Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Maryland: Do You Need It?

Maryland law requires uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury liability insurance that covers at least $30,000 in damages per person injured.
Written by Jacqulyn Graber
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
background
Maryland car insurance laws
requires that you purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury liability insurance that covers at least $30,000 in damages per person injured, as well as uninsured motorist property liability insurance that covers $15,000 per accident. 
Every driver in the state of
Maryland
is required to hold an insurance policy that includes $30,000 of
bodily injury liability
insurance per person, $15,000 of
property damage liability
insurance per accident, $2,500 per person in
personal injury protection (PIP)
coverage, and a specified amount of
uninsured motorist coverage
.
In this article, we'll walk you through the regulations surrounding uninsured motorist coverage in the state of Maryland.

Do you need uninsured motorist coverage in Maryland?

Per Maryland state law, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is mandatory for all drivers. You must hold $30,000 in uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance per person, $60,000 per accident, and $15,000 of uninsured motorist property liability insurance per accident. 
The primary reason for this law is that—despite minimum liability insurance requirements—plenty of Maryland drivers lack sufficient coverage. According to the
Insurance Information Institute (III)
, an estimated 14.1% of drivers in the Free State lack insurance, making it the 16th worst state in the nation for uninsured drivers. 
This means that over 14 out of 100 drivers in MD are driving without insurance. If you end up in an accident with one of them, you’d struggle to get your damages covered without the appropriate protection.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) is an affordable type of coverage that picks up where the other driver’s liability insurance (or lack thereof) and your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage leaves off. UM/UIM coverage will pay for key medical expenses that result from a crash. 
Fortunately, UM/UIM coverage is relatively cheap to add to your policy. In Maryland, it may cost slightly more than in states with fewer uninsured drivers, but you’ll still only pay an average of around $50 to $75 extra annually.
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How uninsured motorist insurance works in Maryland

In addition to uninsured motorist insurance, Maryland requires all drivers to hold certain levels of bodily injury liability, property damage liability, and personal injury protection (PIP). The first two pay for other drivers’ repairs and injuries if you happen to cause an accident, while the latter supplements your health insurance to cover your medical bills. 
Should someone else cause an accident, their liability insurance would pay for your medical bills. However, if they lack insurance, your UM/UIM insurance will pick up the slack.
Your UM/UIM coverage will also kick in if the person you’re in an accident with doesn’t have enough coverage. After all, medical costs add up fast. Consider the price of ER visits, ambulance rides, surgery, and rehabilitation! Add on lost wages and disability costs, and the cost of a serious injury could easily add up to tens of thousands of dollars.

What’s available

Maryland requires drivers to purchase both uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage and uninsured motorist property damage coverage.
Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UM/UMBI) covers the medical expenses for you and any passengers following a crash with an uninsured driver. Underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UIM/UIMBI) is also available in Maryland and covers remaining medical expenses once another driver’s liability insurance limit is all used up.
Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) covers damage to your vehicle and other property when the driver at fault in an accident lacks coverage or doesn’t have property damage liability coverage to pay for your damages.

What it covers

UMPD covers your property, but the medical expenses covered by UMBI/UIMBI coverage are a bit broader. This doesn’t just mean the ER visits that occur on the same day of an accident. UMBI/UIMBI also covers:
  • Any future medical expenses
  • Wages lost as a result of your injuries
  • Rehabilitation or nursing care
  • Medical devices like wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers
  • Disability accommodations that need to be added to your home
  • Newly required hired services, such as cleaners or landscapers
  • Circumstantial pain and suffering
If you or a passenger are injured in a car accident, affording the very best medical treatment shouldn’t be a concern. UM/UIM coverage is an affordable way to prepare for the worst, ensuring that you can always pay for the care you need.

How to make a claim 

If you’re in a collision with another vehicle, the first step should always be to exchange insurance information with all of the other drivers involved. If you happen to be in an accident with someone who lacks insurance—or if you’re a victim of a
hit-and-run in Maryland
—it’s time to file a UM/UIM claim. 
Doing so should be relatively easy. Simply call your auto insurance company and explain what happened. They’ll likely require certain documentation—including medical records, traffic crash reports, and hospital/doctor bills. Provide as many details as possible; the more documents you supply, the easier your case evaluation will be
Keep in mind that, if your medical costs end up exceeding the limit on your UM insurance, you’ll need to cover the remainder through your health insurance, PIP coverage, or out of your own pocket.
MORE: How to file a car accident claim report
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Why it’s a good idea to buy uninsured motorist insurance in Maryland

Purchasing UM/UIM coverage in Maryland is a good idea if only because it’s legally required. However, several reasons make this law greatly beneficial.

Over 14% of Maryland drivers lack car insurance 

Maryland has more than 4.3 million licensed drivers, and approximately 14.1% of them are uninsured. That’s a whopping 606,300 uninsured drivers who could be out on the road at any given time. UM/UIM coverage will protect you if you’re ever in an accident with one of them.

Hit-and-run accidents are always a risk

According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), there are an average of more than 100,000 car accidents every year—many of which are classified as “hit-and-run accidents,” where the at-fault driver flees the scene. 
If you’re in a hit-and-run accident and aren’t able to get the other driver’s license plate number as they speed off, you’ll need UM/UIM coverage to cover the hit-and-run damages.

High cost of healthcare 

As is the case nationwide, healthcare costs in Maryland are on the rise. Currently, the average cost of a single emergency room visit in the state of Maryland is estimated at $623—but if your injuries are serious, you’ll have to pay for much more than a single visit to the ER.
Surgeries, rehabilitation, medication, and more can all add up to tens of thousands of dollars. If your passengers are injured, your medical costs could easily surpass Maryland’s required $2,500 PIP coverage and $30,000 bodily injury liability combined.

How to save on uninsured motorist coverage in Maryland

Compared to other states, Maryland has some pretty robust minimum insurance requirements, meaning the rates might be higher than in other states. Fortunately, MD drivers can save big on their next car insurance policy by comparison shopping with super app
Jerry
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licensed broker
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