Texas auto insurance 101

Infographic: Texas Auto Insurance 101

If you’re new to Texas – or are new to driving – you may be wondering what kind of auto insurance you need to have in order to drive in the Lone Star State. Well, you’ve come to the right place, as the lesson on Texas Auto Insurance 101 is about to begin.

Texans don’t like to beat around the bush, so here are some of the highlights regarding what the state requires you to have in terms of minimums:

  • $30,000 for each injured person
  • $60,000 per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage sustained per accident

Remember, in order to register your vehicle, you have to prove that you have this $30,000/$60,000/$25,000 in coverage, so be sure you have the necessary paperwork to show the county assessor-collector or Department of Motor Vehicles. If you have a smartphone, though, you can use your handheld device as a paperless way of of coverage verification.

Should you violate Texas auto insurance laws, it isn’t without it’s consequences, so it pays to be in compliance. At a minimum, a fine of $175 could be levied and up to $1,000 for multiple violations.

Also, keep in mind that you’ll need to establish proof of insurance in other scenarios besides registering your car. Example situations include if a police officer requests it of you during a traffic stop for speeding, for instance. If you get into an accident, that’s another case where insurance verification is necessary. Additionally, those yearly car inspections warrant insurance documentation.

While liability insurance is the only type of car insurance that you’re required to have as a Texas resident and driver, it’s highly recommended that you secure supplementary coverage, which provides for scenarios that liability doesn’t. For instance, collision covers for repairs sustained to a vehicle after an accident, minus the deductible. Comprehensive goes above and beyond collision by covering incidents that aren’t always crash-related. For instance, Texas is known to receive several hailstorms in the average year. The golf-ball sized dents that hail often leaves on hoods and trunks is provided for with comprehensive protection. It will also reimburse you the cost of replacing your vehicle should it be stolen, up to the limits of the policy.

Already have a car but don’t have insurance? There’s no 30-day grace period in Texas, so if you’ve recently bought a car, your next purchase should be an auto insurance policy.