When driving a State of Maine registered vehicle, insurance is required.
Maine minimum car insurance requirements are:
- Auto Insurance policy with limits of at least 50/100/25 – meaning:
- Liability coverage
- $50,000 of bodily injury to another person
- $100,000 of bodily injuries to all other persons
- $25,000 of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident
- $2,000 for medical payments coverage
While it is not required, drivers who purchase a personal umbrella policy are able to have higher limits of liability at a bargain price. This policy offers broad liability protection over and above the liability limit of your auto policy.
Alternative Options to Insurance:
Assigned Risk: This automobile insurance plan offers assistance to those who have been labeled as a risky driver and are not able to obtain coverage through regular means. As a result, Maine’s Department of Motor Vehicles assigns the high-risk drivers to automobile insurance companies. This allows these individuals to purchase insurance, while having each company contribute to the shared market.
Required Proof of Insurance in Maine
The state of Maine does not possess an insurance coverage reporting system. Therefore, you are responsible for informing the state when you obtain coverage for a registered vehicle. Drivers are able to use the following as proof of valid insurance:
- Current insurance card
- Policy declaration page
- Insurance binder
- Summary of the insurance policy
Your form of proof should include:
- Name of driver
- Name of Insurance Company
- Insurance Policy Number
- Effective and expiration dates
- Make and model of the covered vehicle
- The VIN number of the covered vehicle
- License plate numbers
#34 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0034
Obtaining a Driver’s License
This process begins by obtaining a Maine Instruction Permit. To do so you must:
- Be at least 15 years old (may not apply for road test until attaining your sixteenth birthday)
- Have successfully completed an approved driver education course
- Completed a written knowledge examination
- Complete a vision screening
This permit will grant you the ability to operate a vehicle with a licensed passenger of who is at least 20 years old and has held a license for at least two years. Attached with your permit will be paperwork that you will need to complete and mail to:
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Driver License Services Division
29 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0029
This paperwork includes:
- The completed application
- The driver education completion certificate
- Your birth certificate.
If you are 18 years old or over, driver education is not required. Instead, you will have to complete and pass the written exam, a road test, and vision screening. Two forms of identification are required – your birth certificate, and another with your signature on it.
Once these requirements have been met, you will need to:
- Have your instruction permit for at least 6 months
- Complete 35 hours of supervised driving practice (with 5 hours taking place at night) and record them in a log book signed by your parent or guardian
- Have no traffic violations within 6 months of applying for license
- Pass your road test
- Prove that you are a Maine resident and a US citizen or that you are living in the country legally
- Provide your social security number
- Pay the $30 fee for photo license
Note: The first license issued to a new applicant under 21 years of age is provisional for a period of two years. If you are 21 years of age or older, your first license will be provisional for one year. If you are convicted of a moving violation that occurred while operating with a provisional license, your license will be suspended for 30 days. Second and third offenses involve more severe penalties.
When a child reaches the age of 15, they may enroll in an approved driver education course.
To complete a program and be issued a permit, all drivers must perform the following:
- Participate in a 3 week and one day course.
- Complete 10 hours of driving time in 5 blocks of 2 hours.
- Receive the permission of a parent or guardian (via signature)
It is highly recommended that you research any driver-training program prior to enrollment, allowing you to ensure the program and their instructors are certified. However, many first-time drivers are encouraged to use their school’s driver training program as all school programs are approved by the state of Maine.
Knowing the Rules of the Road
The state of Maine provides their rules of the road online. By carefully obeying these rules, you can be eligible for the lowest possible car insurance rates
- Antique vehicles: 29-A §2090(REALLOCATED FROM TITLE 29-A, SECTION 2089)
- Following too closely:29-A §2066
- Lights: 29-A §2067
- Operation of autocycles: 29-A §2089 (WHOLE SECTION TEXT EFFECTIVE UNTIL 90 days after the adjournment of the First Regular Session of the 125th Legislature) (WHOLE SECTION TEXT REPEALED 90 days after the adjournment of the First Regular Session of 125th Legislature by T. 29-A, §2089-A, sub-§5)
- Passengers restricted to passenger compartment of pickup truck: 29-A §2088 (REALLOCATED FROM TITLE 29-A, SECTION 2085)
- Railroad or grade crossings: 29-A §2076
- Rates of speed: 29-A §2074
- Riding in trunk prohibited: 29-A §2086(REALLOCATED FROM TITLE 29-A, SECTION 2085)
- Transporting dogs in open vehicle regulated: 29-A §2087 (REALLOCATED FROM TITLE 29-A, SECTION 2085)
Know Your Rates
Before purchasing car insurance, premium quotations can be useful to compare auto insurance rates in Maine. To construct a fair comparison between companies, make certain that you acquire all the same information for each in order to construct accurate price quotations. Auto insurance rates are constructed by considering many factors. Here is more information about some of these factors:
- Driving Record. Insurance companies will ask for information about accidents and traffic violations for any driver covered by the policy from the past 3-5 years. Drivers with previous violations or at-fault accidents are considered to be a higher risk and may be charged a higher premium. For this reason, safe drivers typically enjoy the best car insurance rates in Maine.
- Territory. Your own rates can be impacted by the claims experience of people in your area. From the address you put down for where your vehicle is garaged, insurers can get an idea about your risk of financial loss. For example, more claims are made from city areas than country areas because of such factors as busy traffic and theft.
- Gender and Age. Historically, men continue to have more accidents than women. Thus, young men may tend to pay more for insurance than young women. A similar pattern exists among some other age groups as well.
- Marital Status. Records display a lower rate of insurance claims amid married policyholders.
- Prior Insurance Coverage. All drivers must notify insurance companies if they have ever been cancelled for non-payment of policy premium. When switching insurance companies, your new insurer may ask your previous one about any claims you had.
- Vehicle Use. Drivers must be honest about how often and how far they drive their vehicle. Higher annual mileage typically results in higher premiums because of the increased exposure to claims.
- Make and Model of the Vehicle. The type of car you drive directly impacts the cost of your insurance. If you operate a vehicle with a history of a high number of claims or higher repair costs, you will be charged a higher premium for comprehensive and collision coverage.
- Licensed Drivers in Your Household. You are required to list every licensed driver in your household. Insurers are not permitted to include drivers with a learner’s permit when they calculate your premium. Though, they may want to know the ages of any person who may become a driver in the coming years.
- Claim History. Drivers must list any automobile claims that they or any of their family members in their household have had over the last three to five years. Having too many claims, whether large or small, on your record can prevent you from getting low cost car insurance in Maine.
- Credit History. An insurance company can request your credit history in order to determine whether to issue a policy or to use your credit history to decide the premium to charge. Always request a copy of your credit report as it is important to make sure that it is correct.
Lower Your Rates
Speak with an insurance agent and find out exactly what your insurance plan will cover for the price you are paying so that you are getting the best price for the best coverage, as opposed to simply settling for the cheapest plan that may not offer much. It is important to consider multiple different companies – this allows you to get a feel for what each has to offer. The most important thing you can do is to make sure that your insurance company is permitted to do business in Maine.
Inquire about discounts that a company may offer but not advertise. Insurance company’s award discounts to individuals they see as “better risks.” Through research, you can discover all of the discounts offered by companies prior to purchasing auto insurance.
Looking at some of the typical discounts:
- Multiple Vehicles. Drivers can be awarded a discount for insuring more than one car with the same company.
- Driver Education Courses. This targeted mainly at younger and older drivers.
- Good Student. Thanks to insurance companies, your G.P.A. can now reward you more than just a spot on the dean’s list.
- Safety Devices. If your car has additional safety devices such as anti-lock brakes and automatic seat belts, you can lower your costs.
- Antitheft Devices. By protecting your car with safety devices and systems that discourage theft and vandalism your costs will be lowered.
- Low Mileage. By driving fewer miles you have less of a chance of getting into an accident.
- Good Driver/Renewal. Loyalty can be valued by many insurance companies. As a result, when you renew your policy you may be eligible for a discount.
- Auto/Home Package. Purchasing your homeowner policy with your auto policy from the same insurer.
- Dividends. When the sale of auto insurance has been profitable for an insurer, they can provide dividends to policyholders.
Discounts allow companies to attract customers while keeping them competitive in the market. As you see what each company has to offer, do not just focus on the discount, but how much you will end up saving – as the two can sometimes differ. Being diligent in comparing and researching different companies can help ensure that you get affordable auto insurance in Maine.
Maine law requires every auto insurance company to provide a discount for liability, medical payments, and collision coverage for drivers age 55 and older who have completed an approved motor vehicle accident prevention course. For a list of approved courses and times, contact the Bureau of Highway Safety. Discounts may not be applied if either the insured or another member of the insured’s household was involved in – an at-fault accident, moving violation or has a license suspension over the past three years. The discount is good for 36 months after the driver completes the course. In order to continue the discount, a new course must be completed every three years.
Picking an Insurance Agent/Broker
The goal of any insurance agent is to sell policies in order to receive their commission. The difference between and agent and a broker is that a broker does not represent a company – they work with individual clients. When choosing an agent or broker, you should make certain that they are licensed and possess a strong reputation. It would be wise to shop around before settling on one agent or broker. Construct a list of all the agents in your area and ask your friends and neighbors for a recommendation. By looking around, you can be certain to receive the best service.
Information is available to all consumers from multiple unbiased sources. From public libraries and the state insurance department, to online resources and consumer publications you can find helpful information. Maine’s state insurance department has men and women ready to answer any questions you may have, making finding the right insurance agent for you a whole lot easier.
After an Accident
Accidents happen. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, knowing what to do can make the experience less frustrating while preventing any further complications. This process begins by writing down:
- The name, address and license number of everyone involved in the accident, even if the other driver(s) has no car insurance in Maine.
- A description of the other vehicles, the damage to all vehicles involved, and write down any other details such as the weather conditions and visibility.
- The names and addresses of anyone who may have witnessed the accident.
Your next steps include:
- Contacting your insurance company or agent to report your claim.
- If your vehicle has been stolen, immediately contact the police.
- Notify the police if a hit-and-run driver is involved.
- Allow the insurance company to examine and evaluate the damaged vehicle before its repaired or discarded.
It is every driver’s responsibility in the state of Maine to obey the duties that are defined in their auto policy. For more unique situations, see the section in your policy titled “Conditions” to find out what measures you will need to take. Failing to comply with these terms and conditions found in your policy can result in denial of coverage. The most important thing any driver can do when they are involved in an accident is to ensure they know what their responsibilities are.
Insurance for High-Risk Drivers
Drivers that are unable to obtain insurance through conventional means are still required to be insured. As a result, by state law, these individuals are put into an Assigned Risk plan where they are randomly assigned to various insurance carriers in the state of Maine, contributing to the shared market. The amount of coverage that is provided to these drivers may not be less than the amount of coverage for liability, bodily injury, or death in the policy offered or sold to other safe drivers – unless they clearly reject such an amount. Still, their coverage may not be less than the minimum limits for bodily injury liability insurance. With time, high-risk drivers can mend their driving records and move back to more affordable auto insurance in Maine.
The Maine Bureau of Insurance strives to protect and to serve the public, offering assistance to those looking for insurance. They will review rates and investigate any complaints you may have. Furthermore, they work to educate consumers about their rights and responsibilities under the state’s laws. You can contact them at (800-300-5000).