Texas is one of the few states that has a legitimate Consumer Bill of Rights geared specifically for the auto insurance industry. This is definitely a state that protects its own! However, you must be in compliance with the state auto insurance policy if you plan to take advantage of the rights that you are afforded in the Bill of Rights. Here are the standards that will need to uphold in order to fully appreciate the protections that the state of Texas gives you against any unscrupulous auto insurance company.
State Minimum Coverage Requirements
Taking full advantage of the Texas Consumer Bill of Rights for the auto insurance industry means staying in compliance with the state minimum coverage requirements for auto insurance. The minimum auto insurance coverage levels are subject to change, so you should check the state website every year in order to keep up with the latest on this issue. Currently, every resident of the state of Texas is required to have a minimum of $30,000 of personal liability insurance, $25,000 of property damage insurance and $60,000 of total protection per accident.
Keep in mind that these minimums are not set by the cost of health insurance or any other expense that you may incur if you get into an accident. If the limits of these minimums are reached, you will be expected to pay the remainder of the expenditures out of pocket. This should be especially concerning if you have additional drivers on your auto insurance package, especially new drivers such as teenagers.
Keeping Proof of Financial Responsibility on Hand
It is also the responsibility of every driver in the state of Texas to keep proof of an auto insurance coverage package on hand in certain situations. In order to be eligible to receive all of the rights in the Texas Bill of Rights as concerning the auto insurance industry, you must be able to produce your auto insurance card if you are asked for by an officer, when you go into renew your registration, if you get into an accident, if your car is being inspected and if you are obtaining a new or renewed drivers license in the state.
Different Types of Auto Insurance Coverage Packages in Texas
All responsible driver should have an appropriate amount of auto insurance coverage when they drive. There are many different types of auto insurance packages to consider. The coverage packages below are the main distinctions that must be adequately covered in order to maintain your protections under the Texas Consumer Bill of Rights for the auto insurance industry.
First of all, you must have a policy for all of the potential drivers of your vehicle. If there is more than one driver in your household, then it is definitely in your best interest to create an auto insurance policy that covers them all. You never know when someone may take your car out for a joyride and get in an accident. If that driver is not covered by your auto insurance policy, a simple joyride can turn into a very expensive and debilitating burden on an entire family within a matter of seconds.
You can also negotiate your policy in order to protect yourself from drivers whom you do not want driving your vehicles. This is known as an excluded driver coverage package. In this coverage, you will actually point out the people with whom you do not wish to be legally associated. If that person somehow drives your vehicle and gets into trouble, you will not be held legally responsible for any accidents that person gets into; otherwise, you might be in legal hot water simply because that person was driving a vehicle that you own.
Your coverage package must also include liability, collision, comprehensive, medical payments protection, uninsured drivers protection and personal injury protection coverage in order to be truly responsible in the state of Texas.
Liability damages will cover the civil expenses that occur from injuries that you cause in an accident including rental vehicles for the other party and any punitive damages that a court may award the opposing party.
Collision and comprehensive insurance coverage packages are usually only required if you have bought your car on a loan. They are sometimes not required for cars that do not have liens on them. Collision insurance pays for the cost of fully replacing or repairing a car after an accident. Comprehensive insurance pays the cost of replacing or repairing a car if it undergoes damage because of a weather condition or an act of God. Comprehensive coverage protects you in all other instances outside of a collision.
Medical payments coverage is an especially important type of coverage to have with the rising cost of health care. This is the part of coverage that will pay for medical and funeral costs that arise out of an accident no matter who is at fault. In most cases, everyone in the car, including uninsured passengers, will be insured under this coverage.
Personal injury protection adds to medical payments coverage. If you are the only breadwinner in a household, then it would definitely benefit you to have the additional features that personal injury protection adds.
Finally, uninsured motorist coverage protects you if the other driver does not have insurance.