Maryland Motorcycle Insurance

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According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Administration division, all vehicles in the state must be covered by liability insurance at all times, even while in storage. In addition to being an at fault insurance state, Maryland is one of only four US states which has a very harsh rule called “contributory negligence.” If you contributee in any way to causing an accident, you have no claim against the driver who was the primary cause of your accident. In theory, this means that if you are just 1% responsible and the other driver is 99% to blame, you are not entitled to recover from the other motorist.

Maryland Motorcycle Insurance Law

Motorcycle insurance regulations in Maryland require that owners have a liability policy with minimum coverages equal to those below:

$30,000 for death or bodily injury to one person;
$60,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more persons; and
$15,000 for damage or destruction of property.

Those limits are obviously too low to cover a single night in the hospital or an E.R. visit with ambulance bills. When you add in tests, physical therapy, and time off work, you can imagine how short those limits will fall.

Recommended Coverage for Maryland Riders

Collision coverage: this protection covers your bike in an accident under nearly every circumstance. It may or may not include uninsured/under-insured coverage.

Uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage: at any given time more than 12 percent of the drivers in Maryland do not have car or motorcycle insurance. With that many uninsured drivers you can see why you need this type of coverage. As if worrying about uninsured drivers isn’t enough, you must also be aware of under-insured drivers. An uninsured/under-insured motorist policy protects you in either case.

Personal injury protection (PIP) is often recommended in Maryland because of the harsh nature of the contributory negligence rule. PIP can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. PIP is designed to be paid without regard to ”fault.”

Comprehensive coverage: this protection covers items like fire, wind, water, theft, and vandalism.

Bodily injury coverage: this protection covers certain costs if you injure or kill someone in an at-fault accident. It also protects your passenger.

Medical payment coverage: this covers items such as prescription drug payments; dental care; medical co-payments and deductibles from other health coverage policies; home nursing care, or funeral expenses.

If you ride a custom bike, you should consider additional insurance protection for custom bikes.

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Maryland Motorcycle Laws

It may seem obvious what a motorcycle is, but every state must clearly define. In Maryland, a motorcycle:

“Has a seat for the operator; two or three wheels, at least one is 10 inches or more in diameter; has a step-through chassis; has a motor with a rating in excess of 2.7 brake horsepower if the motor is an internal combustion engine or with a capacity of 51 cubic centimeters piston displacement or more.”

Street Legal Motorcycle Requirements for Maryland Riders

Maryland is a state of contrasts. You may find yourself doing the urban crawl in the D.C or you may be in pristine countryside with little traffic to contend with. Either way, you and your bike must have certain equipment in order to be considered street legal in Maryland. That equipment includes:

  • Eye protection: required by law unless equipped with windscreen.
  • Handlebar height: maximum of 15 inches above the seat.
  • Helmet: required for all riders.
  • Mirrors: two are required.
  • Turn Signals: required.
  • Passenger Seat/Footrest: both are required if carrying a passenger. No restrictions on a passenger’s age.
  • Headlight: required, modulating daytime headlight approved.
  • Muffler: required; ”No modifications may be made to the muffler which increase the sound level beyond that of the original manufacturer’s equipment. Maximum allowable A-weighted sound levels based on measurement distance of 50 feet (Sec. 1)After 7/1/75 82-86dBA 2)after 1/1/79 78-82dBA
  • Safety Inspection: required by law each time the title is transferred.