What’s the Difference Between Collision, Comprehensive, and Liability Insurance?

It’s crucial for every Maryland driver to know their obligations when it comes to the state’s requirements for automobile insurance coverage. It’s also important to know the differences between the various types of coverage available. Most insurance companies offer collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and liability coverage. It’s possible for a policy to include coverage for all three as well as additional types of coverage, such as uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. However, it’s important to remember that more extensive coverage will cost more.

Maryland’s Minimum Insurance Requirements

Maryland drivers must secure auto insurance coverage that includes at least 30/60/15 coverage for a single accident for which the policyholder is to blame. This means a policy must offer up to $30,000 for bodily injury for a single person, per accident, up to $60,000 for a single accident, and up to $15,000 in property damage for a single accident in liability coverage. Maryland also requires uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to meet the same 30/60/15 amounts as well.

Maryland law requires drivers to purchase liability coverage, underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage, and personal injury protection up to $2,500 per person, per accident. A driver’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage must be equal to his or her liability coverage. You can secure very extensive coverage to protect you financially after an accident, but more thorough coverage will cost you more to maintain.

Additional Types of Coverage

Your insurer may offer additional types of coverage you can add to your policy, such as Personal Injury Protection that pays for your medical bills regardless of fault in an accident. You may also purchase collision coverage that pays for repairs or replacement of your car caused by impact with another car or an object. Comprehensive coverage is even more extensive and will offer coverage for damage to your car resulting from severe weather, animals, theft, and possibly even certain types of natural disasters. If you financed your vehicle and are still making payments on it, your loan agreement may require you to purchase collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, or both.

Some insurance companies will also offer additional perks and coverage such as towing coverage, rental car coverage, and labor coverage for repair work to your vehicle. Towing coverage will cover the cost of towing your vehicle after an accident. Rental car coverage may pay for some or all of the cost of renting a vehicle while yours undergoes repairs. Labor coverage will pay for the cost of labor for repairing your vehicle.

Other Driver Obligations

In addition to maintaining the state’s required minimum insurance coverage, Maryland drivers must also know their obligations in terms of reporting accidents and filing claims for damages. If an accident occurs that results in injury, death, or significant property damage, you must report it to the police. The police will respond to the scene, take statements from everyone involved, question witnesses, and then arrange for clearing away the crash site. Failing to report an accident to the police when necessary can lead to legal penalties, up to and including a charge for a criminal hit-and-run. You could also hurt your chances of securing an insurance settlement or a favorable ruling in a personal injury case if you leave the scene too soon.

Fault-Based Laws

Maryland is a fault-based state when it comes to car insurance, so after an accident you may need to file a claim against an at-fault driver’s insurance policy. If the other driver does not have insurance or does not have sufficient insurance to cover your damages, you may need to file a claim against your own policy. You also have the option of filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.

If you have questions after a car accident in Maryland, reach out to a reliable Minnesota personal injury attorney about your options.