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Everything’s bigger in Texas – including the severe weather awareness events that occur throughout the year. Whether you’re heading to visit The Alamo in San Antonio or the beach at Corpus Christi, you should stay informed of sudden weather extremes when planning travel on Texas highways.
Here are two upcoming severe weather awareness periods to keep in mind when you’re driving in Texas:
- Flood Safety Awareness Week – the third week in March
- Lightning Awareness Week – the third week in June
Texas is also bigger when it comes to its minimum auto insurance liability requirements that exceed many other states*. Most drivers purchase liability car insurance to comply with this law. Your policy must have the following minimum limits:
- $30,000 for each injured person.
- $60,000 for injuries per incident.
- $25,000 for property damage.
Car Insurance Alternatives
Buying liability insurance is the most common way to cover your financial responsibility, but there are other options:
- A surety bond from two individual sureties that owns property in Texas, with the same coverage limitations as liability insurance.
- $55,000 cash or securities deposit with the state Comptroller.
- $55,000 cash or cashier’s check deposit with the county judge of the county in which the car is registered.
- Certificate of self-insurance – You must own a fleet of more than 25 cars to qualify for a certificate of self-insurance.
Proof of auto insurance in Texas is required for:
- Car inspections
- Registration or renewal of vehicle registration.
- Application or renewal for a driver’s license
In Texas, 20% of the vehicles on its roads have no insurance coverage. TexasSure is the vehicle insurance verification program that enables law enforcement officers and tax assessor-collectors to immediately access the database and verify if a driver doesn’t have insurance.
Violating Texas car insurance laws can result in the following fines and penalties:
- For your first conviction:
- $175 – $350 in fines.
- For additional convictions:
- $350 – $1,000 in fines
- Possible suspension of your driver’s license.
- Possible impoundment of your car
Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association
Drivers with poor driving records may have a hard time finding car insurance. If 2 insurance companies have refused to insure you, you can buy your car insurance through the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association (TAIPA).
To be eligible for the TAIPA program the applicant must:
- Possess a valid driver license or request an SR-22 to obtain a valid license. If the applicant is applying for a driver’s license, please indicate in Item 3 on the application and immediately notify the company when the license is obtained. A military driver’s license is not acceptable.
- Be a resident of Texas or have a vehicle registered in Texas; and
- Certify that they have been rejected for insurance by two companies within the last 60 days. Refer to the item Applicant Certification/Signature item on the last page of the TAIPA application.
An applicant in the military is eligible while stationed in Texas or if they are a Texas resident stationed in another state.
A student who is a resident of Texas and attending school in another state is eligible. An out-of-state student attending a Texas school is eligible provided the vehicle is licensed (or is being licensed) in Texas.
If you have been issued car insurance through TAIPA and have gone 3 years without a car accident or traffic ticket, your insurance carrier must take you out of the TAIPA program and offer you standard car insurance at a lower rate.
When you drive in Texas it’s wise to be prepared for severe weather conditions. Don’t risk fines and suspension of your vehicle’s registration. Call now for your free car insurance quote.
*Please note state minimums may change from time to time. Check with Texas DMV if you have additional questions about current state minimums.