Columbia, Maryland is part of the Baltimore metropolitan area. Whether you are commuting on I-95 to Baltimore or Washington, DC, or you’re running some daily errands on busy surface roads, a car accident is the last thing you want to happen. But while you may be the most careful driver around, other drivers are not always so conscientious. Fender-benders and major accidents happen on the roads in Columbia every day.
If you own a vehicle in Columbia or anywhere in Maryland, you are required to have car insurance. What’s more, a reliable car insurance policy can protect you from facing a large financial burden after a car accident. Car insurance can sometimes be confusing, but a local independent insurance agent can help you find the best policy for your needs and budget.
Maryland Car Insurance Requirements
The state of Maryland requires every driver to have a minimum amount of auto insurance. Drivers without the required coverage face stiff fines and penalties, and they put everyone else on the road in financial peril. In Maryland, the minimum car insurance requirements are:
- Bodily injury liability: Required
- Property damage liability: Required
- Personal injury protection (PIP): Required
- Uninsured motorist coverage: Required
- Minimum liability limits: 30/60/15; coverage up to $60,000 for all persons injured in an accident, subject to a limit of $30,000 for one individual; and $15,000 coverage for property damage
Talk to an independent agent about the importance of purchasing more than the minimum liability insurance required in Maryland. If you cause an accident where the cost of the damage exceeds your coverage limits, you will have to pay out of pocket for whatever you owe other drivers, and whatever it costs to fix your own car. Car insurance policies with only the minimum coverage can help you pay for minor accidents. If you are in a serious accident, you’ll likely be underinsured, and out of luck. An independent agent can help you decide what coverage limits are best for you and your family. Your agent can also explain how an umbrella policy can further protect your assets.
How Much Does Auto Insurance Cost in Columbia, Maryland?
Maryland is the 11th most expensive state for car insurance, but rates in Columbia are a little lower than the state average. Shopping around for the best rate and taking advantage of discounts can help you save.
- National average annual car insurance cost: $1,311
- Maryland average annual car insurance cost: $1,590
- Columbia average annual car insurance cost: $1,446
Car insurance rates are determined on a case-by-case basis, so you may have to pay more or less than the average for drivers in your city. Insurance companies evaluate a variety of factors to calculate your rates, including:
- Your age, marital status, driving history, and credit score
- Information about other licensed drivers in your household
- Your car’s year, make, and model
- The coverage limits and deductibles you choose
- Whether your policy includes comprehensive and/or collision coverage
- Whether you are bundling your auto insurance with other policies like homeowners insurance or renters insurance
Bundling policies is just one of the ways you can save on Columbia auto insurance. Insurance companies offer a variety of discounts to help you keep costs down. An independent agent in your city can help you compare quotes and maximize your discounts.
Number of Uninsured Motorists in Maryland
Driving without insurance is against the law in Maryland, yet many drivers continue to drive without coverage. Driving without insurance coverage can lead to fines, license revocation, and even jail time. These penalties are designed to help keep the number of uninsured drivers to a minimum.
- How many US drivers are uninsured? 12.6%.
- How many Maryland drivers are uninsured? 12.4%.
Uninsured motorist coverage is required for all drivers in Maryland. This valuable coverage enables you to receive immediate reimbursement for your vehicle damage and medical expenses if you are in an accident that is caused by an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver. Your insurance company will still attempt to recover the costs from the at-fault driver, but you can have peace of mind of knowing that you’ll be compensated, no matter what.
Number of Auto Thefts in Maryland
The auto theft rate across the state of Maryland is lower than the national average. In Columbia, you have a 1 in 42 chance of being a victim of a property crime, including auto theft. This is about the same as in the state of Maryland overall, and lower than the national average.
- National auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 2.94
- Maryland auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 1.97
Vehicle owners need to take precautions to prevent auto theft. And they need the right auto coverage to ensure they can be compensated for their loss, should the worst happen. If your car is stolen or vandalized, you need comprehensive coverage to reimburse you for your lost or damaged car. Comprehensive coverage also helps you pay for repairs if falling objects, floods, structure fires, or other hazards cause damage to your car. Comprehensive coverage is optional, but your lender might require you to carry it until your loan is paid off. An independent agent in Columbia can help you decide the coverage options that are best for your needs.
Why Contact an Independent Insurance Agent?
Independent agents are a great resource for information and assistance when you are shopping for auto insurance. Your agent can explain your coverage options and pricing and can offer quotes from multiple insurance companies so you can make an informed choice.
Contact a local independent insurance agent to get started.
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