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 crash case. The only language MAIF understands is a lawsuit and, quite often, the don't understand a lawsuit until days before the trial.
MAIF, which in 2019 goes by the wildly original name of Maryland Auto Insurance, sends out much of its work to outside lawyers. This requires the company to pay its fair share of legal fees.
So what makes MAIF so bold to make such awful settlement offers? Economic realities embolden MAIF. Almost all of its policies have limits of $30,000 per person with a maximum of $60,000 in maximum total coverage for the entire accident. If the case is worth more than this, MAIF will pay it.
Eventually. But MAIF will put you through 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 small, 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 have to punch MAIF in the face a few times. If you have a car accident lawyers who don't want to throw those punches, that is less cases MAIF has to defend at trial.
“My prior lawyer was not able to get the insurance companies to offer a single penny in my case. Then my lawyer referred me to Ron and Laura. It was a long fight, and they fought for me every step of the way. My case settled for $1.31 million.”
- A.A (Baltimore City).
So MAIF’s philosophy is that over the long run, taking an unreasonable posture on settlements is a more profitable economic model. This is so particularly in smaller cases where Maryland auto accident lawyers know that MAIF will litigate so they push their clients to accept any settlement offer because they are unwilling to go to fight for their clients at trial.
Our lawyers have had a lot of cases with MAIF where the case was worth more than $30,000, but MAIF won’t offer the policy. MAIF’s other annoying tactic is complicated. It involves waiting until within sixty days of trial to offer their $30,000 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 1.6% of the market share for auto insurance policies written in Maryland, so you might think our lawyers would not regularly see claims with this insurer. 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.
MAIF's rates are not the most competitive rates. But in a bizarre win for socialism, MAIF's rates have gotten surprisingly competitive in recent years. So MAIF has started to attract better drivers.
As we talked about above, MAIF is extremely difficult to deal with on accident claims. Its settlement offers are probably the lowest of any insurance company in Maryland (although MAIF s not technically an insurance company under Maryland law).
Our attorneys regularly stand up to MAIF in serious car accident cases. If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Maryland where this insurer is involved, call our accident lawyers at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free consultation on your claim.
- Sound off about your experience with MAIF
- Sample Interrogatories from MAIF (example of questions this insurer will ask in litigation)
- MAIF Personal Injury Protection Form (sample PIP form)
- Paramount Insurance (the same company as MAIF in every way that matters... except they appear to be going under)
- MAIF on Twitter (seriously, MAIF has a Twitter feed... with 200 followers)
- Valuing Personal Injury Cases (how much is your case worth?)
- Fighting on Your Own Without a Counsel (tips on how to screw it up as little as possible)
- Property Damage Problems (tips for battling in these cases without a hired advocate)