The State of Texas requires all drivers to carry at least liability insurance for all vehicles. If you are moving to Texas or are purchasing a new car, you may also consider purchasing collision coverage and comprehensive insurance to protect yourself against a costly lawsuit in the event of an accident. Use this guide to Texas auto liability insurance laws so that you understand what type of coverage you are legally required to carry.
Auto Liability Coverage in Texas
The TexasSure Vehicle Insurance Verification Program has been developed by the Texas Department of Insurance, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, and sets the rules and requirements for all drivers in the state.
As of September 2010, the minimum liability coverage in Texas is $25,000 bodily injury coverage for one person, $50,000 bodily injury maximum for all injuries related to the accident and $25,000 property damage coverage for any accident. On January 1, 2011, the liability insurance limits will increase to $30,000 bodily injury coverage, $60,000 bodily injury maximum coverage and $25,000 property damage coverage for any accident.
Liability auto coverage ensures that your insurance company will pay for the other party’s damages when you are at fault. This type of coverage does not cover the costs associated with damage to your own vehicle or any medical expenses you incur from the accident; you will need collision coverage to file a claim and receive compensation for your own expenses if you are at fault in an accident.
Under Texas state law, liability insurance covers anyone who is driving the car under your policy, with your permission. It’s important to keep in mind that carrying liability coverage does not necessarily mean you will be covered when driving a company car, a rental car or a car that you do not own. In these cases, you may need to purchase temporary coverage so that you are not held personally liable in the event of an accident.
You can contact the Texas Department of Insurance in Austin to learn about specific coverage requirements in your county, and learn more about the mandated minimum level of coverage.
What Does Auto Liability Coverage in Texas Cover?
Expenses that will be paid for by the insurance company in the event of an accident include:
– Medical costs
– Funeral costs
– Cost of lost wages
– Cost of pain and suffering
– Vehicle repair and replacement costs
– Cost of car rental while the car is being repaired
– Punitive damages
Payment under liability coverage is made up to the minimum coverage amount, which means you will be personally responsible for paying for all costs over the minimum. For example, if the other person involved in the accident has medical expenses that exceed $50,000 and you have coverage for the legal minimum, you will be responsible for paying for all costs that exceed $50,000. If you can’t pay, you may be sued in court and can be arrested for failure to pay your liability.
“TexasSure Vehicle Insurance Verification,” Texas Department of Insurance.
“Texas Car Insurance: Requirements,” CarInsuranceRates.com.
“New to Texas – Auto Insurance: Laws and Minimum Requirement,” Texas Auto Home Insurance.