Thursday, April 29, 2010

Senate Votes to Increase the Minimum Auto Insurance Coverage

The State Senate voted 27 to 20 to increase the minimum amount of auto insurance coverage allowed by the state of Maryland. The state minimum was set at $20,000 and $40,000 and had been set without an increase since 1972. The current bill would increase this minimum to $50,000. The bill is currently on the desk of Governor Martin O'Malley to sign.

This bill faced widespread opposition by insurance carriers, the American Insurance Administration. The American Insurance Administration reported that two million car insurance policies in the state of Maryland carried only a minimum liability policy at the end of last year. The administration opposed the bill because it would cause an increase in insurance premiums of between 5 percent and 15 percent. They argued, an increase in premiums could also cause a drastic increase in uninsured motorist drivers. In other words, if people are unable to afford the insurance coverage they may be forced to not carry insurance at all.

The bill is meant to protect those involved in serious automobile accidents. Currently, if you are involved in a serious or fatal motor vehicle collision with an individual who has a minimal insurance policy, the most that you would be able to collect for your medical expenses, loss of income or pain and suffering is $20,000. With the increase of health costs, $20,000 doesn't go very far. In most of these cases, the injured party has medical expenses that exceed the amount of the policy. This bill would increase the minimal policy and assist those severely injured as the result of an automobile accident.

The bill was necessary and has been needed for sometime. Countless serious automobile accidents occur every year wherein the at fault driver has minimal insurance coverage. At least in the future more money will be available to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If you, a family member, or someone you know has been involved in a motor vehicle or truck accident, or if you would like more information on car accidents please contact Portner & Shure and speak with our Maryland accident lawyers for a free legal consultation.

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