Annapolis, MD – October 2, 2013 – It took almost a decade of discussion and consideration by the General Assembly, but the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund’s (MAIF) Installment Payment Plan, passed and signed into law earlier this year, went online Tuesday morning, October 1, giving MAIF policyholders access to an interest-free installment payment option for the first time in the Fund’s forty-year history.
Previously, Marylanders wishing to purchase an automobile insurance policy from MAIF had only two options – to pay the policy in full at the time of purchase or to sign a loan agreement via a premium finance company, subjecting the customer to origination fees and interest.
While it took several years for MAIF to be able to offer this installment payment option, it took considerably less time for Maryland drivers to take advantage of the program. The first MAIF Installment Plan policy was purchased online by a customer in Laurel, Maryland at 2:37 p.m., just hours after the program launched.
MAIF Executive Director, M. Kent Krabbe described Tuesday as a “monumental” day in The Fund’s history.
“To see the public respond so quickly to this program validates what sponsors of this bill and consumer advocacy groups have said for years, that an interest-free MAIF installment payment option is something that Maryland drivers have desperately wanted and needed,” Krabbe said.
Senator Catherine Pugh (Baltimore City), a long-time advocate of a MAIF Installment Plan, sponsored the legislation that made this day possible. “I am excited for this great opportunity for all of those in Maryland who find themselves in need of MAIF and can now get a policy at a reasonable rate,” Senator Pugh said, adding, “It makes our seven years of fighting worthwhile for the citizens of Maryland.”
MAIF estimates the installment plan will save policyholders an average of $250 over the term of a one-year policy compared to a premium finance agreement.
“By making the process of buying a MAIF policy more convenient and less expensive for Maryland drivers, we reduce the number of uninsured drivers on Maryland roads and make our state safer for all drivers,” Krabbe said.
MAIF was created by the Maryland State Legislature in 1972 for the purpose of providing automobile liability insurance for those residents of the State of Maryland who are unable to obtain it elsewhere in the private insurance market. MAIF receives its operating funds from insurance premiums paid by policyholders, and receives no funding from taxpayers via the Maryland General Fund.
MAIF Communications Specialist