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Maryland Auto Insurance Laws and Regulations
This article spotlights key car insurance laws and regulations in Maryland, including minimum coverage requirements under state law.
Maryland is a ‘Fault’ Car Insurance State
Maryland follows a “fault” system in determining who pays for damages after an accident. So, the driver who is legally to blame for the accident is on the financial hook for damages or injuries caused by the crash. Usually, the at-fault driver’s car insurance company pays these amounts under the terms of the driver’s policy.
Usually, a person who is injured or who suffers property damage in an auto accident may seek compensation in one of three ways:
- file a claim under his or her own car insurance policy
- file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, or
- file a claim through the other driver’s car insurance company (known as a third party car insurance claim ).
Note: In no-fault car insurance states, an injured person must first exhaust his own policy’s limits or reach a statutory threshold of damages before pursuing a claim against the other driver, without regard to who caused the accident.
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Maryland
Maryland law requires that the owner of a motor vehicle maintain a certain amount of liability insurance in order to operate it in the state. This insurance protects both the driver and other people in the event of an accident, by paying the (sometimes otherwise unaffordable) bills that come with medical treatment or property damage. Maryland has set the minimum coverage amounts at:
- $30,000 for the injury or death of a single person (yourself, passenger, another driver, pedestrian, etc.)
- $60,000 total for the injury or death of multiple people in a single accident
- $15,000 for property damage
Remember that these are only the minimum amounts required by law. It may be a good idea to carry additional coverage. If you are found liable for an accident and the damages exceed the limits of your car insurance policy, then you could be held personally responsible for the amount in excess of the policy.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Maryland requires that every car insurance policy that is sold in the state include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). UIM coverage protects you from a situation where another driver is at-fault and either has no insurance or has insurance that is insufficient to cover the damages you suffered in the accident. For example, if the other driver has the state minimum of $30,000 and your medical and rehabilitative costs are $35,000, then your own insurer would pay the remaining $5,000 if you have sufficient UIM coverage.
Getting More Information
For more information on Maryland’s motor vehicle insurance requirements straight from the government, you can review the car insurance requirements for Maryland vehicles published by the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration.