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A Guide to Cheap Car Insurance in Baltimore, Maryland

President John Quincy Adams nicknamed Baltimore “The Monument City” because its skyline was full of monuments and churches. With more than 602,000 residents, Baltimore is the most populous city in Maryland. 

If you live in Baltimore or plan on visiting soon, there’s a lot to see and do there. Attractions such as the National Aquarium, historic lighthouses, and the Washington Monument are just a few reasons to add Baltimore to your travel stops.

In any large city such as Baltimore, there are a lot of cars on the roads, so you have to drive with care. We’ve researched traffic laws and insurance rates in the city, so you’ll be armed with the information you’ll need before you explore this vast city.

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Baltimore, MD Auto Insurance Overview

  • Average number of vehicles per household: 1
  • Minimum state insurance requirements
    • $30,000 for bodily injury per person
    • $60,000 for bodily injuries per accident
    • $15,000 for property damage
  • Average rate for drivers with a clean driving record: $1,816

What You Should Know Before You Get Covered

If you’ve got a full understanding of Maryland’s driving and insurance laws, you’ll have an advantage when you’re looking for coverage.

Maryland Auto Insurance Laws Explained

There are two types of liability coverage insurance coverage required in Maryland: bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage.

State law requires you purchase $30,000 to cover personal injuries as a result of an accident; $60,000 for all personal injuries as a result of an accident; and $15,000 for property damage.

Maryland law also requires insurance companies to offer policyholders at least $15,000 in personal injury protection or PIP coverage. In some cases, your health insurance policy may cover this cost so check first before you sign up for this added expense. Other types of optional coverage you may be offered include:

Collision coverage: This covers the cost of certain repairs in the case of an accident, and is usually mandatory if you take out a loan to buy a vehicle.

Comprehensive coverage: This covers damage caused by events other than a collision, such as a fire, theft, or natural disaster. Although not mandatory in Maryland, most lenders require you to carry this coverage as well as collision. 

If you’re stopped and fail to show proof of insurance in Baltimore, you could be fined up to $2,000, face jail time, vehicle impoundment, and license suspension.

Baltimore Traffic Laws You Should Know

When you’re out on the roads in Baltimore, you need to know some basic traffic laws. Here are a few to keep in mind:

Turning right on red. You can do so after yielding to pedestrians and oncoming traffic, unless otherwise posted.

Turn on your lights when it rains. You’re required to turn on your headlights when it’s raining and you’re using your windshield wipers. 

Yield to cyclists. Bicycles are treated the same as vehicles. Motorists must yield the right-of-way to cyclists. Do not attempt to share the lane with them, and pass only if you can do so safely.

Texting and driving. Texting while driving is illegal. You’ll be fined $70 and assessed one point on your driving record. A crash while texting and driving may result in a fine of $110 and 3 points on your record. Drivers under the age of 18 in Maryland will be fined $500 for texting and driving.

Aggressive driving is illegal. Aggressive driving, defined as speeding, running red lights and stop signs, tailgating, may result in 5 points on your driving record as well as a fine.  

By brushing up on local traffic laws in Baltimore, you’ll be able to avoid tickets, accidents, and costly fines.

What You Can Expect to Pay in Baltimore

Nobody will be able to accurately predict your car insurance rate. That’s what getting a quote is for. But, you can get a better understanding of what you might pay if you know your vehicle’s make and model as well as your credit and driving history.

Auto Insurance Rates Per Vehicle

The make and model of the car you drive can impact your insurance rates. If you drive a car that’s a target for car thieves or is expensive and trendy, you’ll likely pay higher insurance rates. 

The 5 most popular vehicles in Baltimore MD are Ford F-150, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Honda CR-V. Aside from the Ford F-150 being slightly higher to insure, the latter 4 cars are around the city average of $1,800 per year. 

Luxury model cars also warrant higher insurance rates. The most expensive cars to insure are the Audi R8, BMW i8, Dodge Viper, Nissan GT-R, and the Porsche 911. If you want to learn how to lower your car insurance, a good tip is to research the potential cars you are looking to purchase before you buy them.

Because car insurance rates are comprised of many attributes like type of vehicle, driver information, address, and so on 2 people driving the same vehicle could end up with entirely different rates. The only way to get an exact estimate is to get a quote with a few providers to compare. 

Auto Insurance Rates by Credit Score

If you’re looking for cheap car insurance in Baltimore, you need to keep an eye on your credit score. Most insurance companies take your credit score in to account when determining your car insurance rates. 

Data pulled from insurance agencies show those with lower credit scores tend to be riskier drivers. For now, it’s a good idea to pay your bills on time and use a credit monitoring service so you won’t have to pay more for insurance. Here are a few examples of insurance rates you may pay based on your credit score:

Credit ScoreCheapest ProviderRate For State Minimum Coverage
Poor 300-579Progressive$3,659
Fair 580-669State Farm $2,510
Good 670-739State Farm $2,063
Excellent 740+GEICO$1,322

Insurance Rates for Drivers With a Clean Record

One key factor insurance companies consider when setting auto insurance rates is your driving record. If you avoid traffic citations, accidents, and speeding, you’ll pay less for car insurance.

Standard coverage is the minimum liability coverage required in Baltimore, and full coverage provides extra coverage beyond what the minimum covers, so if you’re in an accident, most costs will be covered after your deductible is paid. Here are a few comparisons of insurance rates for drivers with clean records:

Insurance AgencyState Minimum InsuranceStandard CoverageFull Coverage
Allstate$1,502$1,800$2,397
GEICO$1,694$1,908$2,195
Nationwide$1,793$1,924$2,230
Progressive$1,907$2,095$2,282
State Farm$2,154$2,472$2,730

Insurance Rates with Driving Infractions

If you’re prone to accidents, are a careless driver, or drink and drive, you’ll pay a lot more for car insurance. If you rack up points on your driving record, you’ll be considered a high-risk driver by insurance providers.

Depending on the infractions, some insurance carriers may deny you insurance altogether. Here are sample rates you may pay if you have driving infractions on your record:

Insurance Agency At-Fault Accident Speed Violation DUI
Allstate$3,158$2,510$4,632
GEICO$4,234$2,533$5,144
Nationwide$3,444$2,909$4,745
Progressive$4,634$2,521$4,229
State Farm$3,461$3,215$3,915

Best Car Insurance Providers Baltimore, MD

There’s a lot to consider when you’re shopping for car insurance. With hundreds of providers to choose from, it can be overwhelming, so we’re listing our top picks here to help you in your search:  

Best Overall: Allstate

Allstate is rated high in J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, with good marks for customer service. Allstate offers many discounts and even bonus checks to safe drivers. Allstate will also not raise your premium for your first accident.

They even offer roadside assistance that can be pay-per-use, added to your coverage, or full membership to Allstate’s Motor Club. 

Allstate also takes the top spots for Benzinga’s picks for the best high-risk car insurance, the best renters insurance and the best flood insurance companies.

Cheapest Car Insurance: Nationwide

Besides being the cheapest overall choice for car insurance in Baltimore, Nationwide was also ranked high by J.D. Power.

Nationwide also received an A+ rating from Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s, financial services agencies. Nationwide also offers a program that lowers your deductible every year you avoid an accident. 

Nationwide also takes top spots in our rankings for the best condo insurance, the best temporary car insurance and the best legal insurance companies.

Best Car Insurance for Multiple Vehicles: GEICO

It’s expensive enough when you have one car to insure, but what if you have more than one? If you have more than one vehicle to insure, ask about a multi-vehicle discount.

All drivers must live in the same household to qualify. GEICO is the best choice if you’re looking for a multi-vehicle discount.

GEICO minimum liability insurance cost for one year is $1,600 for one vehicle and you can save even more per vehicle if you bundle. 

Read Benzinga’s full GEICO Auto Insurance Review

Best for Military Personnel: USAA

USAA offers car insurance exclusively to military members and their families.

USAA provides competitive rates and excellent customer service. In addition to great rates, they also offer discounts on local services, financial investments, and deals on home and life insurance policies.

Read Benzinga’s full USAA Auto Insurance Review

Find Additional Providers in Baltimore
Pro Tip: Try 2-3 companies to get the best quote

Save on Insurance in Baltimore

In addition to raising your credit score, driving safely, and carefully choosing the car you buy, there are a few more ways you can save on your car insurance bill. Here are a few more tips:

  • Bundle several services using one company (such as car and life insurance).
  • Pay your entire insurance bill all at one time rather than splitting it up into payments. Insurance companies charge service fees if they bill monthly.
  • Install an anti-theft device on your vehicle.
  • Shop around for competitive rates.
  • Don’t let your insurance lapse. If you do, you’ll have to pay penalties and a hefty down payment.
  • Ask for discounts. It doesn’t hurt to ask your insurance agent for discounts they may offer.

By taking the time to do some research and following the rules of the road, you can score big on car insurance savings.

Want to learn more about insurance? Read our reviews on best home insurance in Maryland, best health insurance companies and best vision insurance.