"Maryland, California make changes to auto insurance laws"
People who live Maryland may find that their auto insurance costs will rise starting in 2011.
According to insurance news website IFAwebnews.com, Governor Martin O'Malley signed a law that would raise state requirements for auto insurance claims associated with injury or death. On January 1, drivers will have to have at least $30,000 of coverage for these liabilities.
Shaun Adamec, a spokesman for the governor, told the website that other states have also raised their insurance requirements, and that the measures are designed to protect consumers in the state from people with inadequate coverage.
However, the measure has come under fire from the American Insurance Association because it could lead to higher premiums for people who are already having problems dealing with the effects of a tough economy. While Maryland increased liability requirements, lawmakers in California voted to increase a program that offers low-cost auto insurance to drivers in the state. Provided they meet certain income requirements, consumers who have good driving records can receive the required coverage through the state's initiative, which will last until 2016 if signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.