Maryland Auto Insurance Review

Maryland Auto Insurance offers base coverage that meets the minimum legal state liability requirements. They also offer comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, and rental car coverage additions.

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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 place to get it.

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Written by Eric Stauffer
Founder & Former Insurance Agent Eric Stauffer

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 1, 2022

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Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund

Financial Strength

Previously known as Maryland Auto Insurance Fund (MAIF), Maryland Auto Insurance is a state-run insurance program. They’re an auto insurance company that provides insurance to drivers unable to find coverage from private insurance companies.

What is Maryland Auto Insurance?

The Maryland General Assembly created the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund in 1972 with the purpose of providing an auto insurance option for drivers who could not obtain coverage on the private market. The insurer used the acronym MAIF – which is still the official name – for many years, before switching to Maryland Auto. The name change was to avoid the common, mistaken impression that tax dollars are used to fund the program.

There are a few simple requirements to qualify for a Maryland Auto policy:

  • Be a resident of Maryland
  • Be licensed in Maryland or have a vehicle registered in the state
  • Have been unable to obtain coverage from a private insurance company (at least two denials)

Maryland Auto covers anyone who meets the above requirements regardless of driving history, credit record, or any other issues. As a state provider, Maryland Auto is not a traditional insurance company. The Board of Trustees is appointed by the Governor of Maryland. The coverage is considered to be transitional until the driver is able to qualify for private coverage.

Maryland Auto Insurance coverage is sold through 1,400 agents across the state.

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What types of auto insurance policies does Maryland Auto Insurance offer?

The auto insurance program from Maryland Auto operates in much the same way as any other insurance policy.

The base coverage is the minimum legal state liability requirements, with the option to increase those limits. Four options can also be added to the policy: comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, towing, and rental car coverage options.

Because of the type of program, however, the coverage on Maryland Auto policies offers just the basics, and trendy add-ons like accident forgiveness are absent here.

Are Maryland Auto’s rates competitive?

Does the auto insurance provider offer affordable auto insurance rates? This can be a commonly asked question when a customer is browsing insurance premiums. Maryland Auto does not compete with standard insurance companies in terms of rates. By the nature of their program, they don’t intend to be competitive, because they have other goals in mind.

The goal of the program is to reduce the number of uninsured drivers on the road by offering an affordable insurance program. While drivers will not see the kind of low rates offered by major insurance companies on standard policies, the rates should not be the kind of astronomical amounts often seen for high-risk drivers on the private market, either.

There is an online quoting option on the website that those who qualify can use to obtain a rate quote. Since this is a Maryland-only insurer, we are unable to compare their rates on a national level. However, most people will be able to tell whether or not Maryland Auto will be affordable after obtaining said quote.

How are claims handled with Maryland Auto?

Maryland Auto handles claims in much the same way as any other insurance company. Claims are reported, assigned to an adjuster, investigated, and a final determination on fault and benefits is made. The website offers very clear and detailed information on claims for policyholders.

However, online claim reporting is not an option on the company’s website. All claims should be reported through a toll-free number. The website does not say whether or not the claims line is available 24/7.

Drivers are required to take their vehicle to one of the five approved estimate centers in order to obtain a repair estimate. After the estimate, however, the insured can choose the repair shop they prefer to complete the work.

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Are the ratings and consumer reviews positive?

Maryland Auto Insurance has a D rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), in spite of only five complaints on file in the past three years. The rating is due to the length of time the business has taken to respond to complaints, and failure to respond to one of the complaints.

Negative reviews of Maryland Auto are not difficult to find. There are 67 Google reviews, resulting in an overall 1.6-star rating. Most of the reviews are one star, with a few positive reviews from policyholders sprinkled in. The majority of the complaints refer to poor customer service and insurance claims issues. Many of the complaints are written by drivers who were involved in an accident with a Maryland Auto policyholder and had a great deal of difficulty getting their claim paid.

There are two negative reviews on Yelp, both of which give Maryland Auto one star. The reason reviews are important is that they give an inside perspective on a company. It doesn’t matter if a specific company offers the cheapest auto insurance policy if they won’t pay out for a claim. A customer would be better off going with a higher average cost with a more reputable company.

What’s the bottom line?

Maryland Auto Insurance is a choice of last resort for drivers who are unable to qualify for a policy elsewhere. They are certainly not recommended as the insurance company of choice for anyone who can obtain standard coverage, and even drivers who are unable to might still find a better value with a non-standard private insurer.

The best way to find reliable, affordable car insurance is to look at more than just an annual rate. Look at what types of auto coverage are offered, if there are any discounts, how quickly claims are processed, and what current customers have to say.

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