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It takes several types of auto insurance coverages to drive in Maine, and each has their own minimum coverage limits in order to meet the state's requirements: liability insurance (50/100/25), medical payments ($2,000), as well as uninsured motorist coverage (50/100). Perhaps attributed to its successful law enforcement, the Pine Tree state has the second lowest percentage of claims due to uninsured motorists in the entire US.
In order to register or renewal your vehicle in Maine, you need to show proof of insurance on top of other required documents. Bring a copy of your current insurance ID card and policy, or an insurance binder if your policy is not yet active, and you are good to go.
|Maine Required Car Insurance Coverage||ME Required Min. Limits|
|Bodily Injury (BI)||$50,000 per person / $100,000 per accident|
|Property Damage (PD)||$25,000 per accident|
|Medical Payments (MedPay)||$2,000 per person|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Bodily Injury (UM/UIMBI)||$50,000 per person / $100,000 per accident|
Maine Car Insurance Minimum Requirements
The Maine Financial Responsibility Law requires every insurance policy to include bodily injury, property damage, medical payments, and uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage. At the very minimum, these coverages need to cover you for the amounts (limits) as listed below in order to drive legally. However, you should know that higher limits are always available for purchase, and the available limits variable by insurer.
Bodily Injury (BI): Maine has one of the highest BI coverage limits required in the US: $50,000 per injured person, up to a total of $100,000 per accident. In case you are found at-fault for an accident and determined liable for the damage you cause, your insurer pays the injured party – whoever is hurt in the accident and not riding in your car when it happened – for their medical bills, up to the stated limits of your coverage. Note that there are two limits governing the maximum amount of money your insurer will pay on your behalf.
Property Damage (PD): the minimum policy binds your insurer to provide $25,000 worth of coverage for any property damage you cause someone in an accident. Whether the damage is to the other driver’s car or someone else’s private property, as long as the loss is covered (as prescribed under your policy terms) and within the limit, your insurer pays on your behalf.
Medical Payments (MedPay): MedPay pays for you, your family, and your passengers, which is why insurance agents may refer to it as first-party coverage. In a minimum policy, you have $2,000 per person, for any injuries someone in your car suffers in an accident, regardless of fault. An example of when your MedPay can help you is when you rear end a parked car, and you hit your head as a result. Any cuts, scrapes, or more serious medical care would be paid for by the MedPay portion.
Uninsured / Underinsured Bodily Injury (UM/UIMBI): as low as Maine’s uninsured motorist rate is (4.7% in 2012), there is still a chance that you may be hit by a driver who does not have the necessary coverage to pay for his or her negligence. To protect you, Maine law requires UM/UIMBI coverage so your medical bills are covered in the absence of the at-fault driver’s insurance. In case the other driver is underinsured (holding an insurance policy that has BI in limits lower than your UM/UIMBI), your coverage will also kick in to cover you up to the difference between the two limits.
Your UM/UIM limits will always be the same as your BI in the same policy. However, you can submit a rejection in writing and opt to keep the coverage at the minimum 50/100 even when you purchase higher BI. Note that under no circumstance can your UM/UIMBI limits exceed your BI limits in the same policy.
Alternative Proof of Financial Responsibility
Apart from a policy that meets the required minimum coverage, there is one other way you can satisfy the laws and successfully register your car in Maine. The Secretary of State will grant your registration if you file an indemnity (security) bond that requires a licensed surety company to pay on your behalf whenever you cannot satisfy a motor vehicle accident judgment against you. The bond should be good for payment no lesser than a minimum policy, although the Secretary may ask for higher amount. The main difference between a surety bond and a policy is that unlike an insurer, surety companies will ask you for the money they have paid on your behalf back.