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Texas Auto Insurance FAQ

Jan 2, 2008
Whether you are new to Texas, or have lived here your entire live, the chances are good you are going to need to ask some questions about auto insurance in Texas. Is it required--and if so, how much is required? When will you need to show proof of insurance? What happens if I get into an accident that is not my fault, but the other driver has no insurance?

Clearly these are all important issues about auto insurance in Texas. Here at Texas Auto & Home Insurance, we are here to help get you the answers to these and other Frequently Asked Questions.

Is Texas Auto Insurance absolutely required by law?

Yes, auto insurance in Texas is most definitely required for all drivers. Texas law requires all drivers to at least carry liability insurance. Often called 20/40/15 coverage, this minimum policy covers up to $20,000 per injured person, $40,000 for everyone hurt in the accident, and $15,000 for property damage. Note that this type of auto insurance in Texas does not cover you, it only covers the victims of the accidents you cause.

If the medical and/or property damage associated with an accident that you caused exceeds these amounts, you will be responsible for the additional costs. If you cannot afford to pay, you may e sued. In most cases, one can avoid this situation by purchasing additional coverage beyond that required by law.

When will I need auto insurance in Texas?

Obviously you will need to show proof of coverage when you are in an accident. The other driver will want to take down your information and may choose to file a claim with your insurance company.

Other scenarios in which you may be required to show proof of auto insurance in Texas include:

1. A law enforcement officer asks you for it.

If you are pulled over by a police officer for any reason, the first question he/she will ask is to show your license and proof of insurance. If you do not have proof of auto insurance in Texas when a police officer asks, you will immediately be issued a ticket.

2. Register your car or renew its registration.

One way in which mandatory auto insurance in Texas is enforced is by requiring drivers to show proof of insurance when registering your car or renewing your registration. If you do not have it, your registration sticker will expire and you may be pulled over and receive two tickets--one for expired registration, and another for not having proof of insurance.

3. Obtain or renew your driver's license.

Another way auto insurance in Texas is enforced is by requiring drivers to show proof of insurance when you first obtain, or renew your driver's license. Without having insurance, you literally cannot drive legally.

4. Get your car inspected.

Finally, you cannot get your car inspected without showing proof of auto insurance in Texas. Like your registration sticker, your inspection sticker and date of expiration are clearly visible on your cars windshield. If it expires, you may be pulled over and asked to show proof of auto insurance.

Clearly, there is just no way to get around having auto insurance in Texas, and State Law has built in several different ways that its proof and currency will be constantly checked.

Ultimately, however, this is a good thing. What should happen if you were to get into an accident that was the other drivers fault, and learned that he/she did not have insurance?

The only way you will be able to recover damages, if the person is not willing or able to pay, is through a civil suit. However, by purchasing additional coverage through your insurance agent, you can be sure that you are protected in these situations.
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