Car Insurance Done the SMARTWAY™


America’s easternmost and 41st most populous state is a land of stunning natural beauty, known for its dense forests, low mountains, awe-inspiring coastlines—and its lobster, clams, and other seafood! Maine also has the excellent distinction of the lowest average car insurance rates in the entire U.S.!

Of course, to take full advantage and find below-average rates, you need to be a diligent comparison shopper. That’s where SmartFinancial comes in. We ask you a few questions and use the information to hone in on coverage that’s just right for you, letting you compare auto insurance quotes from lots of leading carriers. Our results aren’t biased toward any particular car insurance companies, so you get to take an objective look at the offers available to you.

Perfect! Let’s find the lowest rates!

Maine Auto Insurance Rates

With so many competing car insurance carriers in the state, how does a consumer know where to turn in the search for the best rates on a new policy? Many New England residents get the lowest quotes from these three top-rated providers in the region insurers in your state below (see the full list).

  1. Amica Mutual
  2. Allstate
  3. Nationwide

These J.D. Power rankings consider factors like average premiums, flexibility of policies and payment options, customer satisfaction scores, and others. These are just the sort of things you should be taking into consideration when you’re in the market for a new car insurance company.

But we’d like to remind you that SmartFinancial is a fast, simple, secure way to cover more ground more efficiently. We provide quotes in a carrier-neutral way so you can comparison shop for the lowest available rates on car insurance in Maine.

Give it a try for free with no commitments by clicking on your home city below. If your location isn’t showing up on the list, just click here instead.

 

Legalities 101

Auto insurance isn’t optional. That’s just the way it has to be to financially protect drivers from each other. Every motorist needs the ability to be fiscally responsible for injuries or damage they cause in an accident. Your coverage protects you from potentially exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses, and it helps do the same for those you share the road with. Car insurance is really an investment in financial health.

Maine Driving Safety

Underscoring the need for car insurance is that fact that the road can be a dangerous place. We don’t mean to sound all doom-and-gloom, but it’s reality. No matter how safely and defensively you drive, you’re never in control of all the variables. Distracted, drunk, and aggressive drivers are real threats. So too are poor road conditions, inclement weather, wildlife on the roads (Maine even has “Moose” as a data-tracked crash type), and other potential hazards.

According to the Maine Transportation Safety Coalition, there’s a reportable crash in Maine once every 17 minutes on average. That includes a crash causing property damage every 24 minutes, one causing at least one personal injury every 56 minutes, and one causing a fatality every 60 hours.

Maine Driving Safety Stats

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156
Number of traffic crash fatalities in 2015
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32
Number of motorcyclist fatalities in 2015
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52
Number of DUI-related deaths in 2015

Driving Green

For a state so full of natural beauty and nature lovers, Maine unfortunately provides little in the way of green driving incentives as compared to many other states. However, eco-friendly drivers may still find opportunities to save some money, particularly with their car insurance carrier or the IRS.

  • Auto Insurance Discounts for Green Drivers

    Plenty of car insurance providers in Maine will cut you a break on your premium if you drive an economy-size vehicle, a hybrid, or a vehicle powered by an alternative fuel like electricity, compressed or liquefied natural gas, or others. Keeping your annual mileage down may qualify you for a discount, too.

  • Federal Tax Credits for Fuel-Efficient Vehicles

    Maine doesn’t offer the same green vehicle tax breaks that lots of other states do, but you might be eligible for a tax credit from the federal government. Motorists who recently bought a plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicle may get a tax credit from the IRS of up to $7,500; the amount is calculated according to the vehicle’s battery capacity. Learn more and see how much of a tax credit you may qualify for at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Economy website.

  • What About Green Vehicle Emissions Test Exemptions?

    Many states exempt certain alternative fuel and fuel-efficient vehicles from mandatory emissions tests at the time of registration and renewal. But Maine doesn’t have such requirements—unless you live in Cumberland County. If you’re a resident of this county, you only need to spend the time and money to have the enhanced vehicle inspection that includes emissions testing if you drive a gasoline-powered vehicle or a hybrid; if you have an alternative fuel vehicle (AFV), you’re off the hook.

Car Insurance Laws

Being a Minimalist

Maine requires that you carry at least $50,000 bodily injury coverage per person, $100,000 bodily injury coverage per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability per accident. In addition to these coverages, residents must also carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in the amounts of $50,000 bodily injury per person and $100,000 bodily injury per accident. And that’s not all; the state also mandates $2,000 medical coverage per person, which pays for injuries suffered by the driver or a passenger, regardless of fault.

All in all, it’s a lot of coverage considering Maine has the lowest average rates in the country.

Maine, like most states, is what’s known as a “fault” or “at-fault” state. This means fault is assigned in traffic accidents, and those involved typically have three courses of action: filing a claim through their own insurance carrier, filing a claim through the other party’s insurance company, or filing a personal injury lawsuit.

 

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$ 50,000
Bodily injury coverage per person

Maximum payment for serious injury or death to a single person

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$ 100,000
Bodily injury coverage per accident

Maximum payment for serious injury or death to more than one person

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$ 25,000
Property damage per accident

Maximum payment for all damaged property in an accident caused by you

Maximizing Your Return on Investment

While Maine’s minimum required coverage can save you from serious expenses after an accident, it doesn’t foot the bill for a variety of costs in different situations. Carriers also sell all sorts of optional coverages to provide peace of mind and financial security for these circumstances. We’ve listed some common add-ons below. Take a look and talk to your representative about which would make sense for your vehicle and lifestyle. It’s a smart way to protect yourself over the long run.

Optional coverage in Maine

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Medical Payments
  • Gap Coverage
  • New Car Replacement
  • Accident Forgiveness
  • Towing and Labor
  • Custom Equipment
  • Loss of Use
  • Travel Expenses
  • Rental Car

Lenders who provide vehicle financing usually require certain optional coverages—most often collision and comprehensive. Make sure you take this into consideration when pricing policies and planning your monthly budget.

12 Things You can Do to Lower Your Auto Insurance Premium gives you practical ideas for saving on your car insurance. These savings can equal out—or even exceed—the cost of picking up optional coverages.

Maine car insurance companies

Amica Mutual
Allstate
Nationwide
GEICO
Progressive
Plymouth Rock
Liberty Mutual
State Farm
The Hartford
Travelers
Safety Insurance
Arbella
MAPFRE Insurance
MetLife
Safeco
The Hanover

*This list of insurance carriers is based on the ratings for New England in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. Ratings are derived from five key service areas: claims, price, interaction, policy offerings, and billing. USAA is a military-only option and is therefore not including in the above rankings.

Car Safety for Maine Kids

Maine Car Seat Regulations

Maine has comprehensive child passenger safety laws. Children who weigh less than 40 pounds must be in an infant, convertible, or combination car seat. Until 1 year of age and 20 pounds, they must be in a rear-facing car seat; it’s recommended that you keep them in this position even past these milestones, until they reach the manufacturer’s stated size limit; at this point, they should change to an appropriate forward-facing car seat with safety harness.

Kids who weigh between 40 and 80 pounds are required to be properly secured in a federally approved car or booster seat that is designed for their height and weight. Somewhere in this range, typically between ages 4 and 7, children outgrow car seats and switch to booster seats. Pay attention to the height and weight limits of the child safety seats you use.

Use a booster seat until a child can be properly secured by the vehicle’s built-in restraint system. This is usually between the ages of 8 and 12, at a minimum height of 4′ 9” tall. A child’s knees should bend over the front of the seat while sitting up straight against the seat back; the shoulder belt should snugly across the shoulder and chest—not the neck or face—and the lap belt should be over the upper thighs.

Leaving Children Unattended in a Vehicle

There are a number of risks involved in leaving a child unattended in a car, truck, or SUV. Obviously, they can injure themselves while playing around, and they could be targeted by a passer-by who sees opportunity. Also, a vehicle’s interior can get dangerously hot when it’s in direct sunlight or on a warm day. This presents the dangers of heatstroke, brain damage, and death (to pets as well as young kids).

Maine currently has no laws specifically related to leaving children unsupervised in vehicles. However, if you do so and something happens to a kid in your charge, you may be prosecuted under Maine’s child abuse or neglect laws and/or Maine’s child endangerment laws.

Car Insurance FAQ

Is my credit score a factor when obtaining car insurance in Maine?

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.

Does Maine offer a good-driver discount?

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:

  • Full Pay
  • Multiple Car
  • Multiple Policy
  • Good Student
  • Resident Student
  • Accident Free
  • Vehicle Safety
  • Anti-Lock Brake
  • Anti-Theft Device
  • Home Ownership
  • New Car
  • Passive Restraint
  • Utility Discount

Does Maine allow the use of digital insurance cards?

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.

What happens if my coverage lapses?

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.

What are Maine's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage limits under the state's driving under the influence (DUI) laws?

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.

What are the chemical test refusal penalties in Maine?

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.

What are the consequences of being convicted of a DUI?

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.

Does Maine offer driver improvement courses to reduce my insurance premium?

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.

Is there any way I can reduce the cost of my Maine car insurance?

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.

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in Maine?

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.

4%
Uninsured drivers in Maine
12%
Uninsured drivers Nationwide

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