Maryland Commercial Auto Insurance

Find the right vehicle insurance policy for you.

Ann Herro, Insurance Expert Written by Ann Herro
Ann Herro, Insurance Expert
Written by Ann Herro

Ann Herro has been writing about insurance and employee benefits for over 15 years. She has covered topics as easy as insuring a car, and as difficult as transparency in healthcare costs.


There are thousands of businesses based in Maryland, and these businesses encompass many different industries and have varying insurance coverage needs. Those that have company-owned vehicles that they use as part of their day-to-day operations will need to carry commercial vehicle insurance. Whether you own a large manufacturing company like Black & Decker, or a single pizza shop like Joe Squared, you will need the extra liability protection that these policies can provide. Rates and policy offerings can vary significantly from one insurance company to the next, so Maryland business owners should be sure to compare a variety of commercial auto insurance quotes before making a selection.

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Registering a Commercial Vehicle in Maryland

  • If you will be using your vehicle only in Maryland, you must obtain a Maryland DOT number
  • If you will be using your vehicle for interstate travel, you must obtain a U.S. DOT number
  • You must obtain operating authority if:
    • You are an interstate for-hire passenger or property carrier
    • You are an intrastate passenger carrier
  • All interstate motor carriers, leasing companies, brokers and freight forwarders are required to register under the United Carrier Registration (UCR) Act
  • You will need a Maryland-only vehicle registration if:
    • You operate an interstate vehicle that weighs less than 26,000 pounds
    • You operate any size vehicle only within the state of Maryland
  • You will need Apportioned Registration under the International Registration Plan (IRP) if:
    • You will regularly operate your vehicle interstate and it weighs more than 26,001 pounds
    • Your vehicle is used for transportation of persons for hire, or is used primarily for the transportation of property, and:
      • Has two axles and a gross weight greater than 26,000 pounds, or
      • Has three or more axles

How Much Insurance Is Needed for Commercial Vehicles in MD?

Commercial vehicles can range from cars, such as those used for local deliveries, to large 18-wheeler trucks that are used to transport goods across the country. They can include construction vehicles, buses, taxis, vans, and pick-up trucks. Basically, if a vehicle or a fleet of vehicles is owned by a company, it must be covered by commercial vehicle insurance. Different types of vehicles will have different insurance coverage requirements mandated by the state. For example, company cars must be covered by uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and must meet the same liability requirements as passenger vehicles. In Maryland, these are:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $60,000 for bodily injury per accident involving two or more injured parties
  • $15,000 in property damage coverage per accident

It is always a good idea to purchase liability coverage in amounts that are much higher than the state’s required car insurance minimums. This is because accidents in company vehicles often lead to higher liability lawsuits since the injured party will see a greater chance of receiving a large cash award. Larger commercial vehicles will have much higher liability requirements. These requirements will be determined by:

  • The vehicle’s weight
  • The type of cargo it transports (hazardous materials will have great insurance needs)
  • Whether or not the vehicle is used to transport people and, if so, the number of people the vehicle can carry
  • Whether or not the vehicle is used for intra or inter-state transportation

If you are uncertain about how much liability coverage you need for your vehicle, you can speak with an insurance professional to learn about the state’s requirements.

Average Costs Associated with Collisions

  • Fatalities averaged about $1,420,000 in liability charges
  • Incapacitating injuries averaged about $70,500 in liability charges
  • Non-incapacitating injuries averaged about $22,700 in liability charges
  • Property-damage-only collisions averaged about $9,100 in liability charges

These figures are presented by the National Safety Council and are based on all accidents across the country. Keep in mind that these are averages, so your actual costs may be significantly higher or lower if you or one of your employees is responsible for a vehicular collision. When a company, rather than an individual, owns the vehicle involved, injured parties tend to pursue more in damages and jury awards tend to be much higher.

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What Does Commercial Vehicle Insurance Cover in Maryland?

There are also a number of coverage options you can include with your policy. Not all options are pertinent to all businesses, so it is important that you purchase all of the coverage you need while avoiding coverage that you do not. Some of the coverage types you can expect to find include:

  • Liability coverage: This coverage is not optional and it is the most important coverage type within a commercial vehicle policy. It can protect your business from liability charges if you or one of your drivers is responsible for a collision or injury while operating one of your company vehicles.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: In the state of Maryland, this coverage is also required as part of your policy. It is meant to provide coverage for injuries or property damage to your company vehicle if your driver is a third-party who lacks the necessary insurance coverage to cover damages is at fault for a collision with your vehicle.
  • Collision coverage: This is designed to cover collision-related damages to your company’s vehicle, regardless of fault.
  • Comprehensive coverage: This is designed to cover non-collision-related loss or damages to your company’s vehicles. Covered events include things such as theft, vandalism, falling objects, severe weather, fire, and flood.
  • Medical payments coverage: This may cover medical costs if your driver or any authorized vehicle passengers are injured in a collision for which your driver is at fault.
  • Non-owned, or for-hire auto coverage: This is designed to provide liability coverage in the event that one of your employees is responsible for a collision while using their own personal vehicle to do company business.
  • Bobtail insurance coverage: This provides coverage for tractors when they are being operated without a trailer in tow. It is applicable even if the truck is being driven for personal, rather than commercial, purposes at the time, such as to or from a job site.
  • Loading and unloading coverage: This may provide monetary compensation if products or merchandise are damaged while loading them onto or unloading them from a company vehicle.
  • Towing and labor coverage: this provides specialized roadside assistance for your company vehicle if it becomes disabled while out on business.

It may be beneficial to discuss your company’s unique coverage needs with an insurance professional who can advise you about your options and suggest appropriate coverage amounts.

Minimize Your Maryland-Based Company’s Vehicular Risks

Vehicular accidents are not entirely preventable, but you can take steps to reduce your risks. It is very important that you keep all of your company vehicles well-maintained at all times. It is also advisable to be very selective when hiring drivers. When possible, choose those who are experienced and have solid driving records. Also, provide your employees with educational safety training and limit the number of hours they spend on the road to prevent driver fatigue from becoming a problem.

Of course, even the best drivers can be involved in accidents. Certain factors are beyond their control, including hazardous road conditions, inclement weather, and reckless driving by those with whom they are sharing the road. Fortunately, you can rest assured that your commercial vehicle insurance can prevent an accident from causing financial ruin for your company.

Start Comparing Commercial Auto Insurance Quotes in Maryland

There is no such thing as a standard policy when it comes to commercial auto or commercial truck insurance in Maryland. Rather, this coverage should be customized to meet the needs of your particular business. When searching for the right policy, it may be beneficial to enlist the help of an independent insurance agent in our network. These agents can answer your insurance-related questions and help you compare and review a variety of competitively-priced commercial vehicle policies. Our agents can be found in several locations throughout Maryland, so you may be able to find one close to your home or business. 

Contact a local agent to get more information and you can start comparing commercial auto insurance quotes in no time.

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