To drive legally in Texas, all drivers are required to carry auto insurance. Texas has a specified minimum amount of car insurance that must be carried to drive in Texas. Yet does that minimum amount required by automobile insurance provide you with enough coverage in Texas? You may be surprised to learn just how little protection the minimum policy actually offers you.
Auto Insurance Minimum Limits
In Texas, drivers must carry a minimum amount of auto liability insurance to protect themselves if they are found to be at fault in an accident. Texas state minimums are $30,000 for Bodily Injury Liability (or BI) per individual and $60,000 per accident as well as $25,000 for Property Damage Liability (PD).
Although these amounts may seem adequate, in fact it is not nearly enough coverage in most cases. With the cost of cars these day, $25,000 is certainly inadequate to repair or replace one car - and what if more than one car was damaged? Injury claims can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, which means these car insurance minimum limits can be quickly exhausted.
Minimum Car Insurance Does Not Cover Everything
Maybe you choose minimum automobile insurance coverage because it is more affordable than a higher coverage limit. What you may not realize is the dollar amount is inadequate and there are things it does not cover:
- Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist - Minimum liability BI and PD auto insurance does not protect you if struck by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. This is a separate coverage that is actually also required in Texas; however, you can reject this coverage which many choose to do to save money. They then learn when involved in an uninsured accident that they have no coverage for themselves - which can be a rude awakening and leave you with numerous out-of-pocket expenses to handle.
- Comprehensive and Collision Coverage - State minimum automobile insurance coverage is for liability only, so it does not require that you carry coverage to repair your vehicle if it is damaged in a collision or by other ways such as theft, falling objects, fire, hail, windshield cracks, etc. Once again, all of these repairs will be your financial responsibility.
Why Minimum Automobile Insurance Is Not Enough
As many people who purchase only minimum car insurance quickly learn, these coverage limits are far from enough compensation for serious accidents. What happens when the minimum BI and PD insurance coverage is not enough to cover damages caused by an auto accident? You could lose things including your home, savings, investments, and other assets to pay for such damages.
A safer option, even if it costs more than the state minimum coverage, is to purchase adequate insurance to actually cover you in an accident, especially uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If you own a newer or more expensive vehicle, collision and comprehensive coverage is going to be required by the company financing the car for you.
Texas auto insurance companies recommend that drivers purchase a minimum of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident of Bodily Injury Coverage as well as at least $50,000 of Property Damage coverage to be adequately protected. These increased car insurance limits protect you, your assets, and everyone on the road by making sure you carry enough automobile insurance!