Driving in Texas comes with certain responsibilities, and one of the most crucial is having adequate auto insurance. Texas law requires drivers to carry minimum liability coverage, but understanding the nuances of auto insurance laws can be confusing. Here at the Law Office of David M. Kennedy, we aim to provide you with clear and concise information about Texas auto insurance laws and what you need to know to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Auto Insurance Minimum Coverage Requirements:
Texas law mandates minimum liability coverage for all drivers. This coverage pays for bodily injury and property damage to others that you cause in an accident. The minimum required limits are:
- $30,000 per injured person: This covers medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages for each person whom you may injure in an accident you cause.
- $60,000 per accident: This covers the total amount paid for all persons whom you may injure in an accident you cause.
- $25,000 for property damage: This covers damage to other people’s property, such as vehicles, buildings, and personal belongings, that you cause in an accident.
Auto Insurance Additional Coverage Options:
While the minimum coverage is required by law, it may not be sufficient to protect you fully. Consider additional coverage options such as:
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage: This protects you if you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages. Comparatively speaking, it is also a cheap benefit and should always be purchased.
- Collision coverage: This covers damage to your own vehicle, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. If you have a vehicle on which you owe payments, then you will be required to purchase collision coverage – often referred to as ‘full coverage.’
- Comprehensive coverage: This covers damage to your vehicle caused by events other than collisions, such as theft, fire, vandalism, and hail damage.
- Personal injury protection (PIP): This covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages for you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. ALWAYS accept this option when you purchase insurance.
Proof of Financial Responsibility:
Texas law requires drivers to maintain proof of financial responsibility at all times. This can be in the form of:
- An insurance card
- A certificate of self-insurance
- A surety bond
You must carry proof of financial responsibility with you when you drive and present it to law enforcement upon request. Failure to do so can result in a fine and suspension of your driver’s license.
Important Dates and Deadlines:
Here are some important dates and deadlines to be aware of:
- Policy renewal date: This is the date when your insurance policy expires and you need to renew it to avoid a lapse in coverage.
- Cancellation date: This is the date your insurance company will cancel your policy if you fail to pay your premium. You may have a 30-day grace period if you happen to miss the payment.
- Claims filing deadline: This is the deadline for filing a claim with your insurance company after an accident.
Important Tips about Auto Insurance
- Shop around for the best rates: Compare rates from different insurance companies before buying a policy.
- Read your policy carefully: Understand what your policy covers and what it does not cover.
- Report accidents promptly: Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident.
- Cooperate with your insurance company: Provide all the information they request and answer their questions honestly.
- Keep your driving record clean: A good driving record will help you qualify for lower insurance rates.
Seeking legal help:
If you’ve been involved in an accident and have questions about your insurance coverage or rights, it’s important to seek legal advice from a qualified attorney. An experienced, board-certified attorney from the Law Office of David M. Kennedy can review your case, explain your options, and protect your rights throughout the legal process.
The Law Office of David M. Kennedy is dedicated to helping victims of car accidents obtain the compensation they deserve. If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact us today for a free consultation. We offer compassionate and experienced legal representation to help you navigate the complex legal system and recover the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Remember, understanding your auto insurance coverage and the legal requirements is crucial for your safety and financial security on the road. By taking the time to learn about Texas auto insurance laws and making informed decisions, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from the financial consequences of an accident.
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