Protecting Your Family and Property
The current minimum liability limits is currently $30,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage per accident. This basic coverage is called 30/60/25 coverage.

Because of car prices and the high cost of medical care, the minimum amounts might not be enough if you cause an accident. If your liability limits are too low to pay for all of the other driver’s costs, the driver may sue you to collect the difference. To protect yourself financially, consider buying more than the basic limits.

— Proof of Financial Responsibility
When you buy an auto insurance policy, your insurance company will send you a proof-of-insurance card. You will have to show proof of insurance in the following instances:
  • You are asked for it by a law enforcement officer.
  • You have an accident.
  • You register your car or renew its registration.
  • You obtain or renew your driver’s license.
  • You get your car inspected.

There are severe legal penalties for violating the state’s financial responsibility laws. A first conviction will result in a fine between $175 and $350. Subsequent convictions could result in fines of $350 to $1,000, suspension of your driver’s license and impoundment of your automobile.

— Know Your Rights
Texas has an automobile insurance Consumer Bill of Rights. Your company must send you a copy with your policy. Take time to read it to fully understand your rights under Texas law.

Auto Insurance Coverages
The Texas Personal Automobile Insurance Policy offers eight types of coverage. Basic liability coverage meets the state’s financial responsibility laws. If you still owe money on your car, your lender also will require you to have collision and comprehensive coverage.

Auto insurers may offer alternative policies if approved in advance by TDI. Read your policy carefully, as your coverages and policy terms could differ from the following descriptions of the eight types of coverage available.

— Liability Coverage
Basic liability coverage meets the state’s financial responsibility requirement. It pays other people’s expenses for accidents caused by drivers covered by your policy, up to your policy’s dollar limits. These may include other people’s medical and funeral costs, lost wages and compensation for pain and suffering, car repair or replacement costs, auto rental while the other driver’s car is being repaired and punitive damages awarded by a court. Liability insurance also pays your attorney fees if someone sues you because of the accident and bail up to $250 if you are arrested. Liability covers you and your family members, which include anyone living in your home related to you by blood, marriage or adoption, including your spouse, children, in-laws, adopted children, wards and foster children. Other people driving your car with your permission and family members attending school away from home; spouses living elsewhere during a martial separation also might be covered. You and your family members might be covered when driving someone else’s automobile—including a rental car—but not a car that you don’t own but have regular access to, such as a company car. Note: Some policies won’t cover other people, including family members, unless they’re specifically named in the policy. Your policy’s declaration page should list the names of all of the people covered by the policy.

— Medical-Payments Coverage
Automobile accidents often result in one or more persons being injured in some way. It is important to be covered properly if this occurs. This coverage pays medical and funeral bills resulting from accidents, including those in which the other person is a pedestrian or bicyclist, and covers you, your family members and passengers in your car, regardless of who caused the accident.

— Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
An insurance company must offer you $2,500 in PIP, but you can buy more. If you don’t want PIP, you must reject it in writing. PIP pays for the same things as medical-payments coverage, plus 80 percent of lost income and the cost of hiring a caregiver for an injured person. It covers you, your family members and passengers in your car, regardless of who caused the accident. An insurance company must offer you $2,500 in PIP, but you can buy more. If you don’t want PIP, you must reject it in writing.

— Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage
Insurers must offer UM/UIM coverage. If you decline coverage, you must do so in writing. UM/UIM pays your expenses from an accident caused by an uninsured motorist or a motorist who did not have enough insurance to cover your bills, up to your policy’s dollar limits. It also pays for accidents caused by a hit-and-run driver if you promptly reported the accident to police and covers You, your family members, passengers in your car, and others driving your car with your permission. Following are the two kinds of UM/UIM coverage you can get:
  • Bodily injury UM/UIM pays without deductibles for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement and permanent or partial disability.
  • Property damage UM/UIM pays for auto repairs, a rental car and damage to items in your car. There is an automatic $250 deductible, which means you must pay the first $250 of the repairs yourself.

— Collision Coverage
Damages to cars can be extensive and costly when involved in an accident. Collision coverage pays for the cost of repairing or replacing your car after an accident. Payment is limited to your car’s actual cash value, minus your deductible. Actual cash value is the market value of a car like yours without damages. It will cover you, your family members, passengers in your car and others driving your car with your permission.

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