This is the auto insurance basics in Texas. In Texas, the law requires people who drive in Texas to have auto insurance for the vehicle they drive. Currently, Texas law requires you to carry the statutory minimum policy liability limits which currently is $30,000 per person/ $60,000 per accident for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage caused per accident. You can learn more from the Texas Department of Insurance Auto insurance guide.
Basic Types of Auto Insurance Coverages
As a personal injury lawyer who represents clients in car accident cases, I often explain the basics of auto insurance in Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there are eight basic auto insurance coverages. You can choose whether to buy the others.
- Liability coverage pays to repair the other driver’s car if you caused the accident. It also pays the other driver’s and his or her passenger’s medical bills and some other expenses. As stated, Texas law requires you to have at least $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 of coverage for property damage. This is called 30/60/25 coverage.
Think about buying more liability coverage. The minimum liability limits might be too low if you cause a multi-vehicle accident or the other driver’s car is totaled. If you don’t have enough liability coverage to pay for the damages and injuries you cause, you might have to pay the rest out of your own pocket. The other driver could sue you.
- Collision coverage pays to repair or replace your car after an accident.
- Comprehensive (other than collision) coverage pays if your car is stolen or damaged by fire, flood, vandalism or something other than a collision.
- Medical payments coverage pays your and your passengers’ medical bills. It also pays if you’re hurt while riding in someone else’s car or while walking or biking.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is similar to medical payments coverage. It pays your and your passengers’ medical bills. But it also pays for things like lost wages and other nonmedical costs. All auto policies in Texas include PIP coverage. If you don’t want it, you must tell the company in writing.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage pays if you’re hit by someone who didn’t have insurance or didn’t have enough to pay your medical and car repair bills. It also pays if you’re in a hit-and-run accident. Insurance companies must offer you this coverage. If you don’t want it, you must tell the company in writing.
- Towing and labor coverage pays to tow your car if it can’t be driven. It also pays for labor to change a flat tire or jump-start your battery.
- Rental reimbursement coverage pays for you to rent a car if yours is stolen or being repaired after an accident. Some policies also pay for taxis or ride-hailing services.
Most policies cover you, your family, and people driving your car with your permission. Ask your agent or read your policy to know who your policy covers and if anyone is excluded from coverage.
Most Common auto insurance companies in Texas by Market Share
According to the TPI, here are the top car insurance companies by market share. You can find the entire top 40 list by clicking here.
- AAA Texas Auto Insurance
- Allstate Auto Insurance
- American Access Casualty
- Berkshire Hathaway
- Consumers County Mutual
- Farmers Insurance
- Home State Insurance
- Liberty Mutual Insurance
- Nationwide Car Insurance
- Old American Insurance Company
- Progressive Auto Insurance
- State Farm Insurance
- Texas Farm Bureau
- USAA Auto Insurance
Click on the respective links above for the claims numbers to the insurance companies listed and find out more about them.
Injury lawyer Jerome O. Fjeld and his personal injury law firm has served injury victims in Texas for nearly two decades. Our firm’s primary office is in Houston, TX with offices in Austin and Victoria. Our firm’s focus is personal injury and we help victims when someone is injured by the negligence or carelessness of another in the following types of cases: