When you ask your insurance agent how much insurance you should buy, know that vehicle owners in Texas are required to have a minimum of $30,000 for each injured person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. However, the minimums are often not enough to adequately cover your needs should a car accident occur.
You’ll want to carry enough insurance to meet the minimums, and purchase additional coverage accordingly to your needs and budget.
Texas Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements
Texas is a fault-based state that means that drivers handle paying for damages for any accidents they cause. Most drivers satisfy this financial responsibility requirement by carrying auto liability insurance.
Liability insurance – the only type that you’re legally required to carry – pays for the other party’s damages if you’re at fault in an accident. It will pay for their property damage and medical expenses, not yours.
The minimum liability policy you can carry consists of the following.
- $30,000 for each injured person
- Up to a total of $60,000 per accident
- $25,000 for property damage per accident
This basic coverage is 30/60/25 coverage. Many cars today have values at far more than $25,000, and medical bills for a serious injury can soar to tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you cause a wreck and your 30/60/25 coverage falls short of the victims’ damages, they can sue you.
Plus, your damages still won’t be covered. If you don’t have substantial savings for just this situation, then you’ll want to consider additional protection.
Other Types of Auto Insurance to Consider
In addition to purchasing extra liability insurance, you might want to consider the following optional coverage.
- Collision coverage: Covers damage to your vehicle
- Comprehensive coverage: Covers your car if it’s stolen or damaged by events other than a collision, such as vandalism, hail, etc. (If you are leasing or financing your car, the finance company will require that you carry collision and comprehensive coverage.)
- Medical payments coverage: This covers medical and funeral bills for you, your family members, and anyone else in your car, regardless of accident fault.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage – the same as medical payments coverage, plus it pays for 80 percent of lost income after an accident and the cost of hiring a caregiver for an injured person.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage – Covers your damages when an uninsured or underinsured motorist causes your accident, or when you’re in a hit-and-run accident.
There are a handful of random additional coverage to consider, such as towing and labor coverage, rental reimbursement coverage, and coverage for expensive items in your car, such as your stereo equipment. You’ll want to speak to your insurance agent to determine which coverage might suit you best.
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