Maryland beckons motorcyclists with its diverse terrains and historic landscapes, offering a blend of coastal beauty along the Chesapeake Bay and the rolling hills of its countryside.
The mountainous regions of Western Maryland provide a stunning backdrop and thrilling routes for motorcycle enthusiasts.
It’s crucial for motorcyclists in Maryland to ensure they are adequately insured before hitting the state’s varied landscapes and historical sites.
Maryland Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
To adhere to Maryland’s insurance mandates, your policy must include adequate bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage.
Liability Insurance (Minimums)
- $30,000 bodily injury liability (per person)
- $60,000 bodily injury liability (per accident)
- $15,000 property damage liability (per accident)
Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage
In Maryland, uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage are mandatory unless specifically waived.
- $30,000 for bodily injury (per person)
- $60,000 for bodily injury (per accident)
Personal Injury Protection (P.I.P.) Insurance
Maryland requires all motor vehicles, including motorcycles, to have personal injury protection (P.I.P.).
- $2,500 for medical expenses (per person)
- $15,000 for hospital expenses (per accident)
Option to Waive Full PIP: Drivers in Maryland have the option to waive full PIP coverage in favor of a limited right to recover certain damages, such as medical expenses. This is often chosen by those looking to reduce their insurance premium costs.
Coverage for Passengers & Family Members: Maryland’s PIP coverage also extends to passengers in the insured vehicle and family members residing in the insured’s household, under certain conditions.
Additional or Enhanced PIP Options: Insurers may offer higher limits or additional coverage options for an increased premium.
Note: For detailed information about motorcycle insurance in Maryland, consult the Maryland MVA.
Additional Motorcycle Insurance Coverage in Maryland
Motorcyclists in Maryland may want consider buying additional insurance beyond the standard liability requirements for additional peace of mind.
Some additional insurance coverage options include:
- Collision Coverage: This covers motorcycle’s repairs or replacement if it’s involved in a collision, no matter who is deemed to be at fault.
- Comprehensive Coverage: This provides insurance for non-collision events like theft, vandalism, or natural disasters (e.g. floods, storms, fires, etc.).
- Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay): Also known as “MedPay,” this provides insurance for medical expenses for you and your passengers in an accident, regardless of fault.
- Custom Parts & Equipment (CPE) Coverage: If your motorcycle has custom parts or modifications, this covers the repair or replacement of these features.
- Roadside Assistance: Offers help like towing, fuel delivery, and battery jump-starts if your motorcycle breaks down.
- Trip Interruption Coverage: Covers expenses like lodging and meals if your motorcycle breaks down during a trip.
- Accessory Coverage: Insures your motorcycle’s accessories, like saddlebags and helmets, against damage, destruction, or theft.
- Gap Insurance: Essential if your motorcycle is financed or leased, covering the difference between its actual cash value and the remaining loan or lease amount if it’s totaled.
Note: Specific coverage options may vary to some extent between insurance providers.
Motorcycles & Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined (Maryland)
Maryland has specific definitions for motorcycles and other small two-wheeled vehicles that may differ from those in other states.
Defined as a motor-driven vehicle with a seat or saddle for the rider, designed to travel with not more than three wheels in contact with the ground.
This category includes vehicles powered by internal combustion engines or electric motors.
A bicycle that is designed to be operated by human power with the assistance of a motor.
Is equipped with pedals that mechanically drive the rear wheels or wheels.
Has 2 or 3 wheels, of which one is more than 14 inches in diameter.
Has a motor rating of 1.5 brake horsepower or less, and if the motor is an internal combustion engine, a capacity of 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement or less.
According to Maryland Vehicle Law, Section 11-134.5, a motor scooter is a non-pedal vehicle that:
Has a seat for the operator, has 2 wheels (of which one is 10 inches or more in diameter).
Has a step through chassis
Has a motor with a rating of 2.7 brake horsepower or less OR if the motor is an internal combustion engine – a capacity of 50 cc piston displacement or less.
Must be equipped with an automatic transmission.
Note: These definitions align with official Maryland law and motor vehicle regulations, ensuring consistency across legal, insurance, and registration processes within the state – but may be subject to future revisions.
Insurance for Smaller Vehicles in Maryland
In Maryland, insurance requirements vary for different types of small vehicles:
- Motorcycles: To legally operate and ride a motorcycle in the state of Maryland, a person must have liability insurance, uninsured/underinsured (UI/UIM) motorist coverage, and P.I.P. (personal injury protection) coverage.
- Mopeds: Mopeds are not required to be insured in Maryland. However, it is recommended to carry liability coverage.
- Motor Scooters: Motor scooters with engine displacements 50cc or less are classified as mopeds and do not require insurance. Larger scooters are treated as motorcycles and require the same motorcycle insurance minimums.
- Electric Bicycles: No insurance is required for electric bicycles in Maryland. They are treated similarly to regular bicycles under the law.
In summary, liability insurance is mandatory for motorcycles in Maryland, while mopeds and smaller scooters are not required to be insured. Carrying coverage is still recommended for all types of vehicles.
Note: Contact a reputable insurance company or insurance agent for more information if you have questions about insuring a specific small vehicle in Maryland.
Laws & Regulations for Driving Motorcycles in Maryland
Included below are some general rules and regulations that must be followed if operating a motorcycle in the state of Maryland.
- Lane splitting: It is illegal to “split lanes” or ride between lanes while operating a motor vehicle in the state of Maryland.
- Helmets: All motorcyclists & passengers must wear helmets in alignment with standards set by U.S. DOT (Department of Transportation). Helmets should be fastened with a chin-strap while motorcycles are in motion.
- Eye protection: Maryland law requires riders to use windscreens or other approved eye-protective devices such as goggles, face-shields, etc. – particularly if the motorcycle doesn’t have a windshield.
- Exhaust noise: Mufflers are mandatory for motorcycles in Maryland and must not exceed noise (decibel) levels specified in law. It is illegal to modify motorcycles to make them louder than they would otherwise be without modifications.
- Handlebars: Handlebars on motorcycles in Maryland cannot exceed shoulder height of seated operators.
- Insurance: Motorcyclists in the state of Maryland must have liability coverage, UM/UIM, and P.I.P. insurance.
- Passengers: Any motorcycles with passengers must have footrests for the passengers. Passengers must wear DOT-standard helmets, and must not ride in the front of the operator.
- Mirrors & Lighting: Mirrors with a rear-view are required on all motorcycles in Maryland – and headlights are required.
- License (Class M): All motorcyclists in the state of Maryland must obtain a Class M license or endorsement to legally operate a motorcycle.
Note: For additional information on laws, rules, and regulations for motorcyclists in Maryland – check with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).
Penalties for Riding without Motorcycle Insurance in Maryland
In Maryland, motorcyclists are required by law to carry insurance.
Failure to provide proof of insurance can result in heavy fines and/or jail time.
- First Offense: A motorcyclist may face up to $1,000 in fines, administrative fees of $150 for the first 30 days and $7 for each additional day. There might not be a definite suspension of driving privileges, but the offense could result in five points on the license and up to one year in prison.
- Second & Subsequent Offenses: Penalties increase with repeat offenses. Fines can reach up to $2,000 with additional administrative fees. This could also lead to the suspension of the license and/or vehicle registration, five points on the license, and up to two years of imprisonment. The Maryland Vehicle Administration (MVA) may also require enrollment in a driver improvement program for these offenses.
For the most accurate and detailed information, consulting the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration or legal experts in Maryland is recommended.
- Providing false evidence of insurance: Is a misdemeanor with a fine up to $500 and/or up to 6 months imprisonment.
Note: It’s crucial to maintain proper insurance on your motorcycle in Maryland. The penalties and consequences of riding uninsured can be severe. Talk to a lawyer if you have additional questions about the legal consequences for driving without insurance.
FAQs: Maryland Motorcycle Insurance & Rules
Included below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding motorcycle insurance and basic riding rules in the state of Maryland.
Is a specific license required to operate a motorcycle in Maryland?
You must have a motorcycle license (Class M) or a license with a motorcycle endorsement to legally ride a motorcycle in Maryland.
To get an endorsement, you must pass a knowledge test and either a skills test or complete a Motorcycle Safety Program course.
Are there penalties for driving without motorcycle insurance in Maryland?
Yes, penalties may include heavy fines, jail time, vehicle impoundment, and/or license suspension.
Uninsured riders may also face personal liability for damages in accidents.
What factors influence the cost of motorcycle insurance in MD?
There are a variety of factors that can influence the cost of motorcycle insurance in Maryland, including (but not limited to):
- Age: Younger riders tend to pay more for insurance due to increased risk.
- Type of motorcycle: Expensive motorcycles cost more to insure than cheaper ones.
- Discounts: The number of discounts for which riders obtain through an insurance company will impact price.
- Location: The specific location in which you live and operate your motorcycle may influence pricing. Riskier locations are associated with higher prices.
- Driving History: Individuals with safe driving histories tend to have lower insurance costs than those with a history of claims and/or accidents.
Is it possible to get cheap motorcycle insurance in Maryland?
Yes. As was mentioned, various factors influence the cost of motorcycle insurance including things like: age, type of motorcycle, discounts you qualify for, your specific location, driving history, etc.
That said, comparing quotes from multiple insurance companies and getting a policy with lower amounts of coverage can help you cut costs. However, going for the cheapest plan may not always be a smart move.
Are insurance requirements different for mopeds & motor scooters compared to motorcycles?
Yes, insurance requirements differ in the state of Maryland.
Motorcycles must be insured with liability insurance, UM/UIM coverage, and P.I.P. coverage.
Mopeds under 50cc engines and electric scooters are not required to be insured at all in Maryland.
Small motor scooters (under 50cc engines) don’t require insurance – but larger scooters are treated as motorcycles and require the same insurance minimums as motorcycles.
Is lane splitting allowed in Maryland for motorcycles?
Nope. You are not legally permitted to engage in “lane splitting” in the state of Maryland.
Motorcyclists must remain within the confines of a single lane and follow the same rules as other vehicles.
Do you need to wear a helmet while driving a motorcycle in Maryland?
Yes. Maryland law requires all motorcycle operators and passengers to wear a DOT-compliant helmet, regardless of age or experience level.
Motorcycle Insurance Discounts in Maryland
Maryland motorcyclists should have plenty of opportunities to reduce their motorcycle insurance premiums through various discounts.
These discounts are designed to reward safe practices, loyalty, and responsible ownership.
Here’s an overview of typical motorcycle insurance discounts available in Maryland, along with a brief explanation of each:
- Bundling Discount: If you bundle multiple insurance policies (e.g. home, auto, or life insurance) with the same insurance company, you might qualify for a discount on motorcycle insurance.
- Anti-Theft Discount: Using specific anti-theft devices on your motorcycle may increase savings on comprehensive coverage premiums, as it predictably lowers the risk of theft.
- Military Savings: Discounts are often available to active and retired military personnel, as well as members of certain groups or professional organizations. It’s advisable to check with insurers for any applicable discounts.
- Motorcycle Club Membership Discount: Memberships in recognized motorcycle clubs or organizations can occasionally earn discounts, as insurers often consider club members to be more conscientious riders.
- Annual Payment Savings: Paying your premium annually in a single full payment, rather than in monthly installments, can sometimes result in a discount.
- Good Credit Score Discount: A favorable credit score may lead to lower insurance rates, as individuals with higher credit scores are often viewed as lower-risk & more responsible customers by insurers.
- Multi-Vehicle Discount: Insuring multiple vehicles with the same insurer – such as motorcycles, cars, trucks, boats, RVs, etc. – can make you eligible for a multi-vehicle discount.
- Safe Riding Discount: Completing motorcycle safety courses can lead to a safe driving discount, as insurers value the reduced risk presented by well-trained and cautious riders.
- Zero Claims Discount: Riders who haven’t filed any insurance claims over a certain period of time (often 3-5 years) may be eligible for a claims-free discount.
- Mature Rider Discount: Motorcyclists over a certain age (usually 50+ years) with a clean driving record may qualify for a mature rider discount.
Note: Discount offers may vary – sometimes significantly – between insurance providers. Before opting for a specific insurance provider, verify that they offer the discounts you want or need to maximize savings.
Getting quality motorcycle insurance in Maryland
It may be challenging and time consuming to find the best motorcycle insurance plan for your personal needs in the state of Maryland.
Comparing quotes from multiple reputable companies is always recommended to determine which offers you the best overall value for your money.
We recommend using the free Zip Code search tool on our site – which shows some of the leading trusted insurance companies in your exact location.
Then you can check with each company – getting free quotes and comparing each to determine which is an ideal fit for you and your motorcycle.
After you’ve secured a plan, you can ride with additional peace of mind in Maryland.