What Is Maryland Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
- What Is Maryland Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
To hit the Old Line State’s roads safely, all drivers must ensure they have adequate coverage on their Maryland auto insurance policies. Legally, this means all drivers must have a minimum limit of liability coverage and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM).
Maryland has a statistically high number of uninsured motorists compared to the national average. About 15% of drivers in Maryland lack sufficient insurance, whereas the national average is below 10%. While UM is required by law, having this coverage on your policy is also a good idea because the odds of getting into an accident with an inadequately insured driver are higher than average.
Let’s investigate why Maryland has a high number of uninsured drivers and what you can do to protect yourself against them.
What Is Maryland Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Maryland UM insurance is a coverage type that the policyholder can invoke to help them cover their medical or vehicular repair expenses if the at-fault party is uninsured. UM coverage is a legally required coverage in Maryland that protects policyholders from getting into a financially sticky situation if they’re in an accident with a driver lacking sufficient auto insurance coverage.
Typically, in a tort state like Maryland, drivers injured in an accident or whose property suffers damages will file a claim with the at-fault party to receive financial compensation from their car insurance. However, if the at-fault party is uninsured and you don’t have at-fault coverage, you will have to dip into your own wallet to cover the expenses you incur due to the accident.
To abide by Maryland’s laws, all drivers must have some degree of UM coverage. Here at Clovered, we like to err on the side of caution. We recommend carrying enough coverage so you’re comfortable paying your premiums but also comfortable with what you’ve stashed away in the bank should you need to dip into your savings for expenses incurred from an accident with an inadequately insured driver.
What Does Uninsured Motorist in Maryland Cover?
Uninsured motorist coverage in Maryland helps to cover the medical expenses and cost of vehicular repairs for the policyholder if they’re in an accident caused by a driver lacking sufficient auto insurance. In Maryland, UM coverage will kick in to help the policyholder pay for expenses related to medical injuries and their damaged property.
The portion of UM coverage that helps to cover medical expenses is sometimes referred to as uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage or UMBI (UIMBI for underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage). UMBI/UIMBI will typically cover expenses like:
- Doctor and hospital visits
- Ambulance rides
- Loss of wages
- Funeral expenses
UMBI/UIMBI may also cover these expenses for your passengers if they don’t have their own car insurance policy.
Uniquely, UM/UIM in Maryland may also cover the costs to repair or replace your vehicle if a driver lacking legally adequate insurance damages it. This type of coverage is uninsured motorist property damage coverage or UMPD (UIMPD for underinsured motorist property damage coverage). UMPD/UIMPD may help you cover the cost of repairs or the replacement of your vehicle if it’s damaged in an accident caused by a driver lacking legally sufficient coverage.
Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Required in Maryland?
In Maryland, uninsured motorist coverage is legally required. All drivers must have 30/60/15 UM/UIM on their policies. Failure to follow this law can result in hefty fines, license suspension, or even jail time. Not only is it required to have UM on your auto insurance policy, but it’s generally a good idea for drivers everywhere, not just in Maryland, to have UM coverage.
Drivers in Maryland must have UM/UIM coverage because there’s a statistically high number of uninsured drivers on Maryland’s roads. It’s particularly advantageous for drivers in big cities like Baltimore or Annapolis to have UM coverage because the chances of getting into an accident with an uninsured driver increase when drivers are densely packed on the roads.
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What Is the Maryland Uninsured Motorist Law?
In Maryland, drivers must have $30,000 of bodily injury liability per person per accident, $60,000 of bodily injury liability per accident, $15,000 of property damage liability per accident (30/60/15 liability coverage, and at least the same amount of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM).
Since Maryland is a tort state, meaning all accidents are treated as at-fault accidents and drivers must rely on each other for liability coverage, drivers who lack sufficient auto insurance leave their insured counterparts in a tough spot. This is why Maryland legally requires drivers to carry liability and UM/UIM coverage.
Say two appropriately insured drivers get into an accident. The claims process, in this case, is relatively simple. One driver is deemed at fault, and the victim makes a claim with the at-fault driver’s liability coverage to help them cover their medical expenses or the cost of repairs to their vehicle.
However, say, an appropriately insured driver gets into an accident caused by a driver lacking sufficient insurance. In this scenario, the at-fault driver doesn’t have liability coverage with which the insured driver can make a claim. This is where UM/UIM comes in. In a situation like this, the accident victim would make a claim with their UM/UIM to receive a payout from their own policy to help them cover their medical expenses or repairs to their vehicle.
Typically, the uninsured driver will also have to pay with legal consequences, as driving without insurance is punishable by fines, license suspension, or jail time.
When Should I File an Uninsured Motorist Claim in Maryland?
In Maryland, the uninsured motorist statute of limitations is three years, but filing a claim as soon as possible is always a good idea. Immediately following your accident with an uninsured driver, once you’re able to reach out to your insurer, you should do so. Filing a claim can take time, so getting a head start is essential.
How Much Is Maryland Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in Maryland isn’t costly, as it will only add a few extra dollars to your premiums per month or anywhere between $50 to $100 to your annual premiums. The cost of your UM/UIM coverage will depend on your coverage limits and deductible. If you opt for more coverage than the legal minimum, your premium will rise, although not significantly.
As is the case for deductibles on any insurance coverage, your premiums will decrease if you opt for a high deductible. If you opt for a low deductible, your premiums will increase.
The amount you pay for UM/UIM on your policy will also depend on your insurer, as prices and discounts vary. If you think you’re paying too much for your UM/UIM, or you’ve decided it’s about time you raise your coverage limits, the easiest way to find the best insurer for you is to shop around online for quotes. Getting and comparing quotes online can help determine what insurers offer the best coverage and prices for your needs.
Lucky for you, we have a free quoting tool right here at Clovered. If you prefer to speak to an agent about your quote, you can call 833-255-4117 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and one of our agents will be happy to assist you.
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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.