The Risks of Driving Without Insurance in Maryland

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Driving without car insurance in the Old Line state is illegal and punishable by law. Those who fail to maintain adequate legal coverage may face legal penalties such as fines, license and registration suspension, or even jail time. 

In Maryland, any driver without sufficient coverage for even a day will be penalized. The minimum amount of coverage all drivers in the state must carry is $30,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $60,000 of bodily injury liability per accident, and $15,000 of property damage liability per accident (30/60/15 liability coverage), and the same 30/60/15 minimum limit of uninsured motorist coverage (UM).

Let’s take a look at the risks of driving without insurance in the Old Line State, what the future holds for those who break this law, and how to build and maintain your Maryland auto insurance policy to avoid legal penalties. 

The Risks of Driving Without Insurance in Maryland

In Maryland, driving without insurance is illegal and punishable by law. Those who fail to maintain adequate coverage under state law risk facing hefty fines, license and registration suspension, and even jail time. The minimum coverage all Marylanders must carry at all times is 30/60/15 liability coverage and UM coverage. Drivers who lease or finance their vehicle may be required to have collision and comprehensive coverages as part of their legally binding contract.

Not only does carrying the legal minimum required coverage in the state help guarantee your safety and the safety of your passengers on the road, but it also protects other drivers. Since Maryland is a tort state, not a no-fault state, if you cause an accident, the victim or victims in that accident use your liability coverage to cover their medical bills or vehicle repairs up to your policy limit after you pay your deductible. Drivers who fail to maintain adequate liability coverage may be liable for any expenses all parties incur in an at-fault accident.

The costs associated with an at-fault accident while driving uninsured can add up quickly, so carrying the minimum legal coverage saves you from unnecessary expenses. Driving uninsured can leave you liable for fines, license or registration reinstatement fees, administrative fees for insurance lapses, and expenses associated with an accident, like medical bills, car repairs, and legal fees if the victim sues. 

What’s the Maryland Penalty for Driving Without Insurance?

The penalty for driving without insurance in Maryland ranges from fines, license and registration suspension, or jail time, depending on the severity and frequency of the offense. Drivers can face up to a $2,000 fine, a maximum of $2,500 in administrative fees for a lapsed policy, and jail time just for a first offense. Those with subsequent offenses are penalized more severely. 

While driving without insurance in the Old Line State can put a driver at risk of legal consequences, there are added insurance-related consequences to this offense. Those who let a car insurance policy lapse may be deemed high-risk drivers and struggle to find an insurer in the future.

While some of the top insurers in the state do offer policies for high-risk drivers, they often come at an added expense and can take some serious research to find. Being deemed a high-risk driver makes it challenging to find a cheap policy in the state, let alone a policy in general. 

What Is the Fine for Driving Without Insurance in Maryland?

The fine for driving without insurance in Maryland starts at $1,000 for a first offense and increases with subsequent offenses. However, fines aren’t the only costs associated with driving uninsured in the Old Line State.

Those who fail to maintain the minimum legal coverage face fines and the fees associated with reinstating one’s license and registration, jail time, or legal defense. Repeat offenders often pay higher fines and reinstatement fees for their license and registration.

It’s important to remember that license and registration suspension can significantly impact your job status and how you earn or save money. If you rely on your car for transportation to work and your license and registration are suspended, you may face work loss, among the other penalties of driving uninsured.

Along with the fines, penalties, and potential work loss, if you cause an accident while driving uninsured, you’re liable for every expense you and the victim incur in the accident. This may include vehicle repairs, medical bills, and fees for legal defense if the victim sues you for pain, suffering, or damages.

Plus, those with a record of driving uninsured or letting policies lapse may have difficulty finding an insurer that will take them as a policyholder. Many insurers refuse to insure drivers with a record of driving uninsured as they carry a higher risk of filing a claim. High-risk drivers may have difficulty finding an insurer to bind a policy with and will often pay higher-than-average premiums for several years after one offense of driving uninsured. 

Ultimately, it’s much more cost-effective to pay the premiums on a car insurance policy than drive uninsured and run the risk of expensive penalties and significantly higher premiums for years to come. A full coverage policy in Maryland costs, on average, about $1,850 annually. The penalties for one offense of driving uninsured can equal the cost of a full coverage policy for a whole year, so it’s always in your best interest to maintain adequate coverage. It’s much easier to budget for an insurance premium than run the risk of financial ruin for driving without insurance.

What Happens in Maryland if Driving Without Insurance?

The penalties for driving uninsured can vary depending on the offense’s severity and frequency. For example, the penalty for driving without insurance on a rental car in Maryland may differ from the penalty for driving one’s car with a lapsed policy for several months. 

Driving without insurance for any period is considered a misdemeanor in the state and is punishable by jail time, even for a first offender. Typically, first offenders can see a fine of up to $1,000, administrative fees for each day without an active and adequate policy, points on their license, and jail time of up to one year. 

Repeat offenders may see a fine of up to $2,000, administrative fees for each day without an active policy, points on their license, and up to two years of jail time.

Driving without insurance in the Old Line State is illegal and leaves a nasty stain on one’s driving and insurance records. Once insurers consider drivers high-risk, it can take years to prove one’s ability to make good choices behind the wheel, subsequently decreasing one’s premiums. 

If you’re interested in binding a policy or researching the rates you’re eligible for, the best way to start your search is by getting and comparing quotes online. Getting and comparing quotes from multiple insurers allows you to tailor your policy to suit your needs and budget. 

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place for quotes. Here at Clovered, we have a free quoting tool you can use to access your unique quotes in minutes. If you prefer to speak with an agent about your quote, you can contact one of our licensed agents at 833-255-4117 or agent@clovered.com

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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