Your credit score does influence your premium, and even whether you’re offered coverage at all. Very few states prohibit carriers from using your credit report this way, and Maine isn’t one of them. Car insurance companies believe there’s an inverse relationship between lower scores and a higher probability of filing a claim, so there’s also an inverse relationship between lower scores and higher rates.
Good-driver discounts are a fairly standard practice among carriers in Maine (and most other states as well). If it’s been at least a couple of years since your last accident or moving violation, ask your provider if you qualify for this money-saving opportunity. And while you’re talking to them, you can also inquire about other potential discounts, such as:
- Teen Driver
- Distant Student
- Alternative Fuel
- Defensive Driver
- Good Student
- Anti-Lock Brake
- Anti-Theft Device
- Multiple Line
- Passive Restraint
- Vehicle Safety
Absolutely! While it’s still a good idea to keep a printed insurance card in your vehicle, just in case your smartphone’s dead when you get pulled over, electronic proof of coverage is a relatively new convenience that Maine residents can take advantage of. All you need is an official e-card from your carrier and a mobile device on which to show it.
If you drive in Maine without active car insurance coverage, it’s going to cost you. Your fine will range from $100 to $500, plus your license will be temporarily suspended until you produce proof of coverage and shell out a little more for reinstatement fees—more than $130 when all’s said and done.
It’s against the law to drive in Maine at the following BAC percentages:
.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.02%+ at under 21 years old
The State is harsh on underage drinkers who operate a motor vehicle. Under Maine’s OUI laws, if you’re under 21 and refuse a chemical test, your license is automatically suspended for 18 months. Also, if you have any measurable amount of alcohol in your system, you lose your license for 1 year. Plus, if you have a passenger in your vehicle who’s under the age of 21, the State tacks on an additional 180 days to this suspension.
As is common across the nation, Maine has an “implied consent” law that says everyone with a driver’s license has, by default, consented to a breath, blood, or urine test at the request of a law enforcement officer who suspects them of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Refusal to take the test results in an immediate suspension of your driver’s license for at least 275 days and up to 6 years. On top of that, you can still be convicted of OUI with just the arresting officer’s testimony, no BAC reading required.
If you’re arrested for OUI in Maine based on the police report and BAC reading, your license is immediately suspended for at least 150 days. Any OUI conviction results in a criminal record, and you’ll face fines starting at $500. This is just for first-time offenders with no aggravating circumstances.
Examples of aggravating circumstances include having a BAC percentage of 0.15% or higher, driving 30 or more miles per hour over the speed limit, having a passenger under the age of 21 in the vehicle, causing an accident, and attempting to elude a police officer. Aggravating circumstances may increase your penalties, as do repeat offenses within a 10-year period. Subsequent offenses come with significantly longer license suspension, higher fees, and possible jail time.
Maine’s Driving Dynamics Course is a defensive driving class that earns you a 3-point credit on your driving record if you take it voluntarily. Also, many carriers in the state will give you a discount on your premium for successfully completing this course. Check with your representative to see if this option is available to you.
Motivated consumers in Maine should have no problem finding ways to save on their coverage. If you’ve read this page, you’ve picked up a number of discounts to look into. Maintaining a clean driving record and high credit score are helpful in this regard, too. Taking a bigger deductible will get you a lower premium, and paying upfront is cheaper than paying in monthly installments. Most important of all, though, is making sure you diligently compare quotes to find the best rate on your next policy.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is a consumer protection in case you’re in an accident caused by a driver who doesn’t have car insurance. Yes, it’s against the law, but yes, it happens. But, it’s worth noting that Maine boasts the second-lowest estimated uninsured motorist rate in the country (after only Massachusetts). Still, this type of coverage is required in the state in the minimum amounts of $50,000 bodily injury coverage per person and $100,000 bodily injury coverage per accident.