After an intolerable number of years at the same very low minimum limits, Texas automobile liability laws were changed over the past several years. The minimum policy amount went from $20,000 to $25,000, and then to the current $30,000. This information is from the Texas Department of Insurance.
Texas law requires people who drive in Texas to pay for the accidents they cause. Most drivers do this by buying automobile liability insurance.
Liability insurance pays to repair or replace the other driver’s car and pays other people’s medical expenses when you are at fault in an accident. It does not pay to repair or replace your car or for your injuries. Consider buying other types of coverage – such as personal injury protection or medical payments, collision, and comprehensive – to pay for these expenses.
Most drivers buy liability insurance to meet the state’s financial responsibility law. You must buy at least the minimum amount of coverage. The current minimum liability limits are $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 to pay all of the other driver’s costs if you’re in an accident. Other drivers could sue you to collect the difference. Consider buying more than the basic limits to protect yourself financially.
Breaking the Law
There are penalties for breaking the state’s financial responsibility law. A first conviction will result in a fine between $175 and $350. Additional convictions could result in fines of $350 to $1,000, suspension of your driver’s license, and impoundment of your car.
When you obtain an auto insurance policy, your insurance company will send you a proof-of-insurance card. You will need this card to prove that you have insurance when you
- are asked for it by a law enforcement officer
- have an accident
- register your car or renew its registration
- obtain or renew your driver’s license
- get your car inspected.
TexasSure is a verification system that lets law enforcement and county tax officials determine whether you have auto liability insurance. Police can use TexasSure when they pull you over to check if the car you’re driving has insurance.
TexasSure is intended to reduce the number of uninsured vehicles in Texas. An estimated 4 million vehicles – one in five – on Texas roads are uninsured. TexasSure also helps prevent the use of counterfeit proof of insurance cards and helps stop people from getting insurance so that they can get their car inspected or registered, and then cancelling their insurance afterward.