Best cheap car insurance in Baltimore

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Despite making up less than 100 square miles of Maryland’s total 12,407 square miles, Baltimore accounts for more than 21% of the state’s car accidents. This equates to more than 100,000 crashes in a recent four-year period — the greatest number compared to any other city in Maryland. With this in mind, drivers will likely want the best car insurance Baltimore offers, at the cheapest prices, to protect themselves.

The average annual insurance rates for Baltimore are $1,241 for minimum coverage and $2,772 for full coverage, which includes collision and comprehensive. Bankrate looked at insurers offering policies in the city at low rates to find the best cheap car insurance in Baltimore. We also provided information surrounding customer service and the range of coverage options and discounts available.

Best car insurance companies in Baltimore

The table below highlights five of the best car insurance companies located in Baltimore, including J.D. Power customer satisfaction scores and average annual premiums for minimum and full coverage.

Insurance company J.D. Power score Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Allstate 876/1,000 $1,331 $2,615
Geico 871/1,000 $956 $2,210
Erie 880/1,000 $1,082 $2,703
Nationwide 876/1,000 $902 $1,871
*USAA 890/1,000 $892 $2,135

*USAA is not officially ranked due to customer eligibility restrictions.

Allstate

Allstate was at the higher end of rates on our list of best car insurance companies in Baltimore, but it has solid coverage options and award-winning customer service. Allstate’s minimal coverage costs an average of $1,331 per year, while full coverage is $2,615 per year. The company offers a wide range of discounts to help reduce your premium, including smart student discounts, an early signing discount and a bundling discount.

Geico

Geico’s premium cost is well below the Baltimore average at $956 per year for minimum coverage and $2,210 for full coverage. It has generous discounts to bring that price down even more, including up to 25% off for multi-vehicle policies, and a good driver discount of up to 22%. In addition to liability coverage, it has additional coverage options such as rental reimbursement and mechanical breakdown insurance.

Erie

Erie rates high on the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction survey, meaning that the company prioritizes serving the needs of its policyholders quickly and efficiently. Erie’s average annual rate for minimum coverage is $1,082 and $2,703 for full coverage. The company offers thoughtful coverage options — such as pet injury coverage — and an innovative Rate Lock feature, which means you will pay the same even if you have an accident.

Nationwide

Nationwide offers the second lowest rates in Baltimore on average (after USAA) of all the insurers Bankrate reviewed for minimal coverage and full coverage. It offers minimum coverage for an average of $902 per year and full coverage at $1,871 per year, which is just over $900 cheaper than the Baltimore average.

Nationwide offers standard discounts such as safe driver, automatic pay, and multi-policy. Many policyholders can also be eligible for accident forgiveness, which helps you avoid an increase even if you are in an at-fault accident.

USAA

USAA receives high customer satisfaction scores, and for good reason. The only caveat is that it only sells policies to members of the military, veterans, and their families, which technically makes USAA rank ineligible. However, it has a reputation for excellent service as well as low rates, which aligns with our testing as it had the lowest Baltimore average rate.

USAA features a good range of coverage options and some decent discounts to bring your rate down even more.

Cheapest car insurance in Baltimore

When you compare Baltimore’s average rates to those of Maryland and the U.S., Baltimore comes in on the high side, which can be accounted for by the fact that there are frequent accidents occurring on the city’s congested streets. The average cost of car insurance in the U.S. is $565 per year for minimum coverage and $1,674 per year for full coverage. Averages for the whole state of Maryland are $767 per year and $1,877 per year for minimum and full coverage, respectively.

Bankrate’s research, which included receiving multiple car insurance quotes for Baltimore, showed that the following five companies are among the cheapest car insurance companies in the city. Not all of them made our “best of” list, but each company is capable of writing solid, comprehensive policies at a good price point for Baltimore drivers.

Insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
USAA $892 $2,135
Nationwide $902 $1,871
Geico $956 $2,210
Erie $1,082 $2,703
Progressive $1,314 $2,501

USAA’s prices are often the lowest on comparison charts, but the company is limited to military families, so not everyone is able to benefit from its low prices. Progressive is at the high end, but discounts can lower your price. As always, it is worth getting a free quote to see what the company can offer you.

Nationwide, Geico and Erie all feature prices that are below the Baltimore averages for annual premiums. Your own cost will vary, of course, since it is dependent on a number of features that are unique to you, such as your credit rating. Each of these companies is well-regarded and has agents in the Baltimore area who understand the needs of Maryland drivers.

Baltimore insurance requirements

Maryland residents — including Baltimore drivers — are required by law to carry 30/60/15 liability coverage and the same amount in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. That translates into:

  • $30,000 bodily injury liability for a single person’s injuries in any accident you cause
  • $60,000 total BI liability for all the injuries in a single accident
  • $15,000 property damage liability to cover damage to the other car in an at-fault accident, as well as damage to other structures, such as fencing or a light post

Drivers must also carry $2,500 worth of personal injury protection (PIP).

It is worth noting that the minimum amount may not be enough coverage following a serious accident, especially if extended hospital care is needed for the injured. If you can afford it, it may be a good idea to increase your liability coverage as much as possible — many experts recommend that a good amount is 100/300/50. Minimal coverage also does not include collision and comprehensive, which you may need if you have leased vehicle or car loan.

Car insurance discounts in Baltimore

Baltimore insurers offer a broad range of discount options to policyholders, and many of them are not hard to qualify for.

  • Safety features: If your car has airbags, anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights, or other safety features, you can often save on your premium.
  • Good driver: Many insurers use telematics programs, like Allstate’s Drivewise program, to monitor your driving skills. You can typically earn more savings the safer you drive.
  • EZ-pay: Setting up your account so that your premium payments are automatic may save you money.
  • Affiliate discounts: Military members, or members of various organizations (such as federal employees or alumni associations) may be eligible for an occupation-based discount.
  • Multi-policy: If you have your car insurance with the same company as your homeowners or renters insurance, most insurance companies will give you a discount.

The discounts that will have the biggest impact on your premium rates are likely to be the ones that are related to your driving skills. If you are willing to allow your insurer to have access to real-time data on your driving skills, you may be rewarded with significant savings for demonstrating safe driving.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

There are a number of car insurance companies writing great policies in Baltimore, including Allstate, Geico, Erie, Nationwide and USAA. Since each person’s needs are different, finding the right choice for you means doing your homework and getting multiple quotes. A good place to start your search is with Bankrate’s Best Car Insurance Companies for 2021 list.

How much does car insurance in Baltimore cost?

The average cost of car insurance Baltimore is $1,241 for minimum coverage and $2,772 for full coverage. Your own costs will probably differ, since there are many factors that go into determining your premium price, including the make and model of your car, your age, and your credit rating.

How much car insurance do I need in Baltimore?

The minimum coverage required in Maryland is 30/60/15. If you can afford to, you may want to consider increasing this amount, since an accident that includes injuries can be quite expensive. If you have a newer car, you might want to also consider collision and comprehensive coverage to protect your investment. If you are financing your vehicle, most lenders will require you to carry this coverage.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2018 Honda Accord, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.