Living in Maryland gives you access to many fun day trips - whether it’s a visit to downtown Baltimore and the National Aquarium or a drive along the coast to the Chesapeake Bay. You can enjoy historic architecture and explore our nation’s history in Annapolis. But before you set out, you need to make sure you’re driving with the right car insurance.

OnlineAutoInsurance.com makes it easy to compare car insurance quotes online. Simply complete the following form and you’ll be able to compare insurance premiums from insurance companies such as Progressive, AIG, Esurance, and more. It’s totally free, and there’s no obligation to buy.

But before you start comparing insurance quotes, you need to decide the right level of coverage for you. That means choosing maximum limits that make sense for you and adding policies that will keep you protected.

Maryland Car Insurance Law

Maryland State law requires motorist to mee the following minimum car insurance requirements:

Liability Coverage

$30,000 Bodily injury liability coverage per person, per accident

$60,000 Bodily injury liability coverage total per accident when multiple persons are involved

$15,000 Property damage coverage per accident

Liability coverage will pay up to the policy limits when you’re in an at-fault accident. Bodily Injury policies pay medical expenses and loss of income due to injuries in a car wreck. It will also pay for funeral expenses in the worst-case scenarios. If the other party sues you, or their family member files a wrongful death claim, your bodily injury policy will also usually cover legal fees as well.

The property damage liability will cover the costs of repairs to vehicles or structures you damaged in an at-fault accident, and can also cover the costs of legal expenses associated with a property damage claim.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

$30,000 Bodily injury coverage per person, per accident

$60,000 Bodily injury coverage total per accident when multiple persons are involved

$15,000 Property damage coverage per accident

Uninsured motorist coverage covers the insured vehicle’s damages and the driver’s and passenger’s bodily injuries, up to the policy limits, if you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist. This can also supplement another driver’s liability coverage if it is maxed out and they are at fault. This policy can also combine with your personal injury protection to help with any medical bills you or your passengers have.

Personal Injury Coverage

$2,500 In personal injury protection

Also known as no-fault insurance, personal injury coverage works like a health care policy, providing medical expense coverage regardless of who is at fault in the accident. If you already have health insurance, you may qualify to waive this coverage.

The above are minimum requirements for auto insurance coverage; however, serious car accidents can quickly exceed these minimums. It’s worth comparing the costs of raising these limits. It may be significantly cheaper to double your limits than it would be to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket after an accident. If your financial stability is questionable, more coverage means more security.

You can brush up on more insurance coverage definitions and tips with our learning center. You can also visit the Maryland Auto Insurance Guide for further assistance.

Additional coverage to consider

Your liability insurance is designed to help you if you cause an accident, and your Uninsured Underinsured Motorist policy can help if you’re not at fault. Still, these are pretty limiting when it comes to all the ways your car might get damaged. There are other policies to consider if you want to make sure your car will get repaired after an incident.

If you’re still paying off your vehicle, your lienholder will require you to carry a Collision and Comprehensive policy. But even if you’re free and clear on your title, it’s worth considering because of the added protection it provides.

Collision insurance will help you pay the cost of repairs to your vehicle when you are at fault in a car accident, or when you hit a stationary object of structure. Depending on the policy, it might also offer towing service if your vehicle is no longer operable, as well as reimburse you for the cost of a rental car.

Comprehensive coverage will pay for damages caused outside of human control, like falling limbs or hail. It can also pay to repair your vehicle if you collide with a deer or other animals, as well as help you replace your car if it is stolen. If your vehicle isn’t worth very much, you might consider saving money by opting out of collision benefits. But because of the nature of events comprehensive insurance covers, it is a worthwhile policy that can help you through unforeseeable occurrences.

If you purchase a brand new car with little or no down payment, then you likely owe more on your loan than the car is worth. That means if your new car gets totaled, you could still owe a significant sum after your insurance pay-out. Many car dealerships offer gap insurance, but because they are not accredited insurance companies, their policies aren’t regulated and are often more expensive than the ones you could get from actual car insurance companies. (And don’t let them pressure you into buying one if you don’t want it—it is not a legal requirement, and you should be able to waive it.)

Roadside assistance can get you 24/7 help on the side of the road, even if you’re out of gas or your battery is dead. These policies are sometimes as little as two dollars a month, and you’ll be glad you have it if you ever need it. Towing and labor is another service worth adding that can help you if you lock your keys in the car or need a jumpstart. But it doesn’t cover the cost of parts.

Driving without car insurance in Maryland

If you are caught driving without proof of insurance, you will be fined $150, and your registration may be suspended. Maryland does allow you to show electronic proof of insurance on your smartphone, but if you are unable to provide either, you can still get cited and fined, even if you do actually have insurance. If you don’t pay your fine after 30 days, it will continue to accrue $7 per day. If you fail to respond, your case will be sent to collections and hit with a 17% interest rate.

If you drive while your registration is suspended, your vehicle could be impounded, and you will be ticketed and fined even further. The cost of driving without insurance far outweighs the cost of coverage, so find a policy before you set out on the road.

If your vehicle is registered with Maryland, but you now live in another state, you are still required to have a Maryland car insurance policy. That means as soon as you move, you need to register your vehicle in another state if you want to avoid fines.

Finding cheap car insurance

Car insurance companies set rates based on the types of coverage you have, the deductible on each policy, and the kind of vehicle you drive. These rates are also affected by personal details like your address, driving history, credit score, and claim history.

Every insurance carrier uses a different formula to determine your car insurance rates. That means the cheapest insurance provider will differ from person to person. That’s why it’s so important to compare rates from as many car insurance companies as possible to get the cheapest car insurance for you.

Take advantage of as many discounts as you can. Safe driving, having a good GPA, and bundling an additional insurance policy like renter’s insurance can all get you a better deal. If you own multiple vehicles, a multi-car discount will usually apply.

The longer you go without making a claim, the lower your rates will be, so drive defensively and pay attention when you’re behind the wheel.

The bottom line

Comparing Maryland car insurance rates from as many carriers as possible is the simplest way to find cheap car insurance. Since premiums vary so much between insurance companies, and there are so many companies offering service, finding car insurance quotes online is the fastest and easiest way to find a competitive price. It also lets you skip the pressure of talking to multiple insurance agents.

Find the insurance policy that gives you the protection you need, and you’ll be able to purchase online and print proof of insurance within minutes, so you can get back to exploring your home state.