Each state has different requirements for drivers when it comes to accidents and car insurance. Texas is what is called a “fault state,” which means that the person who is at fault for an auto accident is responsible for compensating the person who is hurting. Because of this, the state also mandates that anyone who holds a driver’s license and operates a vehicle in Texas must also purchase enough car insurance to meet some minimum legal requirements.
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements to Operate a Vehicle in Texas
Texas requires every driver on the road to maintain car insurance coverage that includes, at minimum:
- Bodily Injury Liability. This covers the costs of injury to other people, as well as legal defense fees. Drivers in Texas are required to carry coverage of at least $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident.
- Property Damage Liability. This covers the costs of the damage to other people’s cars or property in an accident. Drivers in Texas must maintain a minimum coverage of $25,000.
Texas also requires car insurance companies to offer several additional types of coverage, but the state allows drivers to legally reject the coverage, if desired:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This covers the costs of injury to you, your passengers, and other drivers on your policy. Drivers in Texas are required to carry a minimum coverage of $2,500 but can choose to reject the coverage.
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury coverage. This helps pay for injuries to you and your passengers caused by an uninsured driver. Drivers in Texas are required to carry a minimum coverage of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident but can choose to reject the coverage.
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage. This helps pay for any damage to your car or other property caused by an uninsured driver. Drivers in Texas are required to carry a minimum coverage of $25,000 with a $250 deductible but can choose to reject the coverage.
The fine for operating a vehicle without the state-mandated minimum insurance coverage is $350, and drivers can lose their license for two years if they are caught without insurance more than once.
Optional Car Insurance Coverage for Texas Drivers
Although the state mandates a minimum amount of insurance coverage, drivers can also choose to add coverage beyond the minimum state requirements, which might include higher insurance limits and extended coverage such as:
- Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage. This provides further protection for you, your passengers, and your family if you are hit by an uninsured driver, an underinsured driver, or a hit-and-run driver.
- Medical Payments coverage. This provides additional coverage for the injury-related medical costs of you and your passengers in an accident, regardless of fault.
Plans and policies can vary, so talk to your insurer about your options for comprehensive or extended car insurance coverage if you have questions.
Protect Yourself in the Event You Are Involved in a Car Accident in Texas
Studies have shown that up to 20 percent of drivers in Texas are uninsured, despite state car insurance laws and enforcement efforts. Remember that it is your responsibility as a driver to maintain coverage that meets the state’s minimum requirements. However, minimum insurance coverage isn’t always enough to provide for the costs of medical care and repairing a damaged vehicle, so you should also consider buying the best coverage you can afford. It is important protection for you and your family in the event that you are at fault for an accident, someone gets hurt, or you are sued by the other driver to collect what your insurance doesn’t cover.
Although you pay for car insurance coverage to protect you in an accident, it isn’t always easy to get the insurance company to recognize your losses and fairly pay your claim. If you are having trouble with an insurance claim after a car accident in Texas, or if you have questions about your rights after you’ve been hurt, we encourage you to reach out to Cain Law Firm at (817)-573-4300 for answers.