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 eight largest insurers in the state to find the three cheapest options for the following groups:
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Cheapest for good drivers
For drivers with no accidents, DUIs or moving violations.
For good drivers in Maryland, the average of the three cheapest rates was $1,187 per year. Erie had the cheapest rate we found at $969 per year, or about $81 per month. Geico and State Farm rounded out the top three.
If you have no tickets, moving violations or at-fault accidents, look for good-driver discounts to further lower your rates; some companies offer several.
Cheapest for young drivers
For drivers in their early 20s.
Drivers in their early 20s, who tend to have fewer assets to protect in a crash-related lawsuit compared with older drivers, can find relatively cheap car insurance in Maryland. Among the three cheapest options, Geico had the lowest rate at $723 per year, or $60 per month. That’s $246 less per year than the lowest rate for 30-year-old good drivers in Maryland with fuller policies.
The most expensive quote in this group was nearly $2,000, showing that even drivers with minimum coverage can save by shopping around.
Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash
Causing a car accident usually leads to a higher premium, either when you renew your policy or find a different company. Exactly how much higher depends largely on the insurer, so it’s always wise to shop around.
Erie delivered the lowest rate in this category, at about $1,287 per year. State Farm came in at $1,796 annually, and Geico’s rate was $2,526 — nearly twice the cost of the cheapest rate. The costliest estimates in this group topped $3,500 per year.
Cheapest for drivers with poor credit
For drivers placed in the “poor credit” tier.
Under Maryland law, insurers aren’t allowed to refuse or cancel a policy based on drivers’ credit. They also can’t increase your premium at renewal due to your credit, but they can use credit as a factor in your initial rate, charging up to 40% more due to credit history.
Drivers with poor credit in our analysis got the best rate with Erie, but that’s still $726 more per year than the cheapest rate we found for drivers with no credit issues, also from Erie. Each insurer uses credit a bit differently in pricing, so it helps to compare estimates from a few companies: Some rates we found for Maryland drivers with poor credit exceeded $4,300 a year.
Cheapest for retired drivers
For drivers in their mid- to late-60s.
Given their years of experience and reduced annual mileage, retired drivers should have little trouble finding cheap car insurance in Maryland. The cheapest rate for drivers in their mid- to late-60s that drive half as much as commuters came from Erie at $810 per year.
But shopping around can still pay off. We found a gap of more than $1,800 per year between the lowest and highest average rates, proving retired drivers have as much incentive to compare quotes as anyone else.
Cheapest for drivers with a military connection
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, an option that isn’t available to the general public. USAA is one of the three cheapest auto insurance options for every driver type we analyzed for those who qualify. USAA customers also benefit from the insurer’s top-rated customer service.
Minimum car insurance requirements 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 coverage levels 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, comprehensive and uninsured motorist coverage.
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.
Here’s a summary of where you’ll find the cheapest insurance, by category:
Cheapest car insurance in Maryland
|Drivers with one at-fault crash||Erie|
|Drivers with poor credit||Erie|
|Drivers with a military connection||USAA|
We used a 2014 Toyota Camry in all cases. Our sample retired driver was age 67 and drove 50% fewer annual miles than motorists in other groups. Our sample young driver was age 22 and carried the minimum required coverage levels. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.