Law Could Hike Auto Insurance Rates of Convicted Drunken Drivers

A new law has been proposed by Maryland State that would increase auto insurance rates if a driver has been convicted twice for alcohol-related offenses. This law, sponsored by Republican Del Tanya Thornton Shewell, would increase personal liability insurance for those found guilty of this offense.

About House Bill 526

The proposed law is currently known as House Bill 526 and plans to increase auto insurance premiums, specifically liability, for those with more than one drunken driving offense. The reason for the increase in liability rates is to beef up the minimum amount of coverage offenders are liable for in relation to claims involving destruction of property or damage and bodily injuries caused by drunken drivers.

Insurance companies would be required to conduct a background check on customers to see if they are required to abide by this rule. If so, the customer would have to purchase $100,000 for one person injured, $300,000 for multiple injuries and $100,000 for property damage. This compares to the current standard for everyone which is $20,000, $40,000 and $15,000, respectively.

History of Misdirected Auto Rate Delegation

It’s been known for years that factors like bad credit and location have affected auto insurance rates, to the disappointment of many legislators, because some have felt that those with good driving records are unfairly punished for factors unrelated to behavior on the road.

It’s for this reason that the increase in liability insurance may please legislators and drivers. In this instance, those who have committed the crime will be punished via their insurance – not everyone else.

In addition to ensuring that those who have committed the drunken driving offense more than once pay more for their car insurance rates, Thornton Shewell hopes that this adjustment, if passed, would encourage individuals to not drink and drive. She hopes the bill will turn into a law to help keep the roads safer for everyone.