Texas Insurance Laws
Shopping for automobile insurance can feel like a guessing game. How much insurance is required under Texas law? Are there other types of insurance that might be a good idea? Is that extra coverage worth the extra price?
You cannot truly know how much insurance you will actually use until the day you get into an accident. By then, you are stuck with the decision you made months or years before when you bought the policy. That is the nature of insurance, anticipating what you might need, but hoping you never really need it.
Attorney Bill Berenson has been negotiating with auto insurance companies for close to 40 years. Over the years, he has often helped clients who regretted not having bought more insurance. Take the time to explore your options for auto insurance and ask questions. You might discover obtaining additional coverage is not that much more expensive than the minimum liability insurance required to drive in Texas.Minimum Liability Insurance Requirement in Texas
Texas law requires drivers to take financial responsibility for accidents they cause. With very rare exceptions, the financial responsibility requirement is met through liability insurance. Minimum liability coverage in Texas is called 30/60/25 in reference to the policy’s limits — $30,000 for each injured individual per crash, $60,000 for all injured individuals and $25,000 for total property damage in each accident.
30/60/25 is the minimum a driver must carry. Some Texas drivers purchase more. The extra coverage typically costs only a small additional premium and can prevent you from becoming personally liable for the amount of damages that could otherwise exceed the minimum policy limit.Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Medical Payments
Personal injury protection (PIP) covers the policyholder’s own injuries, property damages and lost income, regardless of who was at fault for the crash. PIP also covers your family members and passengers. Texas law requires your insurance company to offer you the option of purchasing a PIP policy with at least a $2,500 limit and you have the opportunity to buy more.
Medical Payments coverage is similar to PIP. This type of insurance policy pays for the medical bills for you, family members, passengers and anybody else involved in the crash, no matter who was to blame.Uninsured / Underinsured Motorists Insurance
Uninsured/ underinsured motorists insurance (UM/UIM) is exactly what it sounds like, coverage in case the other driver has insufficient or no insurance. UM/UIM is particularly crucial in Texas where the state estimates that 1.6 million drivers are uninsured. Texas has the third most uninsured drivers of any state in the country, with 13.3 percent of its drivers on the roads without any insurance. We believe this number is much higher.
If you are not crashed into by an uninsured driver, you may still be left shortchanged by an underinsured driver unless you purchase a UM/ UIM policy. For example, if the other driver carries only the minimum 30/60/25 liability insurance and your personal injury damages equaled $50,000, your UM/UIM would pay for the $20,000 in excess of the other driver’s $30,000 policy.Collision Coverage
If you sustained automobile accident injuries, your vehicle likely sustained serious damages as well. Collision insurance pays for the costs of repairs or pays the value of a totaled car. Most banks require you to carry collision insurance if you still owe money on your car loan.
Your collision or comprehensive insurance policy might also include a rental car. In the spread-out landscape of Dallas-Fort Worth, a rental car may be a lifesaver while your car is at the mechanics or you are shopping for a new vehicle.Learn More About What Auto Insurance You Need in Texas
If you were injured in a motor vehicle crash, our Fort Worth car accident attorney negotiates with insurance companies to recover the damages you are entitled to. Schedule your free case evaluation with attorney Bill Berenson to learn more.