Getting the Minimum Required Car Insurance in Texas
Exactly what kind of Texas car insurance do you need as a driver in "The Lone Star State?" Grapevine, Austin, or El Paso—no matter what Texas city you live and drive in you need to have the right amount of coverage in order to meet the state's financial responsibility requirements. Thankfully, car insurance requirements are the same throughout the state.
There are two types of coverage every Texas driver needs: Bodily Injury Liability (BI) and Property Damage Liability (PD). But what does bodily injury mean in auto insurance? What property does Property Damage Liability cover? Here's a quick look at what those terms mean and the amount of coverage you need as a Texas resident.
Bodily Injury Liability: Texas requires minimum Bodily Injury Liability limits of $30,000 for each of your registered vehicles that will cover injury or death to any one person that results from a single car accident. Bodily Injury Liability limits of $60,000 are required to cover injuries or death to more than one person resulting from a single auto accident.
Bodily Injury Liability insurance coverage helps pay for medical expenses and legal representation if you or another insured on your policy cause bodily injury to another person while operating your vehicle. The “limit” is the maximum amount your insurance company will pay for bodily injury damages resulting from a single accident.
Property Damage Liability: Texas requires minimum Property Damage Liability limits of $25,000 on each of your registered vehicles.
Property Damage Liability helps pay for damage to the property of others caused by you or another insured on your policy while operating your vehicle. For example, this coverage would pay for damage you cause to property such as vehicles, poles, mailboxes, fences, etc. The “limit” is the maximum amount your insurance company will pay for property damage resulting from a single accident.
What If I Don't Meet Texas Car Insurance Requirements?
If you are caught without the minimum Texas car insurance coverage, you could be subject to serious consequences like fines and the suspension of your license(s). You will also be unable to register your vehicle.
As noted by the Texas Department of Insurance, the penalties for violating the state’s financial responsibility laws could include impoundment of your car, thousands of dollars in fines, and even jail time. What's more, Texas auto insurance companies may charge more if you drove without insurance for more than 30 days in a row in the 12 months before you applied for insurance.
Now what if you don't own a car, but you borrow a car often. Should you still get liability insurance in Texas? Yes, you can buy a non-owners insurance policy that will pay for damages and injuries you cause to others while driving a borrowed car.
Texas Car Insurance Laws
Note that you'll also need to carry proof of insurance in every one of your vehicles, at all times. You must show this proof when you're asked by a police officer, have an accident, register your car or renew its registration, get or renew your driver's license, or have your car inspected.
Your insurance company is also required to offer you Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage and Personal Injury Protection (PIP), but you do not have to accept these coverages. If you choose to reject UM and/or PIP, your rejection must be in writing.
Rejecting these coverages could help you find the cheapest car insurance in Texas, but that may not be in your best interest. Talk to one of our insurance representatives about your situation. Uninsured Motorist can help pay for your medical bills and property damages in the event that the at-fault driver doesn't have liability insurance or cannot be identified. Personal Injury Protection can also help pay for your expenses that result from an auto accident, regardless of who is at fault. Both coverages can work together to better protect your finances in the event of an accident.
Instead of going without some coverage to get cheap auto insurance in Texas, you can also consider choosing a higher deductible—the amount you would pay out-of-pocket, up front for the damage to your car. Higher deductibles will lower your premium, but you'll have to pay more out of your own pocket if you have a claim.
Who Needs Commercial Auto Insurance in Texas?
If you use your vehicle or truck to do activities related to your occupation or business (other than commuting), you may need commercial auto insurance in Texas. Builders, contractors, landscapers, plumbers, ice cream vendors, and realtors are examples of small business owners and operators that tend to purchase commercial auto insurance policies.*
Like everyday drivers, commercial vehicle drivers are required to meet certain financial responsibility requirements as mandated by Texas law. Minimum coverage requirements vary based on the vehicle’s type, weight, purpose, and number of passengers. For example, farming vehicles with a gross weight of 48,000 pounds or more are required to maintain continuous liability coverage of at least $500,000 in Texas.
Commercial auto insurance in Texas doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg when you choose Direct Auto & Life. With competitive pricing, flexible payment options, and available discounts, we can help you find the right commercial auto insurance coverage for your growing Texas business.
Get A Texas Insurance Quote with Direct Auto & Life
Direct Auto & Life is proud to offer personal car insurance and commercial auto insurance in Texas. Find your nearest Texas location or call us at 1-877-GO-DIRECT to see how much you could save. Everything may be "bigger in Texas," but your car insurance rates don't have to be! We welcome all drivers to apply for coverage and even cover drivers who may have a hard time finding insurance with other Texas car insurance companies. For more peace-of-mind, ask about additional insurance coverages like term life insurance, as well as other products for Texas drivers including Mexico auto insurance, motorcycle insurance, and roadside assistance. Whether you live in Laredo, Dallas, or somewhere in-between, when you choose Direct you’ll find flexible coverage plans, helpful agents, and low cost auto insurance to fit your needs.
Learn more about Texas auto insurance by visiting Texas Department of Insurance, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, Official Website of the State of Texas, and Texas Department of Transportation.