Texas car insurance laws require $30,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person, up to $60,000 per accident, as well as $25,000 of property damage liability coverage.
Bodily injury liability insurance pays for any injuries that you accidentally cause with your car, while property damage liability coverage helps pay for any material assets that you damage while driving, like another person’s car or mailbox. Your insurance company pays up to the limit specified by your policy for each type of car insurance coverage.
You can face multiple penalties if you’re caught driving without at least the minimum car insurance required in Texas, including up to $1,100 in fees. Another important Texas car insurance law to note is the grace period for new residents. You have 30 days to register your car when you move to Texas. You’ll need to bring proof of Texas car insurance when you go to register, with coverage in each of the categories listed below.
Minimum Coverage Required by Texas Car Insurance Laws:
Bodily injury liability: $30,000 per person / $60,000 per accident
If you’re at fault in a car accident, your liability insurance pays for the other driver’s car repairs and will likely cover any doctor’s bills if they’re injured. No-fault states are the exception, as they require each driver to use their own insurance to pay for medical expenses after an accident. But regardless of the state, fault always dictates whose liability insurance pays for property damage.… read full answer
Your liability insurance never covers your own expenses, so you will need collision insurance, personal injury protection (PIP), or MedPay in order to avoid paying out of pocket for an at-fault accident. Some states require drivers to have PIP or MedPay, while collision insurance is usually required if you are leasing or financing your car.
After an at-fault accident, car insurance rates go up by an average of 48%. The exact amount that your premium will go up depends on a few factors, including your state and how much damage you caused. But any increase is only temporary, usually lasting about 3-5 years. And if you have accident forgiveness with your insurance company, your rates might not go up at all.
Ultimately, no one wants to be at-fault in a car accident, but it’s important to understand how at-fault accidents work just in case. With that in mind, here’s a quick summary of what you really need to know.
Here’s What Happens If You Are At-Fault in a Car Accident
Your liability insurance should pay for the other driver’s expenses.
You will need to use other types of car insurance to cover your own repair and medical bills.
Your car insurance rates will go up by an average of 48% for 3-5 years.
The thirteen states that require PIP insurance, also known as personal injury protection, are Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Utah. Of these states, 11 are “no-fault” states. PIP coverage is also available, but optional, in seven additional states, plus the District of Columbia.… read full answer
Minimum PIP Coverage
$15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident
(plus $5,000 for funeral services)
$10,000 per person
$10,00 per person
$4,500 per person
(plus a $2,000 burial benefit or up to $10,000+ for care/lost wages)
$10,000 per person, per accident
$2,000 per person*
$8,000 per person, per accident
(drivers who receive Medicaid can opt out as of July 2020)
$50,000 per person
$40,000 per person, per accident
$15,000 per person, per accident
(up to $250,000 for certain life-altering injuries)
$50,000 per person
(plus a $2,000 death benefit)
$30,000 per person
$15,000 per person
Medical Benefits Required
$5,000 per person, per accident
No minimum coverage requirement
$2,500 per person
(plus up to $100/week for lost wages for up to 12 months, in some cases)
$10,000 per accident
$50,000 per person
(plus $12,000 per person for lost wages and $4,000 for funeral expenses)
*Reflects this state’s minimum coverage required for medical benefits, not PIP specifically. In New Hampshire, this minimum only applies to drivers who decide to purchase coverage.
PIP insurance covers medical expenses for you and your passengers after an accident, no matter who is at fault. These expenses include ambulance fees, medical and surgical treatments, and prescriptions. PIP can also reimburse you for lost wages, home care expenses, and even funeral expenses.
Car insurance follows the car, not the driver, in most cases. There are a few situations where car insurance follows the driver, though, such as when the car’s insurance limits are exceeded, in which case the driver’s coverage can be used to fill in the gaps. There’s also some disparity from company to company – your policy might provide less coverage for other drivers, or even no coverage at all.… read full answer
It’s advisable to review your insurance policy before letting someone else drive your car. It also helps to ask if the other driver has insurance before they get behind the wheel in your vehicle. And don’t forget to confirm coverage before you drive someone else’s car, too.
The driver’s insurance usually plays a (small) role
In most situations, the driver’s insurance plays a role regardless of whose car they are driving and who caused the accident. That is true regardless of whether a state has at-fault or no-fault laws because no-fault insurance only applies to medical payments. So fault still matters for property damage, at least, and the at-fault party needs to pay up.
However, the driver’s insurance can end up being negligible. If you are insured and you cause an accident in a friend's car, the primary coverage is their insurance, not yours. Instead, your car insurance is the secondary source of coverage. If your friend's coverage is exceeded by the collision, your insurance picks up the slack.
Uninsured drivers depend solely on the car's coverage
If you don’t have insurance and you drive your friend's car, your friend is on the hook for whatever damage you cause. But if the damage exceeds your friend’s insurance coverage, the other driver(s) could sue you and your friend, who also could sue you to cover his or her share!
This is assuming your friend gives you permission to drive. If you don't have permission to drive someone's car, insurance gets a little more complicated.
Permission matters - but it's hard to prove
If a friend with no insurance takes your car without permission and crashes it, you're liable for the damage they cause. That’s because it’s very difficult to prove you didn't give your friend permission to use your car. And in situations where you let your uninsured friend use your car, your insurance needs to cover any damage they cause.
However, the responsibility can fall on the friend who takes your car if they have their own car insurance. If they cause damage in that situation, their insurance policy would be the primary coverage, while yours would be secondary – again, as long as you can prove that you did not give them permission to use your car. In that case, your insurance would only need to kick in to cover gaps in their insurance policy, or if their insurance maxed out before the damage was covered fully.
If it’s not a friend who takes your car, things are different. Should someone steal your car, you're generally not liable for the damage they cause to others' property. But you need your own insurance for repairs to your vehicle if they vandalize it.
Check your policy to see who and what is covered.
Keep a copy of your car insurance information in your car, in case you're not there when an accident occurs.
Make sure your friends have a valid driver's license and car insurance before you let them drive your vehicle.
Add people you live with to your car insurance, as well as other people who use your car regularly.
If you don’t own a car, you can get non-owner car insurance to make sure you’re covered when you drive someone else’s vehicle.
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