Finding the lowest auto insurance rates in Maryland can be a daunting prospect. Where do you turn for information you can trust?

We’ve found an excellent source from the Maryland Insurance Department in the form of an Auto Insurance Comparison Rate Guide. This guide compares auto insurance rates offered by the State’s top-selling auto insurers. It also includes an overview car insurance shopping tips, factors that affect rates, and information on filing a complaint about an auto insurance company. Information is as of August 1, 2011.

Tips for how to buy auto insurance include:

  • Determine your insurance costs before buying a new car.
  • Know what coverage you are buying.
  • Get unbiased information.
  • Do comparison shopping.
  • Get price quotes.
  • Ask about deductibles.
  • Inquire about discounts.
  • Protect yourself against insurance fraud.

What Impacts Rates

Looking for the lowest auto insurance rates in Maryland depends on where you stand relative to various factors that impact rates. These include your driving record, where you live, your gender and age, marital status, prior insurance coverage, how many miles you drive each year, the make, model and year of your car, and your credit history.

How to Use the Guide to Find Rates

Sample premiums are listed for the State mandatory minimum liability limits of $30,000/$60,000/$15,000. First, select the region you wish to compare (for example, Western Maryland, Washington, D.C. suburbs, Southern Maryland, Greater Baltimore Suburban Area, or Eastern Shore without Cecil.

Next, choose a scenario that most closely resembles your own auto insurance household makeup. There are 12 different scenarios to choose from. Some have either a male or a female example, while scenarios 8 through 12 are family rating scenarios.

Determine which zip code is closest to where you live.

Then compare the companies and rates provided, based on the region, scenario and zip code you chose. Repeat with different scenarios and analyze the result to get a better idea of the lowest auto insurance rates in Maryland to fit your needs.

Examples

Taking scenario #1: single male, 23, rents an apartment, drives a 2003 Honda CR-V, drives 15,000 miles annually, no accidents or violations in the past three years, no credit history, no companion discount. Sample rates listed for Allegany (21502) and Allstate Indemnity, Amica Mutual, GEICO General, State Farm Mutual and Travelers Home and Marine show $1,290, $1,633, $779, $1,537, and $1,796, respectively.

Sample rates for this same scenario listed for Prince George’s (20769) for the same companies show respective rates of $1,856, $2,087, $956, $2,091, and $4,941.

How about scenario #2: single female, 23, rents an apartment, drives a 2003 Jeep Liberty Limited 4X4, 15,000 miles annually, one speeding ticket 19 months ago driving 10 miles over the limit, no credit history and no companion discount. Sample rates using the same two regions and zip codes and the same companies are as follows:

Allegany (21502): Allstate Indemnity ($1,287), Amica Mutual ($1,654), GEICO General ($856), State Farm Mutual ($1,538) and Travelers Home and Marine ($1,845).

Choosing Prince George’s (20769), the respective rates for the same companies in this rating scenario show: $1,857, $2,118, $1,059, $2,048, and $4,054, respectively.

The only way to know with reasonable certainty that you can find the lowest auto insurance rates in Maryland is to do your homework. Check out the various scenarios, compare rates, and then make a decision as to which companies to check with further for price quotes and the coverage you want.

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