MAIF: Insurance Claims and Settlements

As virtually every Maryland auto accident lawyer will tell you, it is almost invariably impossible to get the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (MAIF) to make a fair offer in a car accident case where a MAIF driver caused another person injury. The only language MAIF understand is a lawsuit and, quite often, the don't understand a lawsuit until days before the trial.


MAIF sends out much of its work to outside lawyers, requiring them to pay their fair share of legal fees. So what makes MAIF so bold? Economic realities embolden MAIF. Almost all of its policies have limits of $20,000 per person with a maximum of $40,000 in total maximum coverage for the entire accident. If the case is worth more than this, MAIF will pay it. But MAIF will put you though the litigation process in most of these cases. MAIF’s theory – our lawyers believe – is that by taking a tough line in cases where the upside against MAIF is low, it discourages Maryland accident lawyers from bringing claims. MAIF positions itself like the drunken bully at the bar that most of his potential adversaries think they could handle in a fight. But they are dissuaded from challenging him because they know he is looking for a fight. To extend this metaphor, MAIF will quit the fight before getting badly hurt. But you definitely have to punch MAIF in the face a few times.

So MAIF’s philosophy is that over the long run, taking an unreasonable posture on settlement is a more profitable economic model. This is so particularly in smaller cases where Maryland auto accident lawyers know that MAIF will litigate and clients will often accept the best offer they receive because they are unwilling to go to trial.

Our lawyers have had a lot of cases with MAIF where the case was worth more than $20,000 but MAIF won’t offer the policy. MAIF’s other annoying tactic is complex, but it involves waiting until within sixty days of trial to offer their $20,000 policy, which can create tactical problems for accident lawyers who are also bringing an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim. (This problem is explained more fully here.)

MAIF has only 3.1% of the market share for auto insurance policies written in Maryland, so you might think our lawyers do not regularly see MAIF cases. But MAIF’s drivers are statistically much worse - a lot worse, actually - than most drivers, so our lawyers disproportionately see MAIF accident cases in our office.

Our attorneys regularly stand up to MAIF in serious car accident cases. If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Maryland where the at-fault driver is insured by MAIF, or even if you are filing an uninsured motorist claim against MAIF, call our accident lawyers at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free consultation on your claim.

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