Written by attorney Kay L. Van Wey

Texas Car Insurance Laws: Requirements, Coverage, and Penalties

The State of Texas's car insurance laws has specific auto insurance requirements on both the amount and type of coverage drivers must keep, and specify the punishments enforced if drivers violate the rules.

Texas Auto Insurance Minimum Requirements

In Texas, car insurance laws require drivers pay for any accidents they cause. Because most people don’t keep $100,000 cash handy in case of an accident, drivers must keep a liability insurance policy to meet the financial responsibility requirement.

Texas requires drivers keep what’s referred to as 30/60/25 coverage. This basic package includes two types of coverage:$30,000 of liability insurance for each injured person (up to a total of $60,000 per accident); and $25,000 for property damage per accident.

Keep in mind that these basic requirements only cover the other party’s damages, not the policyholder's. With just the minimum auto insurance requirements, your injuries or property damage won’t be covered if you’re at fault in an accident. You’ll need additional insurance for those damages.

Types of Car Insurance Coverage

It’s important to understand exactly what type of policy you have and what it covers in the event that you’re involved in an accident. There are six main types of insurance available on Texas car insurance policies:

  • Liability – This covers medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, car repairs or replacement costs, punitive damages, and some attorney’s fees for the other party if you caused the accident.
  • Collision – This will cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
  • Comprehensive – This covers your car for things other than a collision, such as theft, hail, and vandalism. If your car isn’t paid for yet, your lender will require this type of coverage.
  • Medical Payments – This covers the medical bills for you and those in your car, regardless of who caused the accident.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – You are not required to keep PIP, but all insurance companies are required to offer it to you. It covers the medical payments, as well as 80 percent of lost income should you or your passengers become unable to work because of injuries.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) – This coverage pays for an accident that was caused by someone who wasn’t carrying insurance or in hit-and-run accidents or whose insurance did not cover all of your damages. Texas doesn’t require that you keep it, but if you don’t want it, you’ll have to reject it in writing.

Penalties for Not Maintaining Insurance

When drivers don’t meet the financial responsibility requirements under Texas car insurance laws and keep at least a bare minimum auto insurance policy, penalties can be enforced. First-time offenders can get slapped with a fine up to $350. Subsequent offenses could mean fines up to $1,000, driver’s license suspension, and impoundment of the driver's vehicle.

Need legal advice? Consult an Accident Attorney

If you have questions regarding a recent car accident or how liability may be an issue in your case, feel free to call our law firm in Dallas for a free consultation.

Contact Kay Van Wey at (800) 489-5082 for to schedule a consultation today.

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