The Texas Department of Insurance cautions drivers that they’re responsible to pay for accidents they cause. Liability insurance is required by the state to operate a motor vehicle, and if you’re found to be at fault in an accident you’ll have to pay to repair or replace the other driver’s auto, and pay their medical expenses if they’re injured.
Liability Insurance Covers Other People, Not You
Many drivers misunderstand the purpose of the liability insurance that Texas car insurance includes, and think that their own medical bills and auto repairs are also covered. Coverage for your own injuries and damage to your vehicle is available at an extra cost, but it’s not required in order to drive a car on Texas roads.
When You Need To Prove Insurance
When you purchase your Texas car insurance policy, they’ll send you a proof of insurance card. You should carry this card at all times when you’re driving in Texas, and be prepared to produce it in the event of a car accident; in order to register your car; in order to renew your driver’s license; in order to get your vehicle inspected; and also when asked for it by a law enforcement officer.
Criminal Penalties For Not Having Texas Car Insurance
In addition to the risks of causing an accident at which you are at fault and incurring large liabilities, operating a vehicle without Texas car insurance can put you in jeopardy of criminal penalties. A first conviction for driving without proper Texas car insurance can get you a fine of between $175 and $350, with fines for subsequent violations rising up to $1000. You could also have your car impounded and lose your driver’s license.
If you’re caught driving without a license and without insurance, the penalties are much higher. In addition to a fine of up to $2000, you could be sentenced to up to 180 days in jail. If you cause an accident while driving without insurance or a license, the penalties increase to $4000 and a year in jail.
There Are Standard Texas Car Insurance Policies Available
When you’re shopping for Texas car insurance from someone, you’ll find that many insurance underwriters use a standard policy called the Texas Personal Automobile Policy. This standardized form includes multiple coverages that are the most commonly requested by Texas drivers in addition to the coverage required by the state of Texas. This standardization allows you to compare Texas car insurance policies from many different companies on an apples-to-apples basis, but companies are also allowed to offer coverage over and above the bare minimum as long as the policy variations are approved by the Texas Department of Insurance first.
Basic Auto Liability in Texas covers damage you do to other people’s vehicles or property, as well as personal injury you might cause in a car accident. The current minimum amounts you are required to carry to comply with Texas car insurance laws are $30,000 for each person injured, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident.