Being a car owner is an enormous responsibility and commitment. Auto insurance coverage is mandatory in Texas, and lack of auto insurance coverage can subject drivers to hefty fines.
Selecting auto insurance coverage can be complicated, confusing, and stressful. There are many companies and different types of coverages. Sometimes, insurance terminology can be confusing, and insurance premiums can also be expensive. Therefore, make time to compare insurers and prices before selecting the most suitable one for you.
Adequate insurance is the one that can be paid monthly and offers a variety of coverage, allowing drivers to choose what policy best fits their needs in case of an accident. Thus providing peace of mind that the driver has the necessary insurance coverage if involved in an accident.
Here is some general information and tips to help you decide on auto insurance coverage that is right for you.
Let’s start with some important definitions for auto insurance:
- Accident – any incident you may suffer from with your vehicle and is the word insurers use when you report an accident to make an insurance claim
- Policy – a contract describing what’s included in your insurance coverage and is usually referred to by a number
- Coverage – these are different types of protection that insurers offer you in the event of an accident (we describe them later)
- Deductible – the amount of money that you must disburse in the event of an accident so that the auto insurance pays the rest of the damages indicated in the policy
Know this before talking to an insurance agent and choosing your coverage:
Your auto insurance bill is the total cost of the specific insurance coverage you and your insurance agent agreed upon. There are about six different auto insurance coverages to choose from in Texas. We’ll explain the different categories so you can analyze them and find what works best for you. Keep in mind that paying a few extra dollars a month for proper coverage can make a big difference in the event of an accident.
- Liability Coverage – Covers expenses when you are responsible for the accident.
- TIP: It is the only mandatory coverage in Texas. In case of an accident, the insurance will pay the maximum of $30,000 per injured person and the maximum of $60,000 for all injured persons. In our experience, this is not enough.
- NOTE: It does not cover the cost of repairing your car or your medical expenses if you are injured.
- Collision Coverage – Provides coverage for repairs to your car. It is used when the driver who hits you does NOT have auto insurance or when you get into a hit and run.
- TIP: Fixing a car can be very expensive. What is more costly to pay a repair bill, replace your vehicle, or pay a few extra dollars a month for more coverage?
- NOTE: An estimated 14% of Texas drivers do not have auto insurance. (www.enjuries.com)
- Comprehensive coverage – covers damage to your car that is beyond your control. For example, vandalism, theft, impact with animals, hail damage, flood damage, and fire damage are considered beyond a driver’s control.
- Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist (UIM/UM) – this is coverage to protect you from a driver at fault for the accident who does not have insurance or adequate insurance.
- NOTE: Texas drivers must have coverage of at least $30,000 per person, capped at $60,000 per accident.
You should consider two important things: 1) It is estimated that 14% of drivers do not have auto insurance in Texas. (www.enjuries.com), 2) The average cost of hospitalization for a car accident is $57,000. (www.nyooz.com)
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – Provides coverage for medical expenses related to injuries from a car accident and covers lost wages due to disability injuries.
- TIP: Your health is the most important thing. If your family is financially dependent on you, you should consider including this coverage in your policy.
- Medical Payment (Med-Pay) – Covers only medical expenses related to injuries caused in a car accident.
Remember, the information mentioned here is only a recommendation based on our experience. Talk to your insurance agent to verify which auto insurance coverage will fit your specific needs.
If you or a family member has had an accident, you are not alone. Call us at 512-474-4487 for a free and confidential consultation. We have over 30 years of experience in car accidents with serious injuries. We can help you recover the compensation you truly deserve.