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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions

Do I Have to Have Car Insurance In Texas?
What Happens If I Do Not Have Insurance?
What determines how much I pay for car insurance?
Am I Covered Under My Insurance If I Drive a Friend’s Car?
How Can I Check My Driving Record With the State?
What Kinds of Discounts am I Eligible For?
What if No Company Will Sell Me Car Insurance in Texas?
Can My Insurance Company Cancel Me?
Why Would I Use a Local Agent When I Can Use a Well Known National Company?
What Different Types of Coverage are Available?
What is Liability?
Medical Coverage
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Comprehensive Coverage
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage
Towing and Labor Coverage
Rental Reimbursement Coverage

Answers

Do I Have to Have Car Insurance In Texas?


Yes. In Texas, you are responsible for paying for accidents you cause. The easiest way to do this is by securing quality automobile insurance. Currently, the minimum liability coverage required is $30,000 bodily injury per person, $60,000 total per accident, and $25,000 property damage. To drive legally on Texas roadways, you must carry car insurance with at least these minimum amounts of coverage. If you are involved in an accident, your insurance will pay for medical, and the costs to repair or replace the other driver’s vehicle. Liability insurance does not pay for damage to you or your vehicle.

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What Happens If I Do Not Have Insurance?


Remember, driving without insurance is against the law. If you are stopped while driving and cannot provide proof of insurance, you will most likely receive a ticket. In Texas, the first offence is a fine not to exceed $350. Subsequent offences may result in a fine of up to $1000, having your license suspended or both. If you are involved in an accident without insurance, you will be held liable for any and all damages to people, vehicles and property. You may also be sued and if you do not have the finances to pay what you owe, a court order may decide the money owed can be taken from your pay.



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What determines how much I pay for car insurance?


There are many factors that go into determining your car insurance premium. The three biggest are age, driving record and sex. Depending on how much “risk” you present to the insurance company, your rates will be adjusted. Some of these factors are within your control, as in keeping a clean driving record free of tickets or accidents. Others are not in your control, as in how old you are or if you are male or female. Generally, young drivers under the age of 18 are considered higher risk than those who have been driving for a longer time. Also, lifestyle choices like marriage, and choice of vehicle make and model are factored into determining risk.



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Am I Covered Under My Insurance If I Drive a Friend’s Car?


In the majority of cases, if you are driving another person’s car and have an accident, the policy for the vehicle owner pays for damages. If there are excess charges left over that are not covered by your friend’s policy, your policy will pay. In addition, if your friend does not have insurance, your insurance will pay.



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How Can I Check My Driving Record With the State?


It’s important to monitor your personal driving record to ensure the information is accurate because it is a major factor in determining your premium rate. You can request a certified copy of your record through the Texas Department of Public Safety where you can receive a printed copy online for free. You will need to provide your current drivers license number, the last four digits of your social security number and

a valid credit card number.



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What Kinds of Discounts am I Eligible For?


There are a variety of ways to save money on Texas car insurance. From keeping a clean driving record for a certain length of time to attending a safe driving course, you can save extra money on premiums easily. The best way to find these discounts is through the actual insurance company that provides your coverage. Some common discounts include:

 

·         Completion of a Defensive Driving Course

·         Attending Driver’s Education Classes for Young Drivers

·         “Bundling” Two or More Cars on a Policy

·         Adding a Homeowner’s Policy

·         Maintaining Good Grades as a Student

·         Renewing a Policy in Good Standing

·         Having a Child Away at School

·         Having Airbags and Automatic Seatbelts

·         Having Anti-lock Brakes

·         Installing Anti-theft Devices



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What if No Company Will Sell Me Car Insurance in Texas?


If you are having difficulty finding a quality car insurance company willing to sell you a policy, you may be eligible to receive basic liability coverage through the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association (TAIPA). If more than two insurance companies refuse to offer you a policy, you qualify for help. Currently, TAIPA only offers liability and personal injury protection at state required levels. Collision insurance is not offered through the program and you cannot add coverage over state required minimums. You can find out more information on obtaining TAPIA coverage through a licensed insurance agent or through the TAIPA website. TAPIA coverage will cost you more than a traditional automobile insurance policy in Texas, but is an alternative if you cannot get coverage elsewhere.



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Can My Insurance Company Cancel Me?


Yes. You are responsible for keeping your policy in good standing and if for some reason you do not, the company has the right to cancel your policy. In all cases, if your policy is to be cancelled, the company must send you a written notice at least ten business days before the cancellation takes effect. Standard reasons for cancelling a Texas car insurance policy include:

 

·         Failure to Pay a Premium

·         Filing a Fraudulent Claim

·         Having Your Driver’s License or Car Registration Suspended



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Why Would I Use a Local Agent When I Can Use a Well Known National Company?


Local Texas agents work with all the major carriers, giving them access to help you find the best deal.  Unlike most national companies who place you in predetermined groups, a local agent works with you to find the specific, tailored policy that works best for both your needs and your budget. Besides, a local, Texas agent has access to the same great discounts traditionally offered by national companies. Plus, a local representative is more familiar with unique Texas rules and regulations and getting an online car insurance quote is just as easy. So you are still getting the same quality coverage you need, but it’s easier and more convenient.



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What Different Types of Coverage are Available?


In Texas, you have the option of buying liability insurance, personal injury protection (PIP) and collision insurance. The state requires you carry at a minimum 30/60/25 coverage which is basically $30,000 bodily injury with $60,000 per accident and $25,000 property damage. Above that, you have the option of adding a variety of different types of coverage. In Texas, there are eight different types. Here they are and what they offer.



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What is Liability?


Liability coverage meets state requirements and is insurance against the costs realized by the other driver and passengers. Repairs to the other vehicle as well as any medical care that is required, car rental fees, punitive damages awarded in court and lost wages are covered.  In most cases, you and your family members are covered, meaning whoever is driving your car is protected if they should be in an accident. It’s important to note, liability coverage does not cover the costs to repair your vehicle or medical care for injured persons in your car.



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Medical Coverage


For those without health insurance, medical coverage is an option to pay for medical care as a result of an accident. Typically it covers you and your family members as well as any passengers in your car regardless of who caused the accident.



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Personal Injury Protection (PIP)


In addition to medical payments, PIP coverage provides up to 80% of lost income and the expenses associated with hiring a caregiver for injured persons.



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Comprehensive Coverage


Collision and comprehensive coverage are required by lenders. If you still owe money on your vehicle, you will have to purchase this. It pays for expenses to repair or replace a vehicle that has been stolen, damaged by fire, vandalism, hail, and any event that causes damage other than a typical car accident. If your vehicle is stolen, rental fees are covered under comprehensive collision.



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Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage


This coverage pays for your expenses if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance. It also pays for damage occurred from a hit and run accident.



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Towing and Labor Coverage


Side of the road towing and labor expenses after an accident are covered.



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Rental Reimbursement Coverage


If your car has been stole or is being repaired, rental reimbursement pays for the costs of a rental car.

There are other types of coverage available to you should you wish to add stereo equipment coverage or driving while out of the country. Be sure to ask your agent for more information.

 



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