After a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may wonder whether Texas has car insurance requirements.
Understandably, you may feel angry and confused after doing your part to keep and maintain an insurance policy while the driver that hit you didn’t.
Read on to learn more about Texas car insurance requirements and how policy limits may impact your situation.
Most importantly, contact a car accident attorney to discuss your options to recover compensation for your injuries.
Texas Car Insurance Requirements
Texas sets out minimum car insurance requirements for all drivers in the state. Minimum coverage amounts in Texas are often referred to as 30/60/25 coverage and includes:
- $30,000 for each injured person,
- $60,000 total per accident, and
- $25,000 for property damage per accident.
This liability coverage covers the other driver’s car if you cause an accident and covers the other driver and passenger damages, including medical bills.
These coverage amounts may seem substantial. However, in a significant car accident, these totals may barely scratch the surface of a victim’s medical costs.
Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM) Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage protects victims when the liable party fails to carry any liability insurance.
Underinsured motorist coverage protects a car accident victim if the responsible party’s coverage amounts fail to compensate for resulting injuries and property damage.
UM/UIM coverage is not required, but insurance companies are required to offer it to you. And if you decline to buy UM/UIM, you must do so in writing.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
Personal injury protection provides coverage for medical expenses or damages regardless of liability. Like UM/UIM coverage, insurance companies must offer PIP, and if you choose not to take it, you must do so in writing.
Medical Payments (Med Pay) Coverage
Med Pay covers some medical and funeral costs for you and passengers hurt or killed while riding in your car.
Physical Damage Coverage
This type of insurance covers damage to your vehicle. It is optional, but you will most likely have to buy if you lease or have a car loan.
Collision pays for damage to your car after an accident —even when you are at fault.
Comprehensive (also known as “other than collision”) pays for damage if your car is stolen, vandalized, or damaged by something other than a car wreck (e.g., fire, flood, hail, etc.).
Proof of Car Insurance Requirements
All drivers must provide proof of car insurance requirements in Texas. Drivers must show a current card in specific situations, including:
- Requested by a police officer,
- Involvement in a car accident,
- Register or renew the registration of a car, and
- Register or renew a driver’s license.
Many drivers may carry a copy of their insurance card in their glove box and a copy in their wallet.
If you are involved in a car accident, you should ask the other driver for their insurance information and write it down before everyone leaves the accident scene.
Penalties for Violating Texas Requirements for Car Insurance
Texas penalizes drivers who fail to uphold their duty to obtain car insurance. The penalties for violation of Texas car insurance requirements are as follows:
- First offense results in a fine of $175 to $350;
- Additional offenses usually carry a fine of $350 to $1,000, suspension of your driver’s license, and your car may be impounded;
- Violation without a valid driver’s license has a maximum fine of $2,000, 180 days in jail, or both;
- Violation if you cause an accident with serious injuries or death results in a maximum $4,000 fine, one year in jail, or both.
It’s important to take car insurance requirements seriously. Contact a qualified car accident attorney if you have questions about what you need to do to avoid fines, jail time, or suspension of your driver’s license.
Contact Us with Your Insurance Issues
At Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., we have been fighting for the rights of Texans since our founding in 1962.
Our legal team has over 85 years of legal experience representing clients against insurance companies and defense lawyers.
If you have questions about car insurance requirements in Texas or were involved in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, we are here to help.
Contact our office for a free consultation today.