Auto insurance in Maine is the only way you can prove financial responsibility when driving a car in the State and, because the penalties for not carrying insurance are severe, most people choose to act dutifully and have Maine car insurance. The dutiful nature of Maine residents extends to the way they act on the roads – with many car owners taking advantage of approved motor vehicle accident prevention courses to improve their standard of driving and claim discounts on their car insurance rates in Maine.
Consequently, residents of Maine have traditionally enjoyed one of the lowest rates for car insurance anywhere in America, despite having the highest liability requirements in the country. Low commuter mileage, low levels of traffic on the highways and low numbers of uninsured drivers have all contributed to Maine car insurance rates being generally 25 per cent lower than the national average. Maine auto insurance rates also benefit from the State having one of the lowest rates of vehicle theft in the country.
Maine Car Insurance Requirements
The regulations relating to Maine car insurance requirements are tough but sensible. Not only do vehicle owners have to have high levels of liability coverage for bodily injury and damage to property, they are also required to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (despite the rate of uninsured drivers being less than 4 per cent according to the Insurance Research Council) and medical payments coverage of $2,000.
The medical payments coverage protects you and your family when injuries are sustained in any type of road traffic accident, and includes coverage for when you are walking, biking or riding in another car. It also provides coverage for passengers riding in your car, who are injured in an accident for which you are at fault.
The minimum liability limits for auto insurance In Maine:-
$50,000 for injury/death to one person
$100,000 for injury/death to more than one person
$25,000 for damage to property
$50,000/$100,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist protection (* see below)
$2,000 for medical payments coverage
(*) Maine car insurance regulations requires you to have uninsured motorist coverage equal to the amount of liability that you have on your policy unless you specifically elect to buy uninsured motor vehicle coverage with lower limits of liability for bodily injury or death. You must sign a rejection form provided by the insurance company before the effective date of the policy to reject the equal limits. However, if you decide to request a limit lower than your liability coverage limit, the limit cannot go below the minimum required amount of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident.
Maine Auto Insurance Laws
There is no direct reporting system in place between auto insurance companies in Maine and the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Therefore, you must carry proof of car insurance at all times in your vehicle. This proof can be in the forms of an insurance card, a letter from your Maine car insurance company (or agent) or a summary document of the car insurance policy, but must include your name, the vehicle´s make, model, license plate number and VIN, the type of insurance coverage, the effective and expiration dates and the amount of insurance.
If you are involved in an accident or pulled over by a law enforcement officer and cannot show proof of car insurance in Maine, you will be fined, be ticketed for uninsured operation and possibly have your license and vehicle registration suspended. You will then have to file SR-22 insurance, which is expensive and cancels out the benefit of cheap car insurance in Maine.
Recommended Maine Car Insurance Coverage
Even though the minimum liability limits in Maine are the highest in the country, the Maine BMV recommends that drivers take a minimum coverage for injury or death of $250,000/$500,000. Furthermore, in Maine uninsured/underinsured motorist protection does not cover damage done to your vehicle in the event that you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver and therefore collision insurance is recommended.
If you buy a new car with a loan, the financial institution loaning you the money may require you to buy comprehensive auto insurance in Maine. This is because it wants to make sure you have the means to repair the car if it is damaged, and to pay off the loan if the vehicle is totaled. If you have purchased a vehicle with no deposit finance or a very small deposit, you may also need gap (loan/lease) coverage as insurance compensation for vehicle damage is based on the vehicle’s actual cash value and not necessarily what you paid for the car.
Cheap Maine Car Insurance Quotes
Even though Maine car insurance rates are generally less expensive than the rest of the country, you should still take advantage of cheap Maine car insurance quotes whenever possible. You can gain access to cheap auto insurance quotes in Maine by taking advantage of online car insurance comparison tools (such as the one at the top of the page) or by phoning around different car insurance companies in Maine – for which we have provided a handy list below.
There are a number of steps you can take yourself in order to get cheap car insurance in Maine and these include passing an approved motor vehicle accident prevention course, adding safety and security devices to your vehicle and maintaining a good driving record. If you can demonstrate an unbroken history of car insurance in Maine, you should also qualify for a discount and if one is not offered to you – particularly when you are considering changing car insurers – remember to ask for one.
Maine Car Insurance Ratings
Car insurance companies in Maine construct your auto insurance quote based on their “car insurance ratings”. These ratings are a culmination of historical statistics and how they relate to your own personal circumstances, and provide Maine auto insurance companies with a guide to how much risk they are taking when they offer you car insurance.
Most people will be aware that insuring a car with daytime running lights, automatic seats belts and air-bags is going to be cheaper than buying car insurance in Maine for a car which does not have these safety features installed. You may not be aware however, that a car insurance company in Maine can request your credit history to decide whether to issue a policy or use your credit history to determine the premium to charge.
Other factors which contribute towards your Maine car insurance ratings include:-
- Where You Live – One of the first things an auto insurance company in Maine will want to know is where you live. Car drivers who live in rural areas will pay lower auto insurance rates in Maine than those who live in the city where there is more traffic.
- Your Age and Gender – Statistically, young males are at fault in a high percentage of road traffic accident in Maine. Car insurance companies therefore charge young male drivers higher premiums that older, female drivers because they are (historically) considered to be a greater risk.
- Your Marital Status – Apparently, according to research conducted by auto insurance companies in Maine, when we get married we also become more responsible drivers. Saving a few dollars on your car insurance may not be the best reason in the world to get married, but hey!
- Where You Park Your Car – Not everybody has a private garage in which to keep their car, but if you have, make sure your Maine car insurance company knows about it. You can get big discounts from car insurance companies in Maine if your car is locked away when not in use.
- Make, Model and Year of Vehicle – Auto insurance rates in Maine are also influenced by the make, model and year of the vehicle you are driving. A more valuable car need not be more expensive to insure if you have additional security features attached to prevent theft and damage.
Most Stolen Vehicles in Maine
Maine has an incredibly low rate of vehicle theft (see “Where Your Car May Get Stolen” below), but nonetheless criminals target certain types of vehicles which are easier to steal or for which there is a market for resale.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) publishes an annual list of the most frequently stolen cars by State and, if your vehicle appears on this list, it could have a negative effect on your auto insurance rates in Maine.
The list for 2010 is as follows:-
- Chevrolet Pick-Up
- Subaru legacy
- Dodge Caravan
- Ford F150 Pick-Up
- Honda Accord GMC Pick-Up
- Grand Cherokee
- Toyota Camry
- Ford Ranger
- Ford Focus
Where You Car May Get Stolen in Maine
The NICB also produces a list each year of the 360 metropolitan districts throughout the country which suffer from the worst vehicle theft per capita of population. Remarkably, the State of Maine managed to contribute only three districts to this list in 2010, and all three featured close to the bottom of the list (national position in brackets)-
- Bangor (325)
- Portland (329)
- Lewiston (358)
Maine Car Insurance Companies
Car insurance companies like doing business in Maine because of the low ratio of payouts to policies – despite the low car insurance rates in Maine! Consequently, the market is very competitive and you can often find good deals by ringing around a selection of Maine auto insurance companies or by using our free interactive tool at the top of the page. The list below provides a selection of car insurance companies licensed to do business in Maine. We have reviewed those which are underlined and you can read our reviews by clicking on the link or by selecting from the list on the right of the page.
|Allstate||Great Northern||Patrons Oxford|
|American Bankers||Green Mountain||Peerless|
|American Home Assurance||Hanover||Phoenix|
|American Modern||Horace Mann||Providence Mutual Fire|
|American Reliable||InterInsurance Exchange of||Sentinel|
|AMICA Mutual||the Automobile Club||Standard Fire|
|Atlantic Mutual||Kemper Independence||State Farm|
|Bristol West||Liberty Mutual||Teachers|
|California Casualty||Main Street America||Travelers|
|Charter Oak Fire||Metropolitan||Twin City Fire|
|Citizens||Middlesex Mutual Assurance||Union Mutual Fire|
|Concord General Mutual||MMG||United Financial|
|Dairyland||National Union Fire||Vermont Accident|
|Encompass||New England Guaranty||Vigilant|
|Farm Family Casualty||New Hampshire Indemnity||Virginia Surety|
|Farmers||NGM||York of Maine|
|Federal||Norfolk & Dedham|
|First Liberty||North East Insurance Company|
With such cheap auto insurance rates in Maine, there is little excuse for not being insured when you drive your car. However, you can always save a few dollars by shopping around and asking for further discount once you receive your car insurance quotes. Car insurance companies in Maine do not tend to volunteer such information, but if they really want your business they will better an existing quote when asked to.