Auto Insurance Basics

Auto Insurance Requirements in Maryland

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The Maryland Financial Responsibility Law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage at limits of 30/60/15. Your insurer is obligated to include full personal injury protection of $2,500 unless you limit it in writing. Despite having mandatory personal injury protection, Maryland is not a no-fault state. 

To verify every driver’s insurance status, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) will require you to submit a FR-19 form – which is the Maryland Insurance Certificate – when you register your vehicle. After your insurer fill out the form, sign it, and then ask them to submit it to the MVA for you.

Maryland Required Car Insurance CoverageMD Required Min. Limits
Bodily Injury (BI) $30,000 per person / $60,000 per accident
Property Damage (PD) $15,000 per accident
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist BI (UM/UIMBI) $30,000 per person / $60,000 per accident
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist PD (UM/UIMPD) $15,000 per accident, $250 deductible

Maryland Car Insurance Minimum Requirements

A valid Maryland auto insurance policy at its minimum includes several types of coverages: liability and uninsured motorist coverage, as well as personal injury protection. These coverages not only pay those who you unfortunately harm in an accident, but also for your own expenses if you were injured. Under the Insurance Law, every licensed auto insurance provider in Maryland will have these coverages in the following limits:

Bodily Injury (BI): for each accident you cause, up to $30,000 per person injured, to a total of $60,000 when there are two or more persons injured. BI pays the other injured party (excluding your passengers, unless they sue you) for all the medical expenses incurred by the accident up to the stated limits. If the other party decides to take the matter to court (this may happen if they are unsatisfied with the amount of claim your insurer pays out, or they are seeking additional non-monetary compensation for the pain and suffering), your legal fees also come out of the total coverage. 

Property Damage (PD): for an accident you cause, up to $15,000 of property damage costs will be covered by your minimum PD. This usually includes damage to the other driver’s car, any building or other property you crash into, or the other party’s personal belongings that were damaged in the accident. 

Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM): in the event you are hit by an uninsured driver (12.2% of MD motorists were found to be driving without insurance in 2012), this coverage pays for your medical and property damage expenses like the other driver’s insurer would have if he had any. When your UM/UIM limits are higher than the at-fault driver’s BI/PD coverages AND the settlement they offer does not completely cover your costs, you can make claims under UM/UIM up to the difference between the two limits. In order to make sure that your costs are completely covered, you must send the settlement offer to your insurer and ask for its consent. Your insurer can either have you reject the settlement (in which case they'll likely pay you a higher amount and go to court to recover it), or accept it and make up the difference if any.

In Maryland, damage to your body and/or property by uninsured drivers is covered under two separate coverages: Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury and Uninsured / Underinsured Property Damage. Both are required, in at least the following limits:

  • Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UM/UIMBI): up to $30k per person / up to $60k per accident
  • Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Property Damage (UM/UIMPD): $15,000; a $250 deductible for every accident you make a claim for

Personal Injury Protection Coverage in Maryland

Often referred to as no-fault insurance, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Maryland covers $2,500 of your own medical expenses when you are injured in a crash, regardless of fault, at the state minimum. Maryland is not a no-fault state, however, because it does not limit your right to sue the negligent driver in exchange for this coverage (as no-fault states do). It requires this coverage, but allows you to limit it in writing (see table below). However, once you have chosen limited PIP on one policy, it means you have excluded yourself from PIP coverage under any other vehicle’s policy. As an example, when you chose Limited PIP for your own policy, being injured in your parent’s car will not give you access to their PIP (even when it is the full option). The only exception is when you have a full PIP on a different policy on which you are also listed as the policyholder. For another example, when you own a Toyota and a Honda under two separate policies, with the first Limited PIP and the latter Full PIP, you are still eligible to the PIP benefits under your Honda PIP coverage.

Some MD motorists may find it redundant to health insurance and choose to limit it to lower their premiums. However, you should know that Maryland’s PIP also reimburses 85% of your work lost income as well as reasonable and necessary ordinary house chores, in the event you are unable to do them because of car accident injuries, for as long as 3 years after the accident. Your insurer can set a deadline – at least 12 months – from the date of the accident, before which you must file all of your PIP claims in order to be properly reimbursed.

Below is a table comparison between the Full (or Included) PIP and Limited (or Excluded) PIP coverage and costs:

PIP OptionsCostCoverageCovered Persons
Full Higher

Medical Expenses, 85% Income Loss, Reasonable-Household Service, Funeral Expenses

Policyholder,
Spouse,
All household members living in the same residence who have not limited their PIP in a separate policy

Limited Lower

Medical Expenses, 85% Income Loss, Reasonable-Household Service, Funeral Expenses

Household members below 16,
Members of household who have not limited their PIP in a separate policy and injured while as a passenger on someone else's car or as a pedestrian

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