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Understanding Your Auto Insurance in Maryland

Understanding Your Auto Insurance in MarylandIn most states, including Maryland, automobile insurance is mandatory. There are many different layers of automobile insurance and they can often be difficult to navigate. We have put together a list of the most common options below to help our clients choose what is best for them.

Liability Insurance – Bodily Injury and Property Damage

Bodily injury and property damage liability insurance are mandatory in the state of Maryland. This insurance coverage pays for damage to property or bodily injury to another person when you are at fault for a motor vehicle collision. Maryland has established mandatory minimum policy limits as follows: (1) bodily injury – $30,000 per person/$60,000 per incident and (2) property damage – $15,000 per incident. You can choose to purchase higher policy limits for a higher premium, which will help to protect you from personal liability if you cause a collision.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage is also mandatory in the state of Maryland. This insurance will pay for your injuries and property damage, as well as injuries to your passengers, if you are involved in a motor vehicle collision and (1) the at-fault driver is uninsured or (2) the at-fault driver flees the scene of the collision and cannot be identified. The mandatory minimum policy limits are the same as liability insurance – (1) bodily injury – $30,000 per person/$60,000 per incident and (2) property damage – $15,000 per incident. You can also choose to purchase higher policy limits for a higher premium, but the limits must not exceed your limits for liability insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage also includes underinsured motorist coverage, which kicks in when the at-fault driver’s policy limits are less than your uninsured motorist policy limits and do not satisfy your claim. You can recover above the at-fault driver’s policy limits up to your uninsured motorist policy limit.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection (PIP) is insurance coverage that will cover medical expenses and lost wages which result from a motor vehicle collision, regardless of who caused the collision. If you choose to purchase PIP, the standard amount is $2,500 worth of coverage, although you may choose a higher limit. You can decide to waive PIP for yourself and resident relatives (family members who live in your household) over the age of 16, which will result in a lower premium. The PIP waiver will not apply to family members under the age of 16 or passengers who are not resident relatives. You must make a claim for PIP benefits within a year of the collision or your claim will be barred.

Collision Coverage

This is optional insurance coverage that you may purchase, which provides coverage for your property damage if you are involved in a car accident. The higher amount of collision coverage you purchase, the higher your premium is. The rate is based on your vehicle, but not just the value. It is complex and looks into the cost of repairing your vehicle, among other factors.

Comprehensive Coverage

This is optional insurance coverage that you may purchase, which provides coverage for property damage caused by something other than an automobile collision (for example, a storm or theft). As with collision coverage, the higher amount of collision coverage you purchase, the higher your premium is.

Although these are the most common types of insurance coverage available in Maryland, there are many more including but not limited to rental coverage and medical payments coverage (only covers medical expenses, not lost wages).

If you are injured in a motor vehicle collision and are seeking representation or have a question about your coverage, please contact Elizabeth Shura, Esq. at 301-670-7030.

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