They say everything’s bigger in Texas, including the sheer amount of land to travel across. Throughout the state, there is nearly a million miles of road to travel across, which is easily the most of any state in the country; California is second, sporting only 70 percent of the roads compared to what Texas offers. With such long drives between destinations, it’s all the more important to ensure you’re protected with good auto insurance.
Requirements for Texas Auto Insurance
Naturally, drivers in Texas like to seek the lowest possible auto insurance rates. The best way to get started on finding the best value is to understand exactly what your state requires for financial responsibility.
At the minimum, liability insurance auto insurance coverage must be 30,000/60,000/25,000 to satisfy the law of financial responsibility in Texas. In other words, your auto insurance policy must provide insurance against the following losses in any accident in which you have been ruled at fault:
- $30,000: The minimum for either bodily injury to or the death of an individual in a single accident
- $60,000: The minimum for either bodily injury to or the death of at least two individuals in a single accident, which is also subject to the aforementioned limit of $30,000
- $25,000: The minimum for causing destruction or injury to another’s property during an accident
Under Texas law, it is required that you are able to offer documentary proof of your auto insurance under the following situations:
- After an accident when a police officer requests to see your auto insurance
- When an officer requests documents at a traffic stop
- Upon registering a vehicle
- When you acquire a driver’s license
In order to ensure a driver always meets the requirements for financial responsibility, the state of Texas also requires an auto insurance company to give a report weekly to an identification system that lists a vehicle identification number (VIN) for all vehicles that are insured under a policy.
If proper auto insurance isn’t acquired under Financial Responsibility law, you could incur fines or have your licensed revoked. If a driver has been convicted with failing to acquire the proper insurance, he or she must pay a surcharge fee of $250 every year under the Texas Driver Responsibility Program. The fee is an additional one on top of any other costs due to the driving offense; he or she must also pay this surcharge for three years, no less.
Certificate of Financial Responsibility
In some cases, he or she may also need to file an SR-22A or SR-22. This is known as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility and is sent by an auto insurance company to the Texas Department of Public Safety upon acquiring liability insurance. The certificate proves that the auto insurance was purchased. Sometimes, a driver will need to purchase this form in order to get back their license, especially after being convicted of one or more of these offenses:
- Driving without a license
- Driving with a suspended or invalid license
- Drug offense
- Driving under the influence
- Multiple tickets for lacking liability insurance
Texas Auto Insurance Requirements and Common Coverage
Bodily Injury Liability
This covers expenses due to injury or death of a pedestrian or driver when you are at fault. Minimum is $30,000 a person/$60,000 per accident, and the average Texas auto insurance coverage is the same.
Property Damage Liability: This covers expenses for having damaged someone else’s property in an accident that is your fault. Minimum and common coverage is a $25,000 limit.
Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist
This covers any medical expenses when the other driver is at fault but lacks insurance. It is grouped together with underinsured motorist auto insurance, which covers your expenses if the at-fault driver has auto insurance but is inadequate. This is not required, but it’s common to acquire a $25,000/$50,000 policy.
In the event that you or a passenger has been injured in accident, this auto insurance coverage handles any medical or funeral expenses. It is not required, but most require a $2,000 limit policy.
Personal Injury Protection
If you or a passenger has been injured in an accident, this policy will cover the medical bills and related expenses, such as the continuation of income. It is not required, but many acquire a $2,500 limit policy.
This covers the repair or replacement of your damaged vehicle. It is not required, but many seek a policy with a $500 deductible.
This covers expenses for damages due to thefts, storms or similar non-collision incidents. It is not required, but most seek a policy with a $500 deductible.