Texas Auto Insurance FAQs
If you’ve been in a car accident recently, this extensive FAQ will provide you information and direction as to what you should do next.
The only thing not confusing about an auto insurance policy is the premium you are charged. The insurance company always make that real clear and obvious. What the policy actually covers is normally harder to digest.
Once you get into the details of the policy, there are many many things that can be confusing. We’ve taken our years of experience as car, accident lawyers who have reviewed hundreds of auto insurance policies and tried to provide you with the most important information you need to know if you were involved in a car accident and need to know what your rights you have.
The eight types of auto insurance coverage in Texas
- Liability Coverage – This is designed to pay for the repair of the car that is damaged or to compensate people injured that were in the car that did not cause the accident. Texas law requires the following minimum coverage. $25,000 to cover property damage and at least $30,000 coverage for injuries per person up to two people, so $60,000. Insurance professionals for refer to this as 30/60/25 coverage. This is the bare minimum that you must have to drive a vehicle in Texas. If you only have liability coverage and your car is damaged in an accident caused by you, your insurance company will not pay to repair your car.
PRO TIP: This is why you must carry your own insurance and have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Most drivers do not have enough coverage to pay for a real accident.
- Collision Coverage – This coverage is intended to repair your vehicle if you were in an accident and you caused the accident. This is one step up from just having liability coverage.
- Comprehensive Coverage – This is sometimes referred to as full coverage. Comprehensive coverage will pay for your car if it is damaged in an accident, vandalism, fire, flood, or some other event.
- Medical payments coverage – This insurance coverage will pay for our and your passengers medical bills. It will also pay for your medical bills if you were injured or riding in somebody else’s car, walking along the sidewalk or riding a bike.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage – This coverage is similar to medical payments coverage, but this covers more items then just medical bills. It covers lost wages, and other non-medical cost. All Texans automobile policies have PIP coverage unless you deny the coverage in writing.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – This coverage pays for your medical bills, your car repairs and your pain and suffering if he person who hit you doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance. it also will pay you if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident. Taxes insurance companies are required to offer this when issuing insurance policies. If you don’t except the coverage, you must deny it in writing.
PRO TIP: Less than two thirds of the drivers in Houston have insurance. So it is imperative that you carry Uninsured & Underinsured coverage.
- Towing and Labor Coverage – This coverage is intended to pay for towing your car, jumpstarting your car or changing a flat tire in the event your car can’t be driven.
- Rental Reimbursement Coverage – This should pay to have a rental car in the event your car is stolen or it is damaged beyond being able to be driven or while it is being repaired after an accident.
PRO TIP: If you need to use rental reimbursement coverage, always review your policy and make sure you don’t have a limit to the number of days in a total amount. If you do, you need to make sure you notify the repair shop that you can only have a rental car for X number of days.
What Drivers are Covered Under my Insurance Policy?
A policy will cover you, your family, and anybody you give permission to drive your car. Some discount policies, will only cover the name driver on the policy. So always review your policy and make sure your friends and family are covered if they are driving your car. If you decide to ask your agent, instead of reading the policy, always get your agent’s answer in writing.
What is covered under my auto insurance policy?
- Vehicle Damage – Damage to your vehicle because of flood, fire, hail, theft, flying objects, or hitting an animal.
- Rental Car Accidents – If you cause an accident while driving a rental car, your policy should typically cover the accident
- Driving outside the U.S. – If you were involved in an accident while you’re driving in Canada, but many auto policies do not cover accidents that occur in Mexico. Ask your agent if you plan to drive in Mexico.
- Attorney Fees – If you cause an accident, and you are sued, your attorneys fees, and your representation by your lawyer, should be paid by your insurance company.
- Pay for the Damage you Caused – If you cause an accident, your insurance should pay the cost to repair the other vehicle, lost wages, medical bills, and funeral bills for the individuals in the car that was involved in the accident.
Should I only carry the minimum insurance required, or should I purchase additional coverage?
The amount of insurance coverage you carry, depends on the amount of risk you with to take on and the value of your car. You certainly want to have enough insurance to replace your car if it is totaled. Also, if you have significant assets, you may consider purchasing an umbrella policy to protect you and your family if you cause a very large accident. Otherwise, you can be personally liable beyond the insurance policy limits.
My friend borrowed my car and got into an accident. Who pays?
Normally, your insurance company should cover if a friend or family member has borrowed you car with your permission and they cause an accident. Coverage, however, might not cover medical bills and injuries for the person who borrowed your car.
Will my insurance pay to fix my damaged vehicle or cover any medical expenses if I am in an accident and the at-fault driver does not have insurance?
If you have comprehensive coverage, and under insured and uninsured motorist coverage, everything would be covered. But if you have basic liability coverage, your car repairs would not be paid for by the insurance company, nor would your medical bills be covered. This is why you need comprehensive insurance.
Auto insurance is mandatory in Texas, so do not drive without it. If you have questions about coverage after an accident, call the Fitts Law Fi.rm today 1-800-99-FITTS,