Best Cheap Car Insurance in Maryland for 2018
When it comes to getting low rates on auto insurance in Maryland, shopping around is key. Prices can swing dramatically from one insurer to the next and depend on personal factors such as age, marital status and credit. To help drivers simplify their shopping and find cheap car insurance in Maryland, NerdWallet looked at quotes from the eight largest insurers in the state to find the three cheapest options for the following groups:
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Cheapest for good drivers
For drivers with no accidents, DUIs or moving violations.
For good drivers in Maryland, the average of the three cheapest rates was $1,187 per year. Erie had the cheapest rate we found at $969 per year, or about $81 per month. Geico and State Farm rounded out the top three.
If you have no tickets, moving violations or at-fault accidents, look for good-driver discounts to further lower your rates; some companies offer several .
Cheapest for young drivers
For drivers in their early 20s.
Drivers in their early 20s, who tend to have fewer assets to protect in a crash-related lawsuit compared with older drivers, can find relatively cheap car insurance in Maryland. Among the three cheapest options, Geico had the lowest rate at $723 per year, or $60 per month. That’s $246 less per year than the lowest rate for 30-year-old good drivers in Maryland with fuller policies.
The most expensive quote in this group was nearly $2,000, showing that even drivers with minimum coverage can save by shopping around.
Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash
Causing a car accident usually leads to a higher premium, either when you renew your policy or find a different company . Exactly how much higher depends largely on the insure r, so it’s always wise to shop around.
Erie delivered the lowest rate in this category, at about $1,287 per year. State Farm came in at $1,796 annually, and Geico’s rate was $2,526 — nearly twice the cost of the cheapest rate. The costliest estimates in this group topped $3,500 per year .
Cheapest for drivers with poor credit
For drivers placed in the “poor credit” tier.
Under Maryland law, insurers aren’t allowed to refuse or cancel a policy based on drivers’ credit. They also can’t increase your premium at renewal due to your credit, but they can use credit as a factor in your initial rate, charging up to 40% more due to credit history .
Drivers with poor credit in our analysis got the best rate with Erie, but that’s still $726 more per year than the cheapest rate we found for drivers with no credit issues , also from Erie . Each insurer uses credit a bit differently in pricing, so it helps to compare estimates from a few companies: Some rates we found for Maryland drivers with poor credit exceeded $4,300 a year.
Cheapest for retired drivers
For drivers in their mid- to late-60s.
Given their years of experience and reduced annual mileage, retired drivers should have little trouble finding cheap car insurance in Maryland. The cheapest rate for drivers in their mid- to late-60s that drive half as much as commuters came from Erie at $810 per year.
But shopping around can still pay off. We found a gap of more than $1,800 per year between the lowest and highest average rates, proving retired drivers have as much incentive to compare quotes as anyone else .
Cheapest for drivers with a military connection
If you’re an active member of the military or a veteran — or have an immediate family member who is — chances are high you’ll get a good rate with USAA, an option that isn’t available to the general public. USAA is one of the three cheapest auto insurance options for every driver type we analyzed for those who qualify . USAA customers also benefit from the insurer’s top-rated customer service .
Minimum car insurance requirements in Maryland
Maryland car insurance policies must include liability insurance. This pays for other people’s injuries or property damage, up to your chosen limit, when you cause an accident.
The minimum coverage levels in Maryland are:
- $30,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $60,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $15,000 property damage liability per accident
- $30,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
- $60,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
- $15,000 uninsured/underinsured property damage coverage per accident
It’s often smart to buy more than the legal minimum to ensure you don’t have to pay out of pocket in case of a severe crash. You may also want to consider optional coverages such as collision, comprehensive and uninsured motorist coverage.
Check out NerdWallet’s guide to state car insurance requirements for more detail on the various parts of a Maryland auto policy.
Alternative car insurance in Maryland
Drivers who have been denied coverage by at least two car insurance companies could qualify for a policy through the Maryland Auto Insurance Fund . The organization was created to help drivers who can’t get standard insurance because of a checkered accident history, poor credit rating or other factors.
For more help finding Maryland car insurance at the most competitive price, try NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool .
Here’s a summary of where you’ll find the cheapest insurance, by category :
Cheap Maryland Car Insurance
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Cheap Car Insurance
It’s expensive to get car insurance in Maryland!
Dang! Maryland is definitely not one of the cheapest states for car insurance. Don’t worry, we got your back!
At The Zebra we’re all about helping you save money on car insurance. Our engine looks for the cheapest insurance provider to find the best fit for you and your vehicle. Since Maryland might have cheaper premiums that makes our job a breeze! It’s easy to get started—we just need some basic information to begin finding the best auto discounts for you.
What’s the cheapest car insurance in Maryland?
Cheap Insurance for Good Drivers in Maryland
Drivers with good driving records typically enjoy lower car insurance costs than drivers with histories of speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, or DUI citations. Maryland drivers don’t enjoy much of a rate discount for staying safe on the roads, as a lack of traffic tickets is rewarded by just an 11% price cut, compared to 17% nationally. In addition to earning a cheaper premium for driving incident-free, you may qualify for a safe-driving bonus through your car insurance company. The amount of these discounts may vary, but they typically run between 5 and 10%.
Cheap Insurance for Young Drivers in Maryland
Young drivers (those between the ages of 16 and 25) pay extraordinarily high auto insurance rates, with those aged 16-19 paying the most expensive premiums of all. Because of the risk presented by inexperienced drivers, teens pay more than three times the national average for car insurance. Maryland is a relatively affordable state for teen drivers: the typical teen driver pays $4,440 per year — about $500 less than the national average for teens, but still far more than the Maryland driver average across all age groups.
Cheap Car Insurance for Bad Drivers in Maryland
If you have a clean driving record — no at-fault accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, or other recent citations — you’ll probably pay less for car insurance. Conversely, a bad driving record will cause your rates to skyrocket: car insurance premiums typically increase by 30% after a DUI, 31% after an at-fault accident, and 11% after a speeding ticket in Maryland. The post-citation penalties assessed by car insurance companies in Maryland are lower than nationwide averages. If you have a clean driving record, be sure to check for good-driving discounts from your insurer.
Car Insurance Laws
State minimum insurance requirements in Maryland
In Maryland, the state minimum coverage requirements are as follows:
- Bodily Injury $30,000 per person
- Bodily Injury $60,000 per accident
- Property Damage $15,000 per accident
- Bodily Injury $30,000 per person
- Bodily Injury $60,000 per accident
- Property Damage $15,000 per accident
Personal Injury Protection
- $2,500 per person Full or Limited
Optional coverage in Maryland (varies by carrier):
- Loan/Lease Payoff
- Rental Car Reimbursement
- Roadside Assistance
Liability coverage is legally required in Maryland and pays for injury and lost wages that you cause to another driver or their passengers as well as damage to the other driver’s vehicle in the event that you are considered “at fault” in an accident. The coverage limits are determined by each individual state and normally split into three categories. In Maryland, the minimum is listed as 30/60/15 and explained below:
$30,000 bodily injury coverage per person. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for a single person that you injure in an auto accident.
$60,000 bodily injury coverage per accident. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for all injuries that you cause in an accident if more than one person is hurt.
$15,000 property damage per accident. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for damage that you cause in an accident.
Uninsured Motorist coverage is legally required in Maryland and pays for injury and lost wages that you or your passengers may suffer in the event that you are hit by an uninsured driver who is at fault. The coverage limits are determined by each individual state and normally split into two categories. In Maryland, the minimum is listed as 30/60 and explained below:
$30,000 bodily injury coverage per person. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for a single person injured in your vehicle by an uninsured driver.
$60,000 bodily injury coverage per accident. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for all injuries in your vehicle by an uninsured driver if more than one person is hurt.
$15,000 property damage coverage per accident. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for damage caused to your vehicle by an uninsured driver.
Personal Injury Protection provides coverage for medical costs that you and your passengers incur in an accident regardless of fault. PIP will cover medical expenses such as hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, and even work loss resulting from an accident. In Maryland, minimum PIP coverage of $2,500 per person is required on your policy and is broken up into two options: full or limited. Choosing a limited option provides coverage for children under the age of 16 and pedestrians, but does not offer coverage for the named insured or any household family members 16 or older
These numbers reflect the minimum limits required in Maryland but higher coverage amounts are available with most companies.
Cheap Maryland Car Insurance Companies
The Zebra compares over 200 companies & 1,800 products, so you can save way more than 15% and find the cheapest car insurance in Maryland.
Car Insurance in Maryland
Maryland Car Insurance
When registering your car in Maryland, your car insurance ID card will not be accepted as proof of insurance. Instead, your car insurance carrier will provide you with a Maryland Insurance Certification that you must sign and submit along with your registration.
Read more to learn about MD car insurance laws, programs, rates, and discounts.
Car Insurance Requirements in MD
In order to comply with Maryland car insurance laws, you must purchase all of the following:
- Liability coverage.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
- Injury protection (PIP or no-fault) coverage.
Liability car insurance helps pay for damages or bodily injury resulting from a car accident for which you are at fault.
Your liability insurance must have the following minimums:
- $30,000 for bodily injury, per person.
- $60,000 for total bodily injury, per accident.
- $15,000 for property damage.
While car insurance is required in Maryland, many drivers remain uninsured. Also, some insured drivers do not have adequate coverage to help pay for costs associated with car accidents.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage helps pay for your injuries and property damage when involved in a car accident caused by these drivers.
Maryland’s required uninsured/underinsured coverage minimums equal those of liability coverage (see above).
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Maryland also requires you to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP), also called no-fault car insurance.
PIP coverage will help pay for your medical costs after a car accident, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Once you have reached your PIP’s limits, your health insurance may be able to cover additional costs.
If you are involved in a car accident caused by another driver, that driver’s liability insurance is responsible for your medical costs even after your PIP goes into effect.
Since it is usually faster to file a claim under your own PIP, you can pay back your own PIP once your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance is processed.
The minimum limit for PIP in Maryland is $2,500.
Optional Car Insurance Coverage
In addition to the required car insurance coverages in Maryland, most auto insurance companies offer optional coverage types, including:
- Collision – Helps pay for accident-related damages to your car.
- Comprehensive – Helps pay for non-accident related damages to your car.
- Towing and labor.
- Rental car.
NOTE: While Maryland law does not require it, you may be required to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage as part of a loan or lease agreement. If you neglect to purchase required coverage, it might be purchased for you (see below).
If your car is being financed and you fail to purchase collision and comprehensive coverages as per your loan agreement requirements, your lender may purchase these coverage types and charge you for them.
This is called forced-placed insurance, and it can be considerably more expensive than shopping for and purchasing car insurance on your own.
Proof of Maryland Insurance
The MVA only accepts Maryland Insurance Certification forms as proof of insurance. They will not accept an insurance card or other insurance documents.
When registering your car with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), you must submit a signed Maryland Insurance Certification (FR-19) acknowledging that you will maintain at least the minimum Maryland car insurance requirements.
The FR-19 can only be obtained through your insurance company and:
- Is valid for 30 days.
- Is free.
- Can be faxed or e-mailed to the MVA by your insurance company.
You cannot submit a photocopy of your FR-19 to the MVA.
Insurance Violations & Penalties
The MVA monitors car insurance status electronically with Maryland car insurance companies.
Your insurance carrier is required to report any cancellations or lapses in coverage to the MVA.
When the MVA is notified of any changes in your car insurance status, they will send you a request for your Maryland Insurance Certification (FR-19).
If you are found driving without insurance, you face the following penalties:
- Suspension of your:
- $150 fine for the first 30 days of not having car insurance.
- $7 fine for each additional day.
- Suspended privileges to register or renew any car until your violations are cleared.
- $30 registration restoration fee once your insurance violations have been cleared.
If you are caught providing a false proof of insurance, you face:
- 1 year of imprisonment.
- A $1000 fine.
Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund
While car insurance is mandatory in Maryland, drivers with poor driving records may have difficulty finding a car insurance company willing to provide coverage.
If you cannot find car insurance through the open market, you can apply for car insurance through the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (MAIF).
The Maryland legislature created the MAIF to help provide high-risk drivers with car insurance coverage. All funding comes from the premiums paid to the MAIF. No state money goes towards the MAIF.
Visit the MAIF website for more information on applying for high-risk car insurance.
Because insurance can be complex, the Maryland Insurance Administration offers consumer support to help with various car insurance issues that may arise, including:
- Resolving an insurance dispute.
- Reporting insurance fraud.
Maryland offers two avenues to assist with disputes you may have with your insurance company:
- Rapid response.
- Written complaint.
Rapid Response Program
The Rapid Response Program is meant to assist with claims as quickly as possible without requiring you to file an official complaint. For more information, call one of the following numbers:
To submit an official written complaint, you can:
- File online at the Maryland Insurance Administration website.
- Download a property and casualty complaint form and mail it to:
Maryland Insurance Administration
Attn: Consumer Complaint Investigation – Property/ Casualty
200 Saint Paul Place, Suite 2700
Baltimore, MD 21202
You may also submit a written letter to the address above. Be sure to include:
- Daytime and evening phone numbers.
- Insurance information:
- Company name.
- Policy number.
- Name of any other insurance company involved in the complaint.
- A detailed explanation of the issue.
- Copies of any relevant documents.
Car Insurance Fraud
Car insurance companies spend a large sum of money dealing with insurance fraud. Those costs get passed down to you through increases in your premium.
Car insurance fraud often involves:
- Staging car accidents.
- Falsifying or exaggerating:
- Property damage.
To help fight car insurance fraud and help keep premiums low, you can report suspected fraud to the Maryland Insurance Administration by:
- Calling (800) 846-4069.
- Completing a property and casualty complaint and submitting it:
- By fax: (410) 347-5350.
- By mail:
Maryland Insurance Administration
200 St. Paul Place, Suite 2700
Baltimore, MD 21202
The MIA allows you to report insurance fraud anonymously.
The MIA provides a complete Consumer Guide to Insurance Fraud for anyone looking for more detailed information on this topic.
Determining Your MD Car Insurance Rates
Several factors go into determining the cost of your car insurance premium in Maryland.
When shopping for auto insurance, remember that most Maryland car insurance companies will factor in the following to determine your rates:
- Your car’s:
- Driving record.
- Marital status.
- Credit history.
- Your out-of-pocket expenses towards a claim.
- The higher your deductible, the lower your premium.
MD Insurance Discounts
Taking advantage of discounts is a great way to save on car insurance. When comparing car insurance quotes, ask about any discounts you can apply towards your premium.
Most Maryland car insurance companies offer the following discounts:
- Multi-car discount.
- Homeowner’s discount.
- Good student discount.
- Safety device discount.
- Anti-theft device discount.
While discounts can help you obtain low car insurance rates, the best way to save on car insurance is to maintain a good driving record that reflects safe and violation-free driving.
Most Stolen Cars in Maryland
If your car is highly targeted for theft, you may face higher car insurance rates.
The following is a list of Maryland’s most stolen cars in 2013, according to www.nicb.org:
- Dodge Caravan.
- Honda Accord.
- Toyota Camry.
- Honda Civic.
- Ford Pickup (Full Size).
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.
- Nissan Altima.
- Toyota Corolla.
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
- Chrysler Town & Country.