Is Car Insurance Required in Texas?
When you move to a new state or first get your driver’s license, it can be very confusing trying to figure out what type of car insurance you need, if any. Every state is different, and some states don’t require car insurance at all. If you have recently moved to the state or gotten your license in Texas, you need to know the minimum car insurance requirements for the state and what other coverage you may need.
Car Insurance Required in Texas
Texas is one of the many states that requires licensed drivers to have car insurance. You must maintain minimum coverage limits of liability coverage and carry proof of such coverage with you at all times. If you are asked for proof of insurance and you do not provide it you will face some stiff penalties. The required minimum liability coverage in Texas is:
- $30,000 coverage for injuries per person
- $60,000 coverage for injuries total per accident
- $25,000 coverage for property damage
This minimum required car insurance covers medical expenses and property damage for the other driver if you are at fault in the accident. It does not cover any of your own medical expenses, nor does it cover your own property damages. It also does not cover you if the other driver is at fault and uninsured, and it does not cover any damages to your vehicle in any other circumstance. This is very basic liability only coverage.
Other Automatic Types of Coverage
While the state of Texas only requires you to have liability coverage, all car insurance policies in Texas come automatically with two other forms of coverage. These forms of coverage are not required by the state, but if you don’t want them you will have to notify the car insurance company in writing to have them removed. The two types of coverage are uninsured motorist and personal injury protection.
Uninsured motorist coverage pays for your medical expenses and property damage in the event that someone else is at fault in an accident and does not have liability insurance. It also pays in a hit and run accident. Personal injury protection pays your medical bills and those of your passengers in the event that you have an accident and those expenses are not paid for by other types of coverage. It is a good idea to keep both types of coverage, but you can write to the car insurance company to have them removed if you need a lower premium.
Additional Types of Coverage
There are several other types of coverage that you can get in Texas, but these are not required by law. If you have a vehicle that you are making payments on you will likely be required by your lender to have comprehensive and collision coverage. You may also want to add additional coverages for extra layers of protection.
- Comprehensive coverage pays claims of property damage from natural disasters, hitting an animal on the road, theft, or vandalism.
- Collision coverage pays your property damage in the event that you are found at-fault in an accident.
- Medical payments coverage pays your medical bills and those of your passengers, and also covers you if you are a passenger in someone else’s car, are walking, or are riding a bicycle.
- Towing and labor coverage pays your tow bill in the event you need to be towed after an accident.
- Rental reimbursement coverage pays for your rental car while you are waiting for your car to be repaired for a covered incident.
It is important to note that the more types of coverage you have on your car insurance policy, the higher your premiums will be. If you can afford the premiums, it is a good idea to get all of the available coverages to protect yourself and your vehicle. However, if you need to keep your premiums low to fit your budget, or if you are a high risk driver paying higher rates, you may want to get only the minimum amount of required coverage.
Getting the Best Insurance
Because car insurance is something that you absolutely have to have in Texas, it is a good idea to shop around to get the best rates. You can use some websites to get many quotes on car insurance with just one form. Using several of these sites will give you a wide range of coverages and rates that will allow you to choose the best one for you. If you’re not sure how much car insurance you can afford, talk to an agent or work with the quote form online to discover how much your premium will be with different types of coverage.