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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Maryland for 2020

Jan. 2, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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When it comes to getting low rates on auto insurance in Maryland, shopping around is key. Prices can swing dramatically from one insurer to the next and depend on personal factors such as age, marital status and credit.

To help drivers simplify their shopping and find cheap car insurance in Maryland, NerdWallet looked at quotes from the nine largest insurers in the state to find the five cheapest options for the following groups:

Cheapest for good drivers in Maryland

For Maryland residents with clean driving and credit histories, the cheapest auto insurance companies and their average rates for full coverage policies are:

  1. Erie: $1,185 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,307 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,316 per year.
  4. Nationwide: $1,523 per year.
  5. Progressive: $1,756 per year.
Drivers with no recent accidents or violations can get cheaper car insurance rates for having good credit. For this calculation, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with a clean driving record and good credit. In terms of driving and credit history, a large portion of drivers are closest to this profile, which carries standard "full coverage" insurance, including comprehensive and collision, along with state-required coverage. Prices shown include a good driver discount, when available from the insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage in Maryland

For bare-bones car insurance, these are the cheapest companies and their average rates for Maryland’s minimum required coverage, assuming clean credit and driving records:

  1. Erie: $573 per year.
  2. Geico: $645 per year.
  3. Travelers: $691 per year.
  4. Progressive: $924 per year.
  5. Allstate: $982 per year.
We calculated these numbers by averaging rates for 40-year-old good drivers (earning them a discount if the insurer offers one) who have only the minimum mandatory insurance in their state. Such light coverage isn't typically recommended since it might not cover all the bills resulting from a car accident, but it's better than nothing — especially if you can't afford much more. If you're looking for the cheapest possible insurance you can get, though, you'll still want to get car insurance quotes from at least three auto insurers.

Cheapest for good drivers with poor credit

For a Maryland driver with blemished credit and a good driving history, the cheapest insurers and their average rates for full coverage are:

  1. Geico: $2,007 per year.
  2. Nationwide: $2,045 per year.
  3. Travelers: $2,472 per year.
  4. Allstate: $2,576 per year.
  5. Progressive: $2,631 per year.
If you have a spotty credit history, it's important to shop around to find the cheapest auto insurance rates you can. Poor credit can have a bigger effect on car insurance premiums than even a DUI conviction or a recent at-fault crash, but prices vary by insurer. To calculate these figures, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-olds with a clean driving record and associated good driver discount, if the insurer offered one. They had poor credit as reported to their insurer, and standard "full coverage" car insurance.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash

Drivers with a recent at-fault wreck on their record may want to consider these companies, which showed the cheapest average rates for full coverage insurance in Maryland:

  1. Erie: $1,547 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,893 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,943 per year.
  4. Nationwide: $2,530 per year.
  5. Allstate: $2,830 per year.
After a relatively minor crash, some auto insurers will charge a lot more than others for coverage. To get these figures, we averaged rates for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and one recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Your rates will remain high for three to five years after you cause an accident or have a moving violation — and you still may be rejected for coverage from certain companies, including those above. If you fall into this category, be sure to shop for new insurance rates just after the three-year and five-year anniversaries of your infraction.

Cheapest insurance after a DUI in Maryland

After an on-record DUI, these are the cheapest insurers we found and their average rates in Maryland for full coverage:

  1. Erie: $1,240 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,811 per year.
  3. Allstate: $1,893 per year.
  4. Travelers: $2,101 per year.
  5. Progressive: $2,120 per year.
A conviction for driving under the influence, or DUI, generally results in higher auto insurance premiums than before. NerdWallet analyzed rates for 40-year-old drivers and standard “full coverage” car insurance with a recent DUI conviction to see which companies were cheapest. Be warned that you may be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. Rates can vary by hundreds between carriers after a DUI, and some penalize for longer than others, so it’s important to shop around for the best available price right after you see a price hike and each year after that.

Cheapest insurance after a ticket in Maryland

When a driver’s record includes a recent speeding ticket, the cheapest auto insurers and average rates in Maryland for full coverage are:

  1. Erie: $1,240 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,586 per year.
  3. Travelers: $1,817 per year.
  4. Nationwide: $1,824 per year.
  5. Progressive: $2,148 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket will result in higher car insurance rates from most companies for three to five years. To see who has the cheapest rates, we calculated average car insurance rates for 40-year-old drivers with “full coverage” insurance and a recent ticket for speeding 16 mph over the limit. Though these larger companies were the cheapest we found on average, others may be cheaper for you, so be sure to get at least three quotes before deciding on a carrier.

Cheapest for couples and families in Maryland

The best auto insurance rates for couples and families don’t always come from the same companies that are cheapest for singles. That’s why it’s important to compare multiple quotes for car insurance whenever there’s a big change in your life, like getting married or adding a teen driver. NerdWallet analyzed rates for households with two and three drivers to see which companies have the best prices for couples and families in Maryland.

Cheapest for a married couple in Maryland

For a husband and wife, both 50 years old, these are the cheapest companies and average rates for insuring two vehicles with full coverage in Maryland, assuming clean driving and credit histories:

  1. Erie: $2,023 per year.
  2. Travelers: $2,151 per year.
  3. Geico: $2,276 per year.
  4. Nationwide: $2,279 per year.
  5. Progressive: $2,402 per year.
Couples who live together can save on auto insurance by combining policies, whether they are married or not, because they can earn multi-car and multi-driver discounts. Once they tie the knot, rates can dip further, but not because of discounts — insurers see married people as less risky and so charge them lower rates. Our hypothetical 50-year-old couple’s clean driving record also earns them both a good driver discount.

Cheapest for families with a teen in Maryland

A 50-year-old Maryland couple with an 18-year-old driver on the policy may want to get quotes from these insurers, which returned the cheapest average rates for full coverage on two vehicles:

  1. Geico: $3,788 per year.
  2. Erie: $4,041 per year.
  3. Travelers: $4,146 per year.
  4. Nationwide: $4,184 per year.
  5. Progressive: $5,139 per year.
Adding a teen with two years’ driving experience to a married couple's policy is sure to cause a big jump in rates. Since different insurers tend to see a teen’s inexperience in different ways, we analyzed rates to see which companies had the cheapest car insurance for teens. These rates are averaged for 50-year-old couples with male and female 18-year-old drivers.

Cheapest for young drivers in Maryland

When you’re in your 20s, finding cheap auto insurance can be a challenge. Insurers typically charge more for young drivers than for those with more experience. But prices will vary, because companies consider age and other personal factors differently. To see which companies have the best deals for young drivers, we checked rates for 25-year-olds in Maryland.

Cheapest full coverage for young good drivers

For a 25-year-old in Maryland with good credit and a clean driving history, these are the cheapest insurance companies and their average rates for full coverage:

  1. Erie: $1,458 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,505 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,570 per year.
  4. Nationwide: $1,746 per year.
  5. Allstate: $1,967 per year.
Drivers in their 20s can have a hard time finding cheap car insurance, and that's even truer when they need full coverage. The rates above are averages for 25-year-old male and female drivers with comprehensive and collision coverages, which are often required for drivers with active auto loans or leases. These rates reflect a good driver discount. Young drivers, like all drivers, should check several quotes to find the cheapest for the coverage levels they need.

Cheapest minimum coverage for young good drivers

If a young driver in Maryland wants minimum required coverage only, the cheapest companies and their average rates are:

  1. Erie: $701 per year.
  2. Geico: $750 per year.
  3. Travelers: $763 per year.
  4. Allstate: $961 per year.
  5. Progressive: $1,014 per year.
Since young people often have fewer assets to protect with liability insurance, they can usually get away with lower coverage limits. For an age group with relatively high insurance rates on average, that's good news, keeping rates as low as possible. For this price set, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers who have clean driving records, good credit and bare-bones insurance coverage.

Poor credit and minimum coverage

For a Maryland 25-year-old with poor credit and a good driving history, these are the cheapest insurers and their average rates for minimum coverage:

  1. Geico: $1,139 per year.
  2. Allstate: $1,192 per year.
  3. Travelers: $1,400 per year.
  4. Progressive: $1,529 per year.
  5. Erie: $1,550 per year.
Poor credit is common for younger folks just starting out, who may still be building their credit files. That can increase rates further, so it's extra important to shop around and compare as many insurance quotes as possible to find the cheapest you can get. For these prices, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with no recent accidents or violations (earning them a good driver discount), minimum coverage car insurance, and credit in the "poor" tier as reported to an insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a crash

Following an at-fault auto accident, here are the cheapest companies and average rates in Maryland for a young driver buying minimum required insurance:

  1. Erie: $935 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,010 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,094 per year.
  4. Allstate: $1,349 per year.
  5. Progressive: $1,588 per year.
To get prices for this group, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with good credit and a recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Since car insurance is often pricier after a crash, and especially so for young drivers, we assumed minimum required insurance in the state to contain costs for our hypothetical driver. Depending on your situation, you may still be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. If you've caused a crash, no matter your age, be sure to check auto insurance quotes just after the third and fifth anniversaries of your incident, when insurers often adjust rates downward.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a DUI

For a 25-year-old in Maryland whose driving record includes a recent DUI, these are the cheapest insurers and average rates for minimum coverage:

  1. Erie: $733 per year.
  2. Allstate: $961 per year.
  3. Geico: $963 per year.
  4. Travelers: $1,133 per year.
  5. Progressive: $1,164 per year.
Young drivers with a recent DUI on their records will need to be diligent to find the lowest car insurance rates they can get — it's likely that many companies' rates will be quite expensive. Depending on the circumstances, you may be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. But spending the time to shop around for quotes can help you find the lowest price from a company available to you. For this analysis, we averaged rates for male and female 25-year-old drivers with a recent DUI conviction. They had good credit and minimum required car insurance, which helps keep rates down.

Cheapest for minimum coverage and a ticket

These are the cheapest companies for a young Maryland driver with a recent speeding ticket, ranked by their average rates for minimum required insurance coverage:

  1. Erie: $733 per year.
  2. Geico: $885 per year.
  3. Travelers: $958 per year.
  4. Allstate: $1,061 per year.
  5. Progressive: $1,204 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket is never fun, and neither is the higher car insurance bill you may receive months later. At that point, it's time to shop around for better rates, and it wouldn't hurt to repeat on your third and fifth ticket anniversaries, when insurers may adjust rates downward. We analyzed rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with a recent speeding violation for going 16 mph over the speed limit to see prices for this group.

Cheap for military families

If you’re an active member of the military or a veteran — or have an immediate family member who is — chances are high you’ll get a good rate with USAA. We don’t rank it alongside the others because it isn’t available to the general public, but for those who qualify, USAA is among the three cheapest auto insurance options for 11 out of 14 driver types we analyzed.

» MORE: Best car insurance for veterans and military

Recap: Cheapest car insurance in Maryland

  • Good drivers: Erie
  • Minimum coverage: Erie
  • Poor credit: Geico
  • After an at-fault crash: Erie
  • After a DUI: Erie
  • After a speeding ticket: Erie
  • Married couples: Erie
  • Families with a teen: Geico
  • Young good drivers: Erie
  • Minimum coverage for young good drivers: Erie
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers with poor credit: Geico
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a crash: Erie
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a DUI: Erie
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a ticket: Erie

» MORE: Compare car insurance

Minimum auto insurance limits required in Maryland

Maryland car insurance policies must include liability insurance. This pays for other people’s injuries or property damage, up to your chosen limit, when you cause an accident.

The minimum auto insurance coverage levels you must purchase in Maryland are:

  • $30,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $60,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
  • $15,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $30,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person.
  • $60,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • $15,000 uninsured/underinsured property damage coverage per accident.

It’s often smart to buy more than the legal minimum to ensure you don’t have to pay out of pocket in case of a severe crash. You may also want to consider optional coverages such as collision and comprehensive insurance.

Check out NerdWallet’s guide to state car insurance requirements for more detail on the various parts of a Maryland auto policy.

Alternative car insurance in Maryland

Drivers who have been denied coverage by at least two car insurance companies could qualify for a policy through the Maryland Auto Insurance Fund. The organization was created to help drivers who can’t get standard insurance because of a checkered accident history, poor credit rating or other factors.

For more help finding Maryland car insurance at the most competitive price, try NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool.

Methodology

For our “good driver” profile, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers in the state for 40-year-old men and women in all ZIP codes with 12,000 annual miles driven. The policy includes:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
If required, minimum additional coverages were added and "good driver" discounts were automatically applied. Our “young driver” had all the same characteristics, but average rates were for 25-year-old men and women. We used a 2016 Toyota Camry LE for all single drivers. We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.
  • We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for drivers with poor credit.
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage.
  • For drivers with a ticket, we added a single speeding violation for driving 16 mph over the speed limit.
  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken driving violation.
Couples in our analyses were 50-year-old men and women with good credit and clean driving histories, averaged across all ZIP codes with the same policy outlined above. To see rates for families with a teen, we added an 18-year-old licensed two years ago, averaging rates for male and female teens. For couples and families we added a 2016 Nissan Rogue S to create a two-car household.

In all cases, a paperless discount, e-signature discount and electronic funds transfer discount were automatically applied. These are rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.