Did you know that in Texas you could get a discount on your car insurance just for taking a drug and alcohol awareness course? Learn more about Texas auto insurance laws, rates, and programs.
Texas requires you to be able to pay for any damages and injuries from a car accident you caused. Most people buy liability car insurance to fulfill this law.
If you choose to buy liability insurance to comply with the law, your policy must have the following minimum limits:
• $30,000 for each injured person.
• $60,000 for injuries per incident.
• $25,000 for property damage.
Texas only requires you to have liability insurance, but there are other optional types of car insurance coverage available to help protect you financially, which include:
• Collision – This coverage will help cover damages to your vehicle due to accidents with other cars.
• Comprehensive – This coverage will help with damages to your car due to incidents not involving car collisions. For example, if hail dents your car, you may be covered through comprehensive coverage.
• Uninsured/Underinsured drivers – The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) states that about 20% of current drivers in TX are uninsured. This coverage can help protect you from damages caused by these drivers.
• Towing and labor.
NOTE: If your car is being financed, your lending or leasing company will require you to carry both collision and comprehensive coverage for your car.
Buying liability insurance is the most common way to cover your financial responsibility, but you do have other options:
• A surety bond from two individual sureties that own property in Texas, with the same coverage limitations as liability insurance.
• $55,000 cash or securities deposit with the state Comptroller.
• $55,000 cash or cashier’s check deposit with the county judge of the county in which the car is registered.
• Certificate of self-insurance – You must own a fleet of more than 25 cars to qualify for a certificate of self-insurance.
Your car insurance company will give you an insurance card to use as your proof of car insurance. You must show a proof of insurance when you:
• Are asked for it by a police officer.
• Get into a car accident.
• Register or renew your car’s registration.
• Apply or renew your driver’s license.
• Have your car inspected.
You should get a new car insurance card from your insurance carrier every time you renew your auto insurance. Most insurance companies offer a minimum term of 6 months on a policy.
TexasSure is a program that helps various Texas government agencies electronically verify that you have car insurance.
Among the agencies that use TexasSure are:
• The Texas Department of Public Safety.
• Sherriff and police departments.
• Vehicle registration offices.
If there are issues with your Texas car insurance information, you may receive one of the following notices:
• Unmatched notices – According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), less than 1% of insured driver’s cannot be matched with their registered car in the TexasSure system. You will receive this notice if you are on record as having car insurance but the insurance does not match with your car.
• Uninsured Notices – You will receive this notice if you have a registered vehicle with no record of car insurance for that car.
Violating Texas car insurance laws can bring harsh consequences, including the following fines and penalties:
• For your first conviction:
$175 – $350 in fines.
• For additional convictions:
$350 – $1,000 in fines.
Possible suspension of your driver’s license.
Possible impoundment of your car.
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