Maryland teens driving on their learner’s permits with a licensed adult supervising them do not need to have their own insurance policies. Once they start driving on their own, however, teens need insurance, so you will want to explore options to keep these costs reasonable.
Most families do this by adding the teen to their existing auto insurance policy. You could also use this as a time to comparison shop to find the best insurance option for the whole family and your vehicles.
Saving Money on Insurance
Because the risk of a crash is significantly higher for young drivers, particularly during the first year of driving, your teen’s insurance rate likely will be higher than your own. Here are a few strategies to help you reduce insurance costs both now and once you add your teen driver.
- Raise deductibles to lower premiums. Ask your insurance representative how much you could save by increasing your deductible. If you file a claim after raising your deductible, you’ll pay a larger share of the costs.
- Investigate discounts. Many insurers offer discounts for students with a “B” or higher grade average and for teens who complete driver education or defensive driving courses.
- Share vehicles. How you classify your new driver—as the main or an occasional driver of one vehicle, for example, will affect insurance premiums, so consider sharing vehicles.
- Just say “no” to sports cars and SUVs. The kind of car your teen drives can impact safety. Many experts agree that mid-sized sedans are the best choice for teens. Small cars don’t offer as much protection in crashes, sporty cars may encourage speeding or recklessness, and SUVs and pick-up trucks are more difficult to maneuver and more likely to have roll-over crashes.
- Practice, practice, practice. Now is the time to drive a lot with your teen under varied conditions so there will be fewer surprises (and potential crashes) when you’re no longer in the passenger seat.
- Be involved. Research shows that teens with more involved parents get fewer tickets and engage in less risky driving. Avoiding tickets and crashes will help keep your insurance rates down. A parent-teen driving agreement can help you set rules and stay involved.
Insurance Requirements in Maryland
You are required to carry the following three types of insurance coverage in order to legally drive a vehicle in Maryland:
- Liability insurance pays damages that are caused by you and suffered by the other party for personal injury, death, or property damage. You must carry a minimum of $20,000 for bodily injury per person, $40,000 for bodily injury for two or more people, and $15,000 for property damage.
- Uninsured motorist coverage pays damages, after any applicable deductible that are caused by an uninsured motorist and suffered by you. You must carry a minimum of $20,000 for bodily injury per person, $40,000 for bodily injury or two or more people, and $15,000 for property damage.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage provides the benefits for medical, hospital and disability up to $2,500 for all reasonable expenses arising out of an accident. Note: Full PIP provides benefits for you, any member of your family, and any non-family occupant of your vehicle. You may also choose limited PIP, which excludes benefits for you and members of your family age 16 and over. This alternative costs less and should be considered if you already have medical and hospitalization insurance.