Purchasing car insurance is an inevitable part of the privilege of driving – and is required by law in the state of Texas. Although the basic coverages are very similar across the country, for Texas residents certain insurance requirements must be met for a driver to be legally covered. To be sure you have the right coverage, Texas insurance customers should know the basics of Texas car insurance policies.
Minimum Required Auto Insurance in Texas
The minimum car insurance coverage required in Texas is basic liability insurance. It is a third party coverage that pays for damage and injuries caused by a permissible driver to someone else as the result of an auto accident. Payment is made for car repair or replacement, car rental, medical costs and lost wages related to the accident, and pain and suffering of those injured. It also covers the cost to defend a lawsuit and any judgment amount against the insured as the result of a lawsuit up to the policy limits. The amount of minimum liability coverage that must be carried is set by the State of Texas State Board of Insurance.
Other Coverages Required To Be Offered
In addition to Liability Coverage, the State of Texas requires that two additional coverages be offered by insurance companies; these can be declined by the Named Insured in writing. Those coverages are:
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist – This pays for the insured driver’s damages and costs if hit by an uninsured driver including a hit-and-run accident. Underinsured coverage pays for damages or injury that are in excess of what is carried by the at-fault driver in an accident up to the policy limits that are carried on the insured’s policy. Although mandatory, it can be declined in writing by the Named Insured.
Personal Injury Protection – This type of car insurance pays for medical and funeral costs incurred by the insured or anyone else who was in either vehicle at the time of an accident. This includes accidents involving pedestrians and bicycles. Personal injury protection also pays a percentage of lost wages, and the cost of a caregiver if necessary.
Additional Auto Insurance Coverage
Besides liability insurance, drivers in Texas can purchase other types of car insurance coverage, which are helpful in paying for damage to the insured vehicle and injury to occupants of that vehicle. Following are the various types of car insurance coverage Texas drivers can purchase:
Comprehensive – This is a coverage that is now more often called Other Than Collision, as it does cover many types of damage to the insured’s vehicle that are not the result of a collision. This includes theft, fire, vandalism, hail, windshield damage, etc. When a vehicle is finance, lenders often require an insured to carry comprehensive car insurance until the loan is repaid.
Collision – It is this coverage that pays for the cost to repair or replace the insured’s vehicle. as the result of a collision of almost any type, including single car accidents. It is also required to be carried by the named insured by lienholders in order for them to protect their investment.
Medical Costs – Medical payments coverage is similar to Personal Injury Protection with the exception that it does not cover lost wages incurred as a result of a covered accident.
Towing and Rental Reimbursement – These are two separate types of car insurance coverage that pay the owner when a covered vehicle must be towed other than as a result of another covered loss and while the insured vehicle is being repaired or has been stolen.
Other Insurance Considerations
In most cases, an insured vehicle is covered for any permissible user (with the exception of excluded drivers) and the named insured is covered while driving any other vehicle, including rental cars. Most policies cover drivers in Canada but not in Mexico beyond 25 miles from the U.S. border. If driving in Mexico, it is best to purchase car insurance there to be protected.
Personal items not mounted in the car, such as stereo or electronic equipment, is typically not covered if a loss should occur. Any electronic equipment that is a part of the car would be covered by car insurance on that car, although it may be necessary to add an endorsement at an additional cost to cover high-priced auto sound and electronic equipment. Anything like this needs to be declared to the servicing agent to be properly covered.
Nobody plans on having an automobile accident; however, they do happen. This make having good car insurance to pay for any damages or injuries very important. With basic Texas car insurance, drivers can drive legally, knowing they are covered for damages or injuries that result from an unfortunate auto accident!