Texas requires drivers to prove their financial responsibility in order to drive. They will need to show insurance coverage when involved in an accident, when a police officer requests proof, or renewing vehicle registration. So, keep a copy of your insurance with you at all times.
Many states have penalties for driving without insurance, and Texas is no different. Drivers who are first-time offenders driving without insurance will pay fines of $175–$350 and additional fees and any penalty assessments. You will also pay an additional $250 annually for three years to renew your license. That’s an additional $750 on top of your fines.
Still more, you’ll be required to have an SR-22 form submitted to TxDOT, known as a certificate of financial responsibility. The state requires the certificate to verify you are carrying at least the state-mandated amount of car insurance. Within three years of the initial, repeated offenses will fetch a fine of $350–$1,000 and penalty assessments, including annual surcharges of $250 for three years. This second violation could total up to $1,750.
For drivers looking to avoid those fees, which can amount to much more than the insurance premiums, below are highlights of some of the most critical insurance info you need to know.
Get Low-Cost Texas Auto Insurance
Know the Law About Texas Liability Auto Insurance
Be sure to stay on top of the latest Texas Driving Laws. You can find this information at:
What is the Minimum Liability Car Insurance You Need in Texas?
Liability coverage protects you against claims from others. If you are found at-fault for an accident, you will be responsible in-part or in-full for the repair and medical bills of damages and injuries you’ve caused.
In Texas, liability coverage is the minimum required car insurance. Specifically, coverage that will meet or exceed $30,000/$60,000/$25,000.
- $30,000 for injury/death to one person.
- $60,000 for injury/death to more than one person.
- $25,000 for property damage.
- Policies must include personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured motorist protection (UM/UIM) unless you reject these coverages in writing.
Is the Minimum Liability Auto Insurance in Texas Enough Protection?
When drivers struggle with insurance costs versus how much it benefits them, they may ask themselves this question. The average premium for the legal minimum car insurance in Texas is $782. The minimum provides a driver coverage of 30/60/25.
Is that worth $782? Often policyholders overlook what they are protecting and instead focus on what they are paying. The best way to understand insurance benefits is to imagine likely scenarios and also the worst scenarios. Let’s illustrate both.
Likely accidents can be simple fender benders. Drivers, over their lifetime, even driving cautiously, can still be involved in minor accidents. A small collision because the driver was distracted is not uncommon. In this case, we assume everyone walks away from the crash without any injuries, so medical bills are not a concern. If the damages were minor, and the damaged car is a common and inexpensive make and model, your damages may come up to less than the $25,000 minimum required coverage.
The minimum requirements in Texas are more than in many other states. With that in mind, the average property damage claim in 2019 came to around $4,525, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). This cost was on repairs for a Chevy Malibu. Statistical trends show that expenses have doubled since 2010. If you happened to damage a brand new luxury or sports car like a Maserati, repair bills could exceed your minimum coverage easily.
Let’s look at a worse-case type scenario, where injuries and damages exceed your coverage. When bodily injuries are a factor alongside property damages, medical bills become an exceptionally burdensome expense. The average night in the ICU alone can be more than $3,000. As medical and repair costs accumulate, you will be liable for any expenses above your insurance coverage. The Insurance Information Institute estimated the average bodily injury claim severity to be $18,417. Thankfully, if you have the minimum required liability insurance, you’d be protected for almost twice this amount.
But, these scenarios do not take into account three essential expenses: the fees and penalties for the accident and the costs of repairing your car and covering your medical expenses. Here is a list of factors you should consider when determining how much coverage you may need.
- How much will you be liable for the other driver’s car repairs or property damages?
- How much will you be liable for the other driver’s medical bills?
- How much will court fees, traffic penalties, and other expenses total?
- How much for your car repairs or replacement?
- How much for your medical bills?
- How much will time off of work cost for recovery?