Automobile liability insurance is not new. In fact, it is nearly as old as the automobile industry. All states have some form of mandatory liability insurance laws. In an effort to improve the quality of this insurance and compel more drivers and car owners to buy liability insurance to provide financial responsibility in case of an accident, states are continually adjusting their insurance laws. One of the latest states to make changes to its automobile liability insurance laws is Texas. While these changes are hardly landmarks, they represent the response to the need to protect people and property from loss when they are the victim of a car accident.
As a part of the reforms, Texas now requires financial responsibility to be verified in various ways.
Drivers can file special forms with the state to prove their financial responsibility. Most drivers rely on liability insurance to provide this proof. Insurance companies provide cards to verify the insurance coverage. Texas requires this proof of insurance to be produced and shown in a variety of circumstances. The card must be shown if you are involved in an accident. Any time that a law enforcement officer asks to see the card, it must be produced. Verification is required when a car is being registered with the state. The same is true for a car license renewal. Unlike some states, Texas requires proof of financial responsibility when a vehicle is receiving a safety inspection.
Failure to maintain adequate financial responsibility can cost you.
The first offense of being caught without liability insurance is a fine of at least $175. It can range up to $350, depending on the exact circumstances. If a driver continues to operate the vehicle without liability insurance coverage, the fine will increase to a minimum of $350 and a maximum of $1,000. The subsequent offenses can result in a suspended driver’s license. In some cases, the car may also be impounded until proof of insurance can be provided.
Texas police are given another weapon to combat drivers without liability insurance.
Because about one in five Texas drivers do not have insurance, law enforcement has been provided with a way to discover them. Officers can now do an electronic verification of insurance when cars are stopped by police and at other times. This is expected to make a dramatic difference in the number of uninsured drivers on Texas roadways.
Texas state law has established minimum liability amounts that must be in force to verify financial responsibility.
As of now, insurance must be carried that provides a minimum of $25,000 in medical payments for people who are hurt in an automobile accident. The insurance must cover at least $50,000 total for each accident. The property damage insurance has to provide $25,000 for replacement and repairs. As of January 1, 2011, these limits are scheduled to rise. At that time, the per person payments must reach a lower limit of $30,000. Likewise, each for each accident, the amount will be $60,000 minimum. The property damage amount will remain unchanged.