If you are driving a car or merely borrowing from a friend or your parents, it is important to have auto insurance. Unlike other types of insurance that shields you from risk, the primary goal of auto insurance is to protect other drivers from injuries caused by your driving, as well as damage to their property. Smallwood Insurance Agencies offers help for Maryland drivers shopping for the best auto insurance policies.
Why Do You Need Auto Insurance?
Aside from New Hampshire, which does not require car insurance, each of the other 49 states, including Maryland, require one form or another of auto insurance. Required or not, it’s still advisable since the average cost of an auto accident ranges from $7,500 (where property damage but no personal injury is present) to more than a million dollars in the event of a single death in that accident. Factor in medical expenses, lost wages, legal expenses, and judgments, and it’s clear that an insurance policy is the best hedge against severe economic losses.
Types of Auto Insurance
There are three main auto insurance products that you need to consider when shopping for a car insurance policy. While other products are available and should be discussed with your insurance agent, these are the essentials for Maryland drivers.
Vehicle Liability Insurance
If you cause damages that incur suffering on a third party – including property damage, personal injury, or death — vehicle liability pays the damages. Maryland motor vehicle law stipulates a minimum coverage amount (more on that below).
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
You were smart and purchased insurance. The person who rear-ended your car did not. Uninsured motorist coverage ensures that the expenses incurred by that accident, and the associated injuries or damage, do not come out of your pocket.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal injury protection covers medical, hospitalization, and disability expenses related to an accident. Different policies will provide different levels of coverage for you and other vehicle occupants. State law stipulates that you may waive some protection under certain circumstances; you should discuss the benefits and drawbacks of this approach with an insurance agent.
Auto Insurance in Maryland
Insurance requirements vary from one state to the next. Here in Maryland, not only is insurance required in order to register a vehicle, but the requirements are also very specific. Per the MVA, your coverage must include the following at a minimum:
- $30,000 for bodily injury
- $60,000 for 2 or more people
- $15,000 property damage
Driving uninsured is illegal, and can result in heavy fines, loss of plates, registration suspension, restoration fees, and additional fines and penalties imposed by the courts. The cost of insurance is much lower — and safer — by comparison.
Auto Insurance from Smallwood Insurance Agencies
Auto insurance is something we buy and hope never to need. Rather than being caught up short in the event that you actually need that insurance, however, it helps to shop smarter; start with a Maryland insurance agent. The agents of Smallwood Insurance Agencies work with auto insurers approved by the state of Maryland, and will help tailor a policy that fits your unique coverage needs. Contact us for help with your insurance questions and insurance quotes today.