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MD Governor Deciding on Whether to Up Minimum Auto Liability Limits in State

Posted on 08 Apr 2010

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Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is deciding whether the state will raise its minimum liability limits on auto insurance by thousands of dollars.

The Maryland State Senate voted today (April 7) to approve HB 825, following prior approval by the state’s House of Delegates late last month.

The measure increases the minimum amounts of coverage for bodily claims or death from a motor vehicle accident from $20,000 to $30,000 for one person, and from $40,000 to $60,000 for any two or more individuals. The proposed legislation would apply to all vehicle liability insurance policies issued, delivered or renewed in the state, starting Jan. 1, 2011, according to the text of the bill.

Insurance companies and consumer advocacy groups have voiced opposition to the bill, citing the impact on Maryland drivers in an especially tough economic climate.

According to a fiscal note accompanying the bill, 98.6% of those enrolled in the state’s auto insurer of last resort, the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund, will be affected. MAIF estimates that the changes will result in increased premium revenues of $4.1 million in fiscal 2011 and $8.1 million per year after that.

Media reports indicate this is the first time in 38 years that the minimums have been altered and that O’Malley has not indicated whether he will sign the measure into law.