Texas Auto Insurance Requirements

Texas Auto Insurance Requirements

Every state has some sort of requirement for drivers to buy auto insurance. Texas is a “fault” state, which means all drivers are legally required to purchase auto liability insurance. In the event of a car accident, this type of insurance pays out benefits to the people you injure and the property you damage, but it does not cover your own injuries or damages to your property including your vehicle.

Car insurance is a somewhat complicated topic, but you’ll need at least the minimum car insurance in order to register a vehicle. To help you determine how much car insurance you need, we’ve created this comprehensive guide that explains Texas auto insurance requirements along with information on the different types of car insurance in Texas.

If you suffered injuries in an auto accident, don’t get stuck with the medical bills and costs for property damage for an accident that’s not your fault. Work with a qualified Austin car accident lawyer who’s settled countless cases to ensure you’re fairly compensated for your damages.

MINIMUM CAR INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS IN TEXAS

As stated above, Texas is a fault state. So when purchasing car insurance, Texas drivers must ensure they have adequate insurance coverage per Texas law. Texas auto insurance laws require drivers to have the following minimum liability coverage amounts:

  • Bodily Injury Liability (BI): $30,000 per person for an accident you cause, up to $60,000 for total bodily injury if two or more people are injured
  • Property Damage Liability (PD): $25,000 for an accident you cause

Bodily Injury Liability covers accidents that you cause where one or multiple other individuals are injured. Benefits will cover a victim’s medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Property Damage Liability covers damage you cause to someone else’s property, whether that is their vehicle, mailbox, or something else.

You will need proof that you have the required liability insurance before you can register your vehicle for the first time and annually for registration renewals. You must also carry proof of insurance and registration in your vehicle at all times. If you are pulled over by law enforcement, they’ll want to see your insurance card and that you have acceptable coverage.

Failure to carry auto insurance can result in fines, suspension of driving privileges, and even vehicle impoundment. Furthermore, not carrying insurance also leaves you extremely vulnerable if you are ever sued for causing an accident and don’t have insurance to cover costs.

OTHER TYPES OF AUTO INSURANCE

The minimum amount of coverage you need to legally drive your vehicle in Texas does not guarantee that your damages will be covered in the event of a crash. Liability coverage does not pay for everything, which is why it usually offers cheaper premiums than more comprehensive car insurance policies.

You may need to add on other types of auto insurance to ensure you have the coverage you need, such as:

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

If another driver who does not have insurance causes an accident with you, this additional insurance option covers your expenses so you don’t have to pay out of pocket beyond your deductible.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If another driver causes an accident but they do not have sufficient coverage to handle all of your expenses (which can easily exceed policy limits if you need extensive medical care), this type of auto insurance kicks in to handle additional costs.

Collision Coverage

If you are at fault in an accident, collision insurance provides compensation to repair or replace your vehicle as needed.

Comprehensive Coverage

If something outside of a collision causes damage to your vehicle such as weather, theft, falling objects, etc., this optional coverage pays for the cost of repairs or replacement of your vehicle.

Medical Payments Coverage

This type of auto insurance covers medical costs for you and your passengers regardless of who is at fault in an accident. It also pays if you get hurt while walking, biking, or riding in someone else’s car.

Personal Injury Protection Coverage

PIP insurance is similar to Medical Payments Coverage in that it covers healthcare costs for you and passengers in the case of an accident, but it also covers non-medical expenses such as lost wages, child care, and funeral expenses related to the accident.

Towing and Labor Coverage

If your car can’t be driven and requires labor at the scene of the accident to move, this optional coverage takes care of those expenses such as towing, tire changes, and battery services (like a jump start) among others.

Rental Reimbursement Coverage

If you are left without a vehicle following an accident or theft, this optional car insurance provides money to cover a rental car while yours is being repaired or replaced.

HOW MUCH LIABILITY COVERAGE SHOULD YOU BUY?

Your car insurance company may tell you it’s a good idea to have as much coverage as possible in the event you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, and this may be true, especially when it comes to comprehensive and collision insurance.

However, having too much liability coverage has a couple of disadvantages. You’ll be paying a lot of extra money toward your auto insurance premium for an accident that may not ever happen. So you could pay thousands of dollars per year — money that could be better spent on other bills.

In addition, having too much liability coverage makes you a target for unnecessary lawsuits. Drivers with excessive liability coverage are financially more attractive than those with minimum coverage, and people will try to take advantage of this situation. It’s better to find the right balance of coverage than to invite unwanted attention.

HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MINIMUM CAR INSURANCE REQUIREMENT?

Dan Christensen, Car Accident Lawyer in Austin, TX

Dan Christensen, Car Accident Attorney in Austin, Texas

If you’re involved in an accident, don’t get stuck with the medical bills and costs for property damage. Make sure you have the right amount of coverage to avoid financial loss and work with a qualified Austin personal injury attorney to ensure you’re fairly compensated for your damages.

DJC Law’s Austin car accident attorneys have settled countless cases with car insurance companies. We understand the law inside and out and can advise you about the best way to maximize the compensation you receive from an at-fault driver. Contact us to schedule your free consultation.

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