Even the best drivers sometimes have accidents. That is why vehicle owners in Baltimore are required to carry car insurance. From fender-benders on Lombard Street to multi-car collisions on I-83, a reliable auto insurance policy can prevent you from facing large financial losses as a result.
Getting the best and most affordable car insurance is easy when you work with a local independent agent. These experienced agents can help you obtain and compare customized car insurance quotes from a variety of the area’s best insurance providers. Contact an insurance agent near you to get started.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Baltimore, MD?
The average cost of car insurance in Maryland is higher than the national average. Shopping around for the most competitive rate has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars a year.
- National average annual car insurance cost: $1,311
- Maryland average annual car insurance cost: $1,590
Bear in mind that an average rate can only give you a general idea of what your actual costs might be. Car insurance premiums can vary significantly from one driver to the next because they are based on several factors like such as the following.
- The make, model, and year of the vehicle(s) you are insuring
- Your age, occupation, and driving record
- Details about the other licensed drivers in your household
- Whether you own or rent your home
- The amount of liability coverage you are purchasing
- The coverage options you want to include in your policy
In most cases, you can get rate reductions if you bundle your car insurance with other policies like home insurance or renters insurance. Comparison shopping lets you get the coverage you want at the lowest offered price.
What Are the Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Maryland?
In Maryland, all car insurance policies are required by law to include liability insurance. Car liability insurance is designed to cover property damage and medical bills accrued by others if you are at fault for a collision.
Your policy must include a minimum of 30/60/15 liability coverage. This means that it must provide at least:
- $30,000 in bodily injury liability per person
- $60,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
- $15,000 in property damage liability per accident
If you are at fault for an accident that causes excessive property damage or multiple injuries, the costs you will be responsible for paying can easily exceed what a minimum coverage policy can pay for. If that happens, you will be on the hook for making up the difference.
That is why many Baltimore drivers opt to purchase car insurance that has higher liability limits than the state requires. Supplementing your car insurance with umbrella insurance can boost your liability coverage even higher.
What Else Can Baltimore Car Insurance Cover?
In addition to the mandatory liability coverage mentioned above, most car insurance providers will offer a variety of coverage options. These include:
- Collision and comprehensive coverage: These two policies together are often referred to as “full coverage.” Full coverage is usually required by lenders if you finance your car and by dealerships if you lease it.
- Collision coverage: This covers the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or totaled in a collision, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive coverage: This covers the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or totaled in a non-collision event such as a windstorm or flood.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: This can compensate you for your injuries and property damage that an uninsured or underinsured driver is responsible for when in a collision with your vehicle.
- Medical payments coverage: This can cover medical treatments for you and your passengers if you are injured in a collision, regardless of fault.
- Roadside assistance and towing: This can cover the cost of assistance if your car becomes disabled while you are on the road, such as if your alternator fails or you get a flat tire.
- Gap insurance: This covers the gap between what your car is worth and what you currently owe for it if it is totaled in a covered event. It is a often idea during the first couple years of new vehicle ownership.
It is to your benefit to review the details and costs of each coverage option so you can best determine which are a good idea for you and your family.
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What Is the Penalty for Driving without Insurance in Baltimore, MD?
Driving without insurance is illegal in Maryland. If you are caught driving an uninsured vehicle, you can face:
- Court imposed fines of $1,000 to $2,000
- An uninsured motorist fee of $150 for the first 30 days of lapsed insurance and $7 a day for each day after
- The suspension of your license plate and vehicle registration
- A reinstatement fee of $25 to get your vehicle registration back
- The inability to register any additional vehicles until all insurance violations of cleared
- Possible jail time for up to 2 years for repeat offenders
- Five points on your license per each offense
- Higher car insurance rates
- A misdemeanor criminal conviction on your record
Additionally, if you try to get away with showing false evidence of having car insurance, you can also be hit with a fine of up to $1000, or jail time, or both.
Despite these consequences, around one of nine motorists in this state is driving without insurance. This is slightly lower than the national average rate for uninsured drivers.
- Percentage of US drivers who are uninsured: 13.0%
- Percentage of Maryland drivers who are uninsured: 12.4%
If you are in a collision that was caused by an uninsured driver, that person is responsible for compensating you and your passengers for your property damage and injuries. However, this money can be difficult, if not impossible, to collect if the at-fault driver does not have the funds or assets to go after.
Uninsured motorist insurance was created to ensure that you can you receive the compensation you deserve quickly and without the need to take legal action against the uninsured driver. Instead, your insurance company will take on the burden and will absorb the losses if unsuccessful.
Does Car Insurance Cover against Auto Thefts in Baltimore, MD?
The auto theft rate in the state of Maryland is lower than the national rate. However, in Baltimore the risk is significantly higher. Residents of this city report around 4,000 auto thefts a year.
- National auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 2.29
- Maryland auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 2.01
- Baltimore auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 6.60
It is therefore important that you are aware that you can only receive compensation for a stolen vehicle if your car insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage, which is optional by law.
Comprehensive insurance covers more than just car theft, it also covers a variety of non-collision damages such as may be called by floods, windstorms, and hail.
If you are financing or leasing your vehicle, chances are good you have this coverage already. If not, you may want look into how much it will cost for you to add it to your car insurance policy.
How Can an Independent Agent in Baltimore Help You Find the Best Car Insurance?
If you are looking for a reliable car insurance policy at a competitive price, a local independent agent can help. These agents work for you, not for a particular insurance company, so they are free to shop around to find the coverage you want at a price you can afford.
It doesn’t cost anything to talk to an independent agent. Contact an insurance agent near you to get more information and to start comparing customized quotes from some of the best car insurance companies in Baltimore.