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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 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.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

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).

Forced-Placed Insurance

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:
    • Plates.
    • Registration.
  • $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.

Consumer Support

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.

Resolving Disputes

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:

  • (410) 468-2340.
  • (800) 492-6116.

Written Complaints

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
  • Fax a property and casualty complaint form to (410) 468-2334 or (410) 468-2307.

You may also submit a written letter to the address above. Be sure to include:

  • Your:
    • Name.
    • Address.
    • 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:
    • Injuries.
    • 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:
    • Make.
    • Model.
    • Year.
  • Driving record.
  • Gender.
  • Age.
  • Marital status.
  • Credit history.
  • Deductibles.
    • 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:

  1. Dodge Caravan.
  2. Honda Accord.
  3. Toyota Camry.
  4. Honda Civic.
  5. Ford Pickup (Full Size).
  6. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.
  7. Nissan Altima.
  8. Toyota Corolla.
  9. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
  10. Chrysler Town & Country.

Source


For ballpark estimates on your car insurance rates, or to find out how, why or how much your car insurance will go up or down after a ticket or a change of address, we have several helpful articles and car insurance calculators.

CarInsurance.com’s average car insurance rates tool provides average auto insurance rates for nearly every ZIP code in the U.S. It allows motorists to explore comparative rates within their own city or across the nation.

The "How much car insurance do I need?" tool can suggest what level of coverage is best for you, based on your age, the state you live in, your car's model year, whether you own or finance your car, and whether you own or rent your home.

By their nature, averages and estimates don't apply specifically to you. For that, you can use our online quote comparison tool and get matched with multiple car insurance providers, who will give you a quote, or you can call one of our licensed insurance agents at 855-430-7753.

But you may simply be looking ahead to a new car, a marriage or a move across town and wonder about the consequences. We advise that you check car insurance rate quotes before making life changes, so you'll be aware of how your premium may change and can budget for it appropriately, or switch to a provider that offers a better price given your new situation.

Below are answers to some of the most common questions about the factors affecting your car insurance rate.

How much does my age affect my car insurance rates?

Auto insurers penalize inexperience rather than age. Of course, the vast majority of inexperienced drivers are teenagers. Rates for 16-year-olds can double or even triple their parents’ car insurance annual premiums.

The less experienced the driver, the higher the rates. Among drivers with clean records and no accidents, no other factor changes rates more.

Statistically, inexperienced drivers crash – a lot – and so they are the riskiest category of drivers to insure. Car insurance rates reflect this high risk.

The inexperience penalty drops slowly until about year 10. As an example, this is what the inexperience surcharge for basic bodily injury liability coverage looks like at one California car insurer during the first decade of driving:

ExperienceBodily injury base rateInexperience surchargePremium
0-1 year $189.56 2.172 $411.72
2 years $189.56 1.945 $368.69
3 years $189.56 1.789 $339.12
4 years $189.56 1.669 $316.38
5 years $189.56 1.324 $250.98
6 years $189.56 1.299 $246.24
7 years $189.56 1.1 $208.52
8 years $189.56 1.059 $200.74
9 years $189.56 1.059 $200.74
10 years $189.56 0.946 $179.32

If you keep a clean record after age 25, rates typically stay relatively stable until you become a senior driver, when crash rates go up and premiums begin to rise again.

Does my address affect what I pay for insurance?

If you live in a highly populated urban area, congestion, accidents and insurance claims are more prevalent. Living and driving in a metro area will make your rates higher than if you live in a rural area, where having an auto accident is less likely.

Car insurance companies look at factors such as the rate of stolen cars in your area, and the number of cases of vandalism, claims and fraudulent claims. All of this helps insurers discern the risk associated with insuring you and your car in that ZIP code, whether you ever have made a claim or not.

All other factors equal, your ZIP code can change your rate by hundreds of dollars.

Are some cars cheaper to insure than others? Why?

Auto insurers track which cars have the most wrecks and the worst injury records. Those factors impact the cost you pay for liability insurance -- which covers the damage you cause to others.

Insurers also know which cars are expensive to buy, expensive to repair or more easily stolen. Those factors drive up the cost of collision and comprehensive coverage, which repairs or replaces your own car.

The calculations about the risk of a certain car are made independently. For example, if you are an inexperienced driver in a car with a poor claims record, you are penalized twice. A more mature driver in the same car would pay a surcharge for the car, but not one for inexperience.

Insurers can also choose not to cover certain types or brands of cars. For example, some won’t insure a lifted pickup truck, a kit car or certain exotic cars.

How does my marital status affect my car insurance rate?

Married couples have been found to have fewer accidents and claims than single drivers do.

Rates can be from 5 percent to 15 percent lower for married couples just because of their marital status. But there are also other discounts married couples can look forward to when they combine their policies, such as a multicar discount, or a multipolicy discount if they have a renters or homeowners policy with the same insurer.

An insurer considers you single if you have never been married, or are widowed or divorced.

How much does my driving record impact my car insurance rate?

Your driving record is paramount to your car insurance company. Safe drivers get a discount from standard rates for keeping a clean driving record. On the flip side, individuals who have a moving violation (speeding or a DUI, for example) or an accident on their motor vehicle record are more of a risk and can face a surcharge on top of standard rates.

If you have enough violations or accidents, you can become uninsurable according to some car insurance companies’ underwriting rules. For example, some insurers reject anyone with four or more chargeable accidents in three years, or more than three DUIs in seven years, or more than 15 points on the driver’s motor vehicle record.

In general, a minor violation such as a speeding ticket can boost your rates 20 percent to 40 percent. You may not be surcharged for the actual ticket, but will lose your good-driver discount. If you have a major violation like a DUI, your rates can go up 100 percent or more. The more risk you appear to be to your auto insurer, the more you will pay.

How much does my commute matter?

You car’s annual mileage is a rating factor for many car insurance companies. The less you drive, the less risk you have of being in an accident. Also, how far you drive for your commute lets the insurer know what kind of risk you are during the congested, high-risk hours.

Your insurer can also use the length of your commute to determine if you head into a metro area from your rural or suburban home. If you live outside of Los Angeles, but your commute is 30 miles, your insurer can predict that although your local area is low-risk, your commute into the heart of a very populated metropolitan area pushes your risk factor much higher.

Why should my credit history count?

Insurance companies routinely check your credit rating as part of your application process, except in California, Massachusetts and Hawaii, where state law prohibits credit from being a pricing factor.

Credit scores help the insurance companies assess the risk level of a potential customer. Research has shown that those with lower credit scores (typically under 600) are more likely to file claims, file exaggerated claims, or even commit insurance fraud.

Those with low scores may face a surcharge. Rates for those with higher scores are typically unaffected.

Your credit score can also affect how an insurance company allows you to pay for your policy, since statistics show that people with lower credit scores are more likely to miss a payment. Customers with very poor credit scores may be required to pay the entire premium for a six-month policy up front. Customers with low credit scores sometimes won’t qualify for monthly billing, or they may need to pay a large percentage of the policy up front and the remainder monthly.

Are some types of coverage more expensive?

There are several types of car insurance. The more coverage you get, the more you will pay. If you get a bare-bones liability policy that covers only what the state requires, your car insurance costs are going to be less than if you bought coverage that would repair your own car, too.

Liability coverage tends to cost more because the amount the insurance company risks is higher. Coverage for collision and comprehensive insurance is limited by the replacement cost of the car itself. But medical bills and multiple-car accidents could push a liability claim into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If you don’t have enough liability coverage, you could be sued for the difference by anyone you injure.

Comprehensive and collision damage is affected by the deductible you choose. The higher the deductible, the less the insurance company will have to pay -- and the lower your rates.

Medical coverage, such as uninsured motorist bodily injury, medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP), will cause your rates to go up. Without some kind of medical coverage, if you don’t have health insurance elsewhere, you might not be able to pay for treatment if you are injured in an accident you caused.

Is there any difference between insurance companies?

Insurance companies must follow state laws, but within those laws they price coverage based on their own underwriting rules and guidelines. One insurance company may look at your driving record for five years, another only for three. The surcharge for a speeding ticket may raise your insurance by 10 percent with one carrier but only 5 percent with another.

You should shop around and get quotes from several carriers. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples -- the same coverages with each insurer -- and check the reliability and financial stability of the insurance carrier.

Finally, make an informed decision about who you want to be insured with for the best price and protection. Don’t let a small savings drive you away from an insurance company you know and trust.

Source


Georgia Car Insurance

Georgia is a rare state that requires you to have car insurance, but does not require that you show your insurance card as your proof of insurance.

Learn more about Georgia's auto insurance requirements, options for additional coverage, programs, rates, and discounts.

Policy Requirements

In Georgia, you are required to have liability insurance to help pay for injuries or damages you might cause to someone else as a result of a car accident. You'll need to have proof of this insurance in order to register your car in GA.

Your Georgia car insurance policy must have the following minimum coverage amounts:

  • Bodily injury liability:
    • $25,000 per person.
    • $50,000 for multiple people in an accident.
  • Property damage liability:
    • $25,000 for one incident.

Optional Car Insurance

Most companies that offer insurance in Georgia also offer additional coverage. When comparing car insurance quotes, ask about the following optional types of insurance:

  • Collision – This coverage will pay for damages to your car due to traffic accidents.
  • Comprehensive – This coverage will pay for non collision-related damages to your vehicle, such as damages incurred due to vandalism.
  • Medical and funeral services.
  • Uninsured drivers.
  • Rental car.

NOTE: While Georgia law does not require you to purchase collision and comprehensive insurance, your finance company or bank will require you to have these coverage types if you are paying a loan or lease on your car.

Georgia Proof of Insurance

In Georgia, a car insurance ID card cannot be accepted as your proof of insurance. Instead, all government agencies, including law enforcement officers performing a traffic stop, can check the Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System (GEICS) to electronically verify that you have valid car insurance.

It is your car insurance carrier's responsibility to report your car insurance status to the GEICS database.

Make sure that you check your card to make sure all your information is correct. If the information is not correct on your card, it is probably incorrect with the GEICS. This can lead to problems verifying your insurance.

If you notice wrong information, contact your car insurance carrier to make sure any misinformation is fixed.

Also remember that your car insurance card still needs to be carried in case of an accident so you can exchange information with the other driver(s).

Driving Without Car Insurance

Through GEICS and the Georgia Registration and Title Information System (GRATIS), the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) will be informed of any change in your car insurance status.

If your car insurance is canceled and you do not replace it, the DDS will send you a notice to comply with Georgia's car insurance laws, and the possible penalties you will face if you don't. Such penalties include fines and driver's license suspensions.

You will not be able to register your car or renew your car's registration in Georgia if GEICS shows that you do not currently hold an auto insurance policy.

Driver's License Suspensions

If your GA driver's license is suspended because you didn't have car insurance, you can get your license reinstated after your first offense by:

  • Waiting until your driver's license has been suspended for a minimum of 60 days.
  • Purchasing at least the minimum auto insurance coverage required in GA.
  • Paying a reinstatement fee of:
    • $200 by mail to:
      Department of Driver Services (DDS)
      Validation Unit
      P.O. Box 80447
      Conyers, GA 30013
    • $210 in person at your local DDS office.

To have your driver's license reinstated after your second offense of not holding the required insurance, you must:

  • Wait for your driver's license to be suspended for at least 90 days.
  • Purchase car insurance and have your car insurance carrier file a Georgia Safety Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22A).
  • Pay a reinstatement fee of:
    • $300 by mail (use the address above).
    • $310 in person at your local DDS office.

As of September 2013, you cannot pay your driver's license reinstatement fees online if your driver's license was suspended because you didn't have car insurance.

Car Insurance Rates in Georgia

Car insurance rates vary by individual.

Georgia car insurance companies will factor in the following to determine your car insurance rates:

  • Your driving record.
  • Your car insurance claim history.
  • The make and model of your car.
  • Your age.
  • Your gender.
  • Your marital status.
  • Your credit history.

The simplest way to keep your car insurance rates low is by driving safely and obeying all traffic laws.

Car Insurance Discounts

While Georgia does not have any state-mandated car insurance discounts, most insurance companies offer the following discount types:

  • Good driver discount.
  • Good student discount.
  • Multiple-car discount.

You may also qualify for a discount on your car insurance premium if you complete a DDS-approved defensive driver course. Contact your insurance carrier to find out if they offer this discount and to get more details on eligibility.

Car Insurance Fraud in Georgia

Insurance fraud is very costly to insurance companies, and those costs trickle down to you, raising your policy rates.

Car insurance fraud could involve:

  • Faking an injury after getting into an accident.
  • Staging car accidents.
  • Giving false personal information to your insurance carrier.
  • Overcharging for treatment, if you're a medical professional.

If you know of or suspect insurance fraud, you can report it by calling the Consumer Services Division of Georgia's Office of Commissioner of Insurance at:

  • (404) 656-2070. OR
  • (800) 656-2298 (toll-free).

By reporting suspected fraud, you can actually save money by helping insurance companies maintain low-cost premiums.

Most Stolen Cars in Georgia

You are likely to pay higher car insurance rates if you own a car that is known to be a target for theft.

The following is a list of the most stolen cars in Georgia for 2013, according to www.nicb.org:

  1. Honda Accord.
  2. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
  3. Ford Pickup (Fill Size).
  4. Dodge Caravan.
  5. Honda Civic.
  6. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.
  7. Chevrolet Impala.
  8. Dodge Pickup (Full Size).
  9. Toyota Camry.
  10. Ford Explorer.

Source

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