The amount of available insurance is a critical factor in compensation for most car accident injury claims.
To legally drive in Texas, you must be able to prove that you can pay for damages if you cause a crash. Most people do this by purchasing liability car insurance. Like most, the Lone Star State has set minimum standards for coverage. Typically, you must carry $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident for bodily injuries, and $25,000 for property damage. This is known as 30/60/25 coverage.
PIP - In general, Texas car insurance policies come with PIP (personal injury protection). PIP covers medical expenses as well as lost wages and other nonmedical costs. If you don’t want this coverage, you must notify the insurance company in writing.
UIM - It is highly recommended that you purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), too. This policy compensates accident victims when the liable driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough coverage for you to be made whole. It can also be applied to hit and run accidents in which the at-fault driver is not found. If you do not have UIM, you can only hope the negligent party that injured you is identified and wealthy enough to make a civil lawsuit worthwhile. This is rarely the case. In Texas, if you do not want UIM coverage, you must opt out in writing.
Other optional types of Texas car insurance include:
- Collision - Pays to repair or replace your vehicle.
- Comprehensive (other than collision) - If your car is stolen or damaged by fire, flood, vandalism, or something other than a collision, this policy pays for damages.
- Medical payments (MedPay) - This covers medical bills for you and your passenger(s) in the event of a crash. It may be accessed if you are injured in someone else’s car or are a pedestrian or cyclist.
- Towing and labor – This insurance covers vehicle towing when your car, truck, or motorcycle can’t be driven. It also pays for labor to change a flat tire, jump-start a battery, or otherwise get you back on the road.
- Rental reimbursement - While your vehicle is being repaired after a crash, this coverage will pay for a rental vehicle. Some policies also cover taxis or rideshares like Uber and Lyft.
If there isn’t enough insurance available to pay for a car accident, then in principle, you can seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s assets. However, this is usually impractical.