Texas auto insurance
Automobile liability insurance coverage is mandatory in Texas. But in addition to the liability coverage, a whole menu of other coverage options is also available, providing different protections and benefits for you and your family in the event of a collision.
Most of us do not understand those coverages until after an accident, and that may be too late. When I ask clients what automobile insurance they have, they sometimes shrug and say they’ve “got full coverage.” There is no standard definition of “full coverage” and clients are sometimes surprised to find that their coverage is rather limited.
Personal Auto Policy and endorsement forms approved by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). They have approved a revised Personal Automobile Policy and endorsement forms for use with all personal automobile applications assigned through Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association (TAIPA) effective March 1, 2006.
Under Sections 5.B.5 and 21.B.6. of the TAIPA Plan of Operation insurers may use only those policy and endorsement forms adopted or approved by the Commissioner of Insurance as designated by the Association. The revised policy form includes many provisions that were included in various miscellaneous endorsements.
Endorsements that are not required by rule, or required under the provisions of the Texas Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act, Chapter 601, Texas Transportation Code have been deleted. The deletions include the optional Mexico coverage and the supplementary death benefit endorsement.
State law requires that you carry at least $30,000/60,000/30,000 in liability coverage, an increase above the $25,000/$50,000/$25,000 minimum limits in effect before January 1, 2011.
Your insurance company pays up to your policy limits, at its discretion, if it believes you (or certain drivers of your car) were negligently at fault in causing an accident which injures other people or property. For each accident, up to $30,000 is available for any one person’s bodily injuries. Up to $60,000 is available to cover the injuries of more than one person, but no one person’s injuries get more than $30,000. $30,000 is available for all of the property damage. You can (and should) purchase higher limits of coverage.
The Texas Courts have said that insurance carriers owe their duty to the negligent policy holder (the driver who bought or is covered by the policy), not to the people he or she hurts. This means that if a Driver hits you, and is at fault, then that Driver’s insurance company’s job is to protect that Driver, not you. I have seen insurance companies slip a bodily injury release into a property damage payment, for example, leaving the injured person bereft of any rights to pursue reimbursement for their injuries after getting the car damage paid. The Courts say this behavior is OK (as long as the carrier did not lie about what it was doing) since the insurance company has fulfilled its duty to protect its policy holder.
Therefore, if you are in an accident, get some independent advice from your own insurance sales agent, your insurance claims office, or your own attorney. Read what you sign, question what you do not understand, and get advice before you sign any release or endorse any settlement check. In addition to these pitfalls, a lot of drivers have no assets to protect, are therefore not worried about having those (non)assets taken from them. These drivers either carry the minimum coverage or none at all. I am still seeing a lot of uninsured drivers, despite tougher laws requiring coverage.
Lawyers and attorneys are available for car accident, Texas auto insurance is also available.