Drivers in the Lone Star State, like those in just about every state in America, are required by law to maintain a minimum amount of vehicle insurance. While all that’s legally required of your car insurance in Texas is liability coverage, there are numerous other types of coverage to consider.
Liability protection, which provides benefits for “the other driver” involved in a vehicle accident that you have caused, can be augmented within your policy with these coverage add-ons:
- Medical Payments
- Personal Injury Protection
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist
- Towing and Roadside Assistance coverage, and more
What You Should Know About Your Car Insurance in Texas
Before you decide on what type and how much insurance to buy for your vehicle(s) you should have an understanding of the basics. Most experts commonly recommend that you buy as much as you can comfortably afford, but it’s also important to not over-insure yourself. Following are three things you should know about car insurance in Texas.
1. State-mandated liability coverage is required in the minimum amounts of 30/60/25. This means that up to $30,000 is paid toward bodily injuries suffered by a single victim, $60,000 for all third-party injured victims and up to $25,000 toward repair or replacement of damaged property. These amounts all apply to each single accident.
Liability coverage pays zero toward your own injuries or property loss or those of your passengers. The accident in which you’re involved must be one for which you are found to be at fault. Any costs for the third-party victims over and above the maximums paid out by your insurance company are your responsibility to cover out of your own pocket. Victims can sue you for these costs. Because of this, many drivers opt for considerably more liability coverage than the minimums required by law.
2. Car insurance policies in Texas can vary significantly in cost from one insurer to another so it’s always a good idea to compare numerous policies before deciding on which to buy. Huge amounts of data are used in evaluating insurance applications but each insurer has their own set of guidelines that must be followed. The auto insurance business is highly competitive, but companies don’t want to insure applicants they perceive as unfavorable risks. For some companies, your credit rating is a big factor, while others may place more importance on driving history or insurance claims previously paid.
3. Liability protection is likely the most expensive portion of your vehicle insurance policy. Liability judgments can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Collision and comprehensive coverage is capped by the value of your vehicle so the insurer’s risk is much lower. Don’t be tempted to skimp on your liability amounts to save money. Comprehensive/collision are probably unnecessary if your vehicle isn’t worth much or you could easily afford to replace it.
Always shop around for the best policy, the best price and the best service you can find. Certain drivers may expect to pay more if they have a history of accidents, drunk driving, or poor credit. These factors may put a motorist into the “high risk” category for an insurance company, driving premium costs up. In any case, when comparing prices make sure you’re comparing policies offering similar benefits.