Maryland Car Insurance Requirements
If you own a car in Maryland, and you expect to register and drive it on the public roads, you must purchase a car insurance policy providing at least minimum liability coverage. Liability insurance is required by the state in order to make sure the victims of accidents don’t have to pay their own medical bills or replace their damaged property if someone else is at fault.
Maryland is a fault-based state as well. This means victims of accidents can sue other drivers and their insurance companies in an attempt to get some relief from the bills associated with serious injury.
A cheap auto insurance policy in Maryland would offer at least the following:
- bodily injury/death (one person) – $30,000 per accident
- bodily injury/death (more than one person) – $60,000 per accident
- property damage – $15,000 per accident
If drivers decide to do so, they can also purchase additional coverage including medical payments, comprehensive, collision, and so on. They can even purchase an umbrella policy to cover anything else their primary insurance has left out.
Proof of Insurance in Maryland
The section of Maryland’s law regarding proof of insurance is somewhat unique. First of all, insurance companies must furnish drivers with an insurance ID card and a copy of their policies. The ID card is carried in the vehicle, presented to a police officer upon request, and presented to the MVA at time of registration and renewal.
However, if the state requires you to provide proof due to an insurance lapse or another violation, neither the ID card nor the policy are considered acceptable. The only option is an FR-19 certificate. This certificate is one that is produced by your insurance company, signed by you, and acts as an affidavit indicating you have proper auto insurance.
Driving without Insurance
Maryland law takes driving without insurance very seriously. If you’re caught, or you allow your policy to lapse without taking appropriate action, penalties start with a minimum fine of $150. Registrations are typically suspended until the matter is cleared up, with a $25 reinstatement fee being applied.
Furthermore, driver may not register a new vehicle, renew a current registration, or renew a driver’s license until all insurance issues are cleared up. A driver who presents fraudulent proof of insurance is subject to an additional $1000 fine and a 12-month jail sentence.
The penalties for violating Maryland insurance laws are such that it’s really not worth taking the risk. You can buy a cheap car insurance policy including providing but liability insurance, and be on your way.