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Last updated: June 6, 2023

Car Insurance Laws in Maryland

What you need to know before you start driving in the Old Line State

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With a beautiful coastline, proximity to Washington, D.C., and many rural, suburban and urban areas, Maryland has a lot to offer. When it comes to car insurance, however, prices are higher than average, despite the relatively minimal requirements. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about insuring your car in Maryland and some relevant driving laws beyond insurance. Let’s get started.

Maryland Car Insurance Laws

When it comes to auto insurance, Maryland only requires liability coverage, which is comprised of bodily injury and property damage coverage.

Auto Insurance Requirements in Maryland

Every vehicle in Maryland requires the following types of liability coverage and limits.

  • Bodily injury: $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident
  • Property damage: $15,000 per accident1

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

Fourteen percent of drivers in Maryland lack insurance as of the most recent data available.2 If caught and convicted, they could face the following penalties.

Uninsured motorists Penalties
Uninsured motorist penalty fees First 30 days of lapse: $150

Each day after: $7

Restoration fee maximum $25
Can’t register any future vehicles or renew a suspended license Yes, until insurance is proved
Lose license plates and registration Yes
Maximum fine for providing false evidence of insurance $1,000
Maximum length of imprisonment for providing false evidence of insurance 1 year

Find information on uninsured motorist coverage, which pays for your medical bills and property damages in a collision with an uninsured driver, below.

At-Fault System

Maryland is an at-fault state. If a driver causes an accident, they are responsible for all of the injuries, deaths and property damages of everyone involved. However, due to the state’s contributory negligence laws, if a victim has any percentage of fault in an accident, they cannot receive compensation in a civil suit — even if it’s only 1 percent fault.

More Car Insurance Laws

In Maryland, it’s legal for insurance companies to determine premiums based on gender, credit score and marital status. The only exception is companies can’t increase premiums solely due to someone’s spouse dying.3 Believe it or not, this is not the case in many states, where insurers raise premiums for widows and widowers.

When it comes to midterm cancellations, insurance companies in Maryland must give you a 45-day head’s up prior to the expiration date — or only 10 days’ notice if the cancellation is due to non-payment of premiums. For nonrenewals at the end of policies, companies must give you a 45-day notice before the expiration date.4

Don’t wait more than three years to file property damage or personal injury claims in Maryland, the state’s statute of limitations.

Other Coverages You Need

Liability coverage isn’t enough, as it won’t apply to any of your losses. For that, you’ll need full coverage insurance, which is liability plus the following coverages.

Collision Insurance Coverage

Whether you were at fault in an accident, collision insurance can pay to repair or replace your car.

Comprehensive Coverage

Collisions aren’t the only danger to worry about. There’s also auto theft, vandalism and weather events like hurricanes. For those, comprehensive coverage will pay for your car’s repairs or a replacement if it’s totaled.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage/Bodily Injury Coverage

What if you get into an accident with a driver who has no insurance or whose limits aren’t high enough to cover your losses? That’s where uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage could kick in. Essentially, it’s liability insurance for your losses and its limits should match your liability limits. For example, if you have $150,000 for bodily injury per person, get $150,000 for uninsured bodily injury per person, as well.

Medical Payments Coverage

Lastly, medical payments coverage, also known as MedPay, pays for your and your passengers’ medical costs if you’re injured in a car accident, regardless of fault. Note that MedPay differs from the personal injury protection (PIP) offered in no-fault states as PIP includes reimbursements for lost wages as well as child care while MedPay doesn’t.

You may also want to consider other add-ons like the ones below.

Roadside Assistance

Stuck on the side of the road? 24/7 roadside assistance can provide towing, lockout help, jumpstarts, batteries, fuel delivery and other essential services.

Rental Car Coverage

If your car is being repaired under a covered claim, rental car coverage will contribute to the cost of a rental car. Some policies even contribute to rideshare or public transportation costs.

Gap Insurance

If you have a loan or a lease, most likely, you’ll be required to get gap insurance, which pays for the remainder of your balance if your car is totaled. Some auto insurance providers offer gap insurance, but not all. In some cases, you have to buy it from the dealership, manufacturer or a third-party financial institution.

Car Insurance Costs in the State of Maryland

As of 2020, the last time the National Association of Insurance Commissioners released national data, car insurance in Maryland cost $1,201 annually. While that may not sound like a huge number, it’s 15 percent higher than the national average for the same year.5


Many factors, from your ZIP code to the kind of car you drive, affect car insurance rates.

Texting and Driving Laws and Penalties

No drivers in Maryland can use their handheld electronic devices or text while driving and the law is under primary enforcement, meaning the police can stop you for that violation alone. For teen drivers, no cell phone usage is allowed at all, even if it’s hands-free.5


If 18 or older, you’re allowed to use your hands to accept or end a phone call or turn your phone on or off while driving.

If you are caught using a handheld device, you could face the following fines:

  • First offense: $83
  • Second offense: $140
  • Third offense: $160

If you’re caught writing, sending or receiving a text message or any electronic message while driving, you could face a $70 fine and one point on your driving record. If that device usage contributed to a car crash, the penalties increase to a $110 fine and three points on your record. And if any handheld cell phone usage, including texting, causes serious injury or death, you could face up to three years in prison or a fine of up to $5,000.


To get the best auto insurance in Maryland, the safest bet is to keep a clean driving record and a good credit score. Any incidents on your driving record designate you as a high-risk driver, which means companies won’t want to insure you and the ones that do will charge you exorbitant prices. Learn more about insuring your car in Maryland in our frequently asked questions (FAQs) section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does insurance follow the car or the driver in Maryland?

In Maryland, insurance follows the car, not the driver. Anyone who drives the car under “permissible usage” is covered if they have a claim.

Do insurance rates go up after a no-fault accident in Maryland?

Insurance rates may or may not go up after a no-fault accident in Maryland. If there were no first-party claims, meaning claims with your provider, they won’t go up. However, if the other person’s insurance was nonexistent or insufficient and you had to file a first-party claim, your rates could go up unless you were covered under an accident forgiveness policy.

How long does an accident stay on your insurance record in Maryland?

Points on your driving record will remain for three years, typically, in the state of Maryland.

What happens if you leave the scene of an accident in Maryland?

If you leave the scene of an accident in Maryland and are convicted of a hit-and-run, you will face the following penalties.

Consequences of hit-and-run Was the driver aware of, or reasonably should have known, the consequences? Maximum imprisonment in years Maximum fine
Bodily injury No 1 $3,000
Death No 5 $5,000
Bodily injury Yes 5 $5,000
Death Yes 10 $10,000

In any case, you could face a fine, imprisonment or both, according to the Maryland Statutes article §20–102.


  1. Insurance Requirements for Maryland Vehicles. Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration. (2023).

  2. One in Eight Drivers Uninsured: $13 Billion Spent in 2016 to Protect Against Uninsured and Underinsured Drivers. Insurance Research Council. (2021, Mar 22).

  3. A Consumer Guide to Auto Insurance. Maryland Insurance Administration.

  4. 2021 Maryland Statutes Insurance Title 27 – Unfair Trade Practices and Other Prohibited Practices Subtitle 6 – Cancellations, Nonrenewals, Premium Increases, and Reductions in Coverage Section 27-614 – Private Passenger Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Policies — Premium Increase. JUSTIA US Law. (2021).

  5. 2019/2020 Auto Insurance Database Report. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2023, Jan).

  6. State Cellphone Use While Driving Laws. National Conference of State Legislatures. (2023).