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Maine Car Insurance Laws & State Minimum Coverage Limits

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best...

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UPDATED: Jan 25, 2019

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Maine State Flag Drivers in Maine are required to carry a minimum amount of coverage in order to protect everyone on the road from the high cost of car accidents. In Maine, you have to carry liability insurance, medical payments coverage, and uninsured motorist liability.

Mandatory Coverage

To better protect drivers, Maine requires additional coverage options and higher limits of liability than most states. As a result, the Maine minimum auto insurance policy is more comprehensive than many other state minimums.

All drivers in Maine are required to carry the following:

  • Bodily Injury coverage in the amount of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for all people injured, to pay for injuries in an at-fault accident.
  • Property Damage coverage in the amount of $25,000 in order to pay for damage done to another person’s car or any other property as the result of an accident.
  • Medical Payments coverage of at least $2000 to pay for medical expenses for the driver and other members of the household that are not covered elsewhere.
  • Uninsured Motorist coverage that at minimum matches the state requirements for bodily injury liability, $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident. This covers injuries in accidents where the other driver has no insurance or does not have enough insurance, or for hit-and-run accidents. If the driver carries higher liability limits than the state minimum, uninsured motorist is generally raised to match. If you choose to take lower limits than your liability, you must sign a waiver.

This coverage will ensure that a driver is legal on Maine roads, but there are many other options to choose from to create a comprehensive policy.

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Optional Coverage

The first option most drivers consider is an increase in liability coverage. Higher limits can offer much better protection, particularly in the event of a serious accident. All of the legally required coverage can be raised for better protection.

In addition, there are other options to choose from:

  • Collision coverage – to pay for damage to your vehicle in the event of an at-fault accident
  • Comprehensive coverage – which pays for loss not related to an accident – this includes theft, vandalism, fire, and weather damage
  • Rental Reimbursement – to pay for alternate transportation while your vehicle is being repaired during a covered loss
  • Towing & Labor – to provide coverage for non-accident towing and roadside emergencies

Insurance companies in Maine offer a range of other options and add-ons to create the policy that is right for each driver’s particular needs.

Proof of Insurance and the Law

All drivers in Maine are required to carry proof of insurance and present it to law enforcement during a traffic stop or at the scene of an accident. Proof of insurance is also required in order to register a car.

Failure to provide proof of insurance on request will result in a traffic ticket, and a fine of $100-$500 will be levied against the driver. Anyone who fails to pay this fine within a 30-day period faces further sanctions. These include:

  • Suspension of driver’s license
  • Suspension of the vehicle registration
  • Prohibition from registering any other vehicles

The state of Maine may also require you to file an SR-22 if you are involved in an accident without insurance. This financial filing is sent in on your behalf by the insurance company to confirm that you are carrying the correct amount of insurance. Any lapses in coverage will also be reported and may result in further legal consequences.

Shopping for Car Insurance in Maine

Maine drivers enjoy the lowest auto insurance rates on average in the country. According to a 2017 Insure.com study of average rates, Maine came in at the lowest with an average annual premium of $864.  Maine drivers pay on average one-third what drivers in the most expensive state, Michigan, pay, and almost $500 less than the national average.

This is likely due to Maine’s small size, with fewer large cities and drivers overall. Maine also has a low number of uninsured drivers, which helps to keep rates down.

The Maine Bureau of Insurance offers drivers assistance with shopping for car insurance, including a policy comparison guide and complaint records for insurance companies.

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High-Risk Drivers

High-risk drivers are those that do not qualify for a standard insurance policy due to issues, such as multiple tickets or at-fault accidents or major violations. Insurance companies may turn down these drivers for coverage due to the high risk they represent.

The Maine Automobile Insurance Plan is in place to help Maine drivers to get the coverage they need even when they are considered high-risk. This allows all drivers to be on the road legally. The plan assigns each driver to an insurance company, and that company is required to provide coverage.

Teen Drivers in Maine

Like all states, Maine uses a graduated licensing program for teen drivers. Teens must pass through a number of different stages and follow a set of restrictions and regulations before graduating to a full driver’s license. This program allows teens to slowly adjust to the responsibilities of driving, and improve their skills safely.

Learner’s Permit

The learner’s permit is the first step in the graduated licensing program and allows teens to begin learning and practicing.

With the learner’s permit, the teen driver must be at least 15 years old and can drive only with a supervising adult who is at least 20 years old who has held their driver’s license for two years, in the vehicle. During this time period, the teen should enroll in a driver education program, which is required in order to apply for a license.

Intermediate License

The Intermediate license can be issued at the age of 16 only after the teen has:

  • Held a permit for 6 months
  • Completed an approved driver education course
  • Passed a road test
  • Complete 70 hours of driving practice, 10 of which must be at night

This intermediate license allows the teen to drive without a supervising driver, but only as long as they follow several restrictions.

Intermediate drivers must not:

  • Carry any passengers who are not members of the immediate family
  • Drive between the hours of 12 a.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Use a cell phone in any capacity while driving

The intermediate license restrictions stay in place until the driver reaches the age of 18.

Full License

At 18 years old, or once you have held your provisional license for 270 days, the teen driver may graduate to the full license without any restrictions.

Teen drivers in Maine are required to meet all of the requirements of the financial responsibility laws; in most cases, a parent or guardian will add the teen to an existing policy. A teen driver can stay on that policy even when away at school until they have established a permanent residence away from home.

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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

1 Comment

  1. In the state of Maine, if a person has borrowed a friend’s car with their permission and then is in a no-fault accident, is the driver liable or is the owner of the vehicle liable?

    Reply

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