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New Maryland Insurance Law Aims to Protect Car Accident Victims

Suppose you are involved in a car accident in Maryland while driving home after work. A car approaches in the opposite lane and, suddenly, veers across into your lane, swiping the front of your vehicle and flipping your car into the ditch.

You suffer multiple broken bones in the car accident, requiring some minor surgery, and your car is completely totaled.

What happens if the individual who caused the accident is not carrying enough insurance to cover your medical costs and car damages? In most cases, you would end up covering the rest yourself.

Under House Bill 825, signed into law this month by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, the minimum required amount of liability insurance increases by about 33 percent for drivers in the state.

Under the new law, the minimum amount of insurance coverage for "bodily claims or death" increases from:

  • $20,000 to $30,000 for single-person coverage
  • $40,000 to $60,000 for two or more drivers.

Surprisingly, those in the insurance sector have not been pleased about the legal update, accusing the governor of levying an unfair requirement upon economically sensitive citizens. They point out that, with the new minimum requirement, more drivers will likely choose to remain uninsured.

Proponents of the bill, including the governor's office, have maintained that the bill will better protect drivers who are injured in car accidents. The new minimum liability insurance requirements go into effect on January 1, 2011. They will apply to all new and renewed car insurance plans.

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