Commercial Auto Insurance Minimum Requirements in Maryland
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Driving a vehicle can be dangerous, not only to your physical well-being but to your financial health. That's why the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) requires that all vehicles be protected by liability insurance, whether they're being used for personal or business use.
Ways to Establish Financial Responsibility
The MVA only gives one choice to prove financial responsibility: a vehicle liability insurance policy that meets the state's minimum requirements.
While it's clear you need to have a liability policy for your vehicles, it's often less clear if you need a commercial or personal auto policy. If you're in this predicament, ask yourself the following:
- What type of vehicles need to be insured?
- How many are there?
- Who drives them?
- Who owns them?
Your answers may put you on the path to choosing the right insurance for your situation. Generally, business-owned vehicles need commercial protection, especially if deliveries or any sort or farming are involved.
Self-employed individuals and sole proprietors can sometimes get by with just their own personal auto policy, especially if business trips are the only business use of their vehicles. But, this area is complicated, and merits careful attention. Even teenagers and senior citizens acting as independent contractors and using their own vehicles to deliver goods like flowers or pizzas may need commercial insurance protection.
But, if any of the following apply, the odds increase that you'll need a commercial policy:
- You can't remove your business equipment from the vehicle.
- You allow your employees to drive your vehicles on behalf of your business.
- You can't find personal auto insurance with high enough coverage limits.
To make the right decision, you may need to partner with both the MVA and your insurance carrier. The former can advise you on the legal requirements for your business; the latter can assist you in determining the amounts and types of coverage needed to protect your business assets.
Should you decide that you need commercial insurance, you'll need to discuss the following with an insurance agent or representative:
- How much the vehicles weigh
- Who owns them
- How they're used
But, you may also talk about issues such as how much the vehicles are worth, what they'll carry, what sort of special equipment they have, and other such matters.
No matter what sort of coverage you decide on, you'll need to have at least this much protection to comply with state requirements:
- $20,000 of bodily injury coverage for injuries or death to one person in an accident.
- $40,000 of bodily injury coverage for injuries or deaths occurring to more than one person in an accident.
- $15,000 of property damage coverage per accident.
- Uninsured motorist coverage (same minimum limits as above).
- Personal injury protection (PIP) of $2500.
Remember, you can contact the MVA for additional assistance with commercial coverage requirements.
After you've decided on the type of coverage, you'll be faced with another decision: what carrier to choose. You can select from smaller companies that specialize in commercial insurance to mammoth insurers that offer an array of policies.
Choosing wisely could save you considerably on your premiums, so it's best to comparison shop online (or by phone) to find the best rates. But, be aware your current insurance carriers may offer you a discount if you take out the policy with them.
insurance Company Notification
The MVA requires your carrier to notify the state as soon as you cancel your policy; however, your new carrier isn't required to alert the MVA when you begin coverage with them. So, the MVA might ask you for proof of your current coverage.
Also, if you have a blanket policy covering numerous vehicles, be sure the MVA has the vehicle identification number (VIN) for each vehicle on file.
Once you've obtained your policy, there might be times when you're asked to verify your coverage. During these situations, only a Maryland insurance Certification (FR-19) will suffice; neither your insurance card nor your insurance policy is acceptable.
What happens if you have no proof of insurance when required to present it?
You possibly could face:
- A license plate and vehicle registration suspension.
- An uninsured motorist penalty fee (for each lapse) of $150 for the first 30 days ($7 per day after that).
- A $25 registration restoration fee.
- A maximum fine of $1,000 and up to a one year in jail (if you provided false evidence of insurance).
Additionally, you may not be able to renew a registration or apply for a new registration on other vehicles.
Of course, if you're liable for an accident when you're without insurance, you're responsible for paying the costs involved and may be vulnerable to lawsuits stemming from the accident.
In This Section
Other Topics in This Section
- Auto Insurance Requirements
Maryland car insurance information center. What insurance to buy in Maryland, how to decide, compare policies, purchase MD car insurance.
- Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements
MD financial responsibility requirements for your moped, atv, scooter or motorcycle. Protect your bike and your liability in Maryland by purchasing motorcycle insurance.
- Commercial Auto Insurance Minimum Requirements
Commercial vehicle insurance requirements in MD. Protect your rig or your fleet by maintaining proper financial responsibility on your commercial vehicles in Maryland.
- Penalties For Driving Without Insurance
Learn More On Penalties For Driving Without Insurance In Your State. No Insurance Violations Vary By State. Avoid Allowing You Car Insurance Policy To Lapse.
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