is recommended.

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

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


Aggressive Driving

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

Maryland Drivers Insurance


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

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

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

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


Impaired Driving

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

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

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

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

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



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

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


Distracted Driving

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

Cognitive – Taking your mind off the drive. Common examples are daydreaming, speaking to another passenger, and talking to someone on a hands-free device. When not concentrating on the road, there is a much greater chance of an accident occurring.

Manual – Taking your hands off the steering wheel. Drinking, eating, and smoking are common examples. Having only one hand on the wheel is also considered a manual distraction.

Visual – Taking your eyes off the road. A split second can easily result in substantial damage.

Auditory – Affects our ability to hear. Ring tones, loud conversations, screaming kids, and text notifications will impact our hearing.


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


Pedestrian Safety Information In Maryland


Pedestrian Safety

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

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


Maryland pedestrian safety laws and penalties include:

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

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

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

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

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


Bicycle Safety

Current Traffic Laws for Bicyclists:

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

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

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

You can not touch or hold onto another vehicle.

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

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

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


School Bus Zones

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

Tips for drivers:

Be alert for unexpected events.

Understand what flashing yellow lights and flashing red lights mean.

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

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


Maryland Kids Safety


Child Passenger Safety

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

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


Driver Wellness And Safety Programs

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

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

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

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


Motorcycle Safety Program

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

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

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

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

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


Older Drivers

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

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

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


Highway Safety Office Grants

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


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. 2023 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 10th (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 reduce, possibly as much as $100-$300 per year. Since vehicle insurance rates are generally higher than homeowner’s premiums, the discount is very helpful. And the reduction remains level each year.

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. SimpliSafe offers many alarm system packages that are easy to install, and provide discounts on most home policies.

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 (see above), 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.

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. When the limited option is selected, PIP benefits may not be able to be collected under any motor vehicle liability policy.

PIP Rejection

Rejection of PIP is permitted if coverage does not exceed a specific limit, the carrier terminated the policy before the policy end date, and you were covered by a carrier other than the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (prior to applying).

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.



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.



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.



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.

Full Coverage Or Just Liability On Your Vehicles? Compare Options

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

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

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


Important Facts To Consider


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

Utilizing ride-share companies can reduce the number of miles driven on your vehicles. Although the cost of gasoline is still higher than it was several years ago, and electric vehicles are very expensive, paying for your transportation may still be very cost-effective.

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


Leasing A New Vehicle

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

Take Collision Coverage Off Insurance?

Consider The Age Of Your Vehicle

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

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

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


Each Company Offers Different Savings


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

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

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

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


Do You Have Alternate Transportation?


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

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

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


Condition And Mileage


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

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

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


Who Is Driving  The Vehicle?


Maryland Car insurance Help

Is A Teenager Driving Your Car?

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

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

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


Will You Be Selling The Vehicle?


Tips For Selling Your Car


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

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

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


How Quickly Do Vehicles Lose Their Value?


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

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


You Can Keep Comprehensive Coverage Without Collision Coverage

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

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


Additional Information:

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

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

Car Insurance Rankings And Reviews In Maryland – Free Quotes

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

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


1. State Farm Mutual

2. Geico Casualty

3. Erie

4. Geico General

5. Allstate Indemnity

6. Government Employees

7. Allstate Insurance

8. Nationwide Affinity


10. Progressive Select

11. Nationwide Mutual

12. USAA Casualty

13. State Farm Fire And Casualty

14. LM General

15. MAIF

16. Geico Indemnity

17. Nationwide General

18. Progressive Specialty

19. USAA General

20. Liberty Mutual Fire

21. American States Preferred

22. Allstate Property And Casualty

23. Encompass Home And Auto

24. Garrison Property And Casualty

25. Trumbull Insurance

26. Progressive Advanced

27. Travelers Home And Marine

28. Agency Insurance Co Of MD

29. Elephant Insurance

30. Amica Mutual

31. Metropolitan Group Property And Casualty

32. Esurance

33. CSAA General

34. Peninsula

35. Progressive Direct

36. Travelers Property And Casualty

37. CSAA Affinity

38. Brethren Mutual

39. Mid Century

40. State Auto Mutual

41. Amco

42. IDS Property And Casualty

43. Pennsylvania National Mutual

44. Progressive Classic

45. Selective Insurance

46. Encompass Insurance

47. State Auto Property And Casualty

48. Mutual Benefit

49. Cincinnati Financial

50. Unitrin Auto And Home

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



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

Telematics is the current technology that tracks your driving habits, including speed length of trips, quick accelerating, sudden braking, and other habits. Coverage without a plug-in device may be available, although the savings won’t be as substantial.

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

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



Mile Auto

MileWise (Allstate)


SmartMiles (Nationwide)


Quick Observations About Several Carriers On The List

Insurance Companies In Maryland

Elephant Insurance Really Owns An Elephant!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Md car insurance companies set rates

Maryland Department Of Insurance Monitors Companies

Reform Act Of 1995

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

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

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

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

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


Future Changes To Top-50

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

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

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


What About The Companies With The Lowest 2023 Rates?

Compare cheapest car insurance in Maryland

Save Money On Your MD Car Insurance And Be Happy!


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

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

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

$814 – AIG

$978 – Allstate

$765 – Amco

$967 – Amica

$810 – Cincinnati

$771 – Cumberland

$916 – Encompass

$944 – Erie

$1132 – Farmers

$734 – Geico

$643 – Horace Mann

$1224 – Metropolitan Group Property & Casualty

$961 – Nationwide

$675 – Peninsula Insurance

$1341 – Travelers

$1037 – USAA


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

$796 – Amco

$983 – Amica

$815 – Cincinnati

$647 – CSAA

$791 – Cumberland Insurance

$665 – Erie

$676 – Geico

$537 – Horace Mann

$774 – Meridian

$794 – Metropolitan

$650 – Mutual Benefit

$893 – National General

$1012 – Nationwide

$674 – Old Dominion

$851 – Travelers

$839 – Unitrin

$597 – USAA


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

1422 – Allstate

1377 – Amco

1018 – American National

1112 – CSA General

1252 – Encompass

$1213 – Erie

$1513 – Farmers

$1430 – Foremost

$1254 – Geico

$764 – Harleysville

$951 – Horace Mann

$1416 – Meridian Security

1308 – Metropolitan Direct

$774 – Old Dominion

$806 – Peninsula

$1189 – Selective Insurance of SC

$1496 – State Farm

$1536 – Travelers

$1037 – Unitrin

$1313 – USAA


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

$1495 – AIG

$1204 – American National

$1626 – Cincinnati

$1977 – Erie

$1500 – Geico

$1848 – Horace Mann

$1562 – IDS

$2229 – Meridian Security

$2230 – Metropolitan Direct

$2015 – Mutual Benefit

$2610 – Nationwide

$2408 – Old Dominion

$2612 – Progressive

$2243 – State Farm

$2565 – Teachers Insurance

$2380 – Unitrin

$1992 – USAA


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

$745 – AIG

$951 – Allstate

$452 – American National

$632 – Cincinnati

$664 – CSAA

$890 – Encompass

$591 – Erie

$471 – Geico

$462 – Horace Mann

$606 – IDS

$670 – Metropolitan Direct

$545 – Mutual Benefit

$548 – Old Dominion

$596 – Penn National

$716 – State Farm

$521 – USAA


Buying Business

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

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


Maryland All-Terrain Vehicle Coverage – Companies Offering Policies

Agency Insurance

AIG Property Casualty

Allstate Property And Casualty


American National Property And Casualty

American Property And Casualty

Amica Mutual

Chubb National

Cincinnati Insurance

Donegal Mutual





Geico Indemnity

Hartford Casualty

Markel American

Meridian Security

Metropolitan Casualty

National General


Pharmacists Mutual

Privilege Underwriters

Progressive Casualty

Rider Insurance

Selective Insurance

State Farm Mutual

Travelers Property Casualty


Additional Information:

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

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