Car insurance is important, and though some may view it as a financial burden, car insurance is a necessity that can keep you and your vehicle safe and help prevent any future headaches in case an accident were to occur. In Texas specifically, there are quite a few insurance options available, each with their own benefits and setbacks. Therefore, it is advised to read over your options thoroughly and select an option that works for you and your situation.
Because Texas is a “fault insurance state,” the Department of Insurance requires that drivers to pay for injuries and damages that they have caused. A person who is injured can attempt to file a claim with their own insurance, as well as seeking compensation from the other party’s insurance. Therefore, it is imperative that drivers have the minimum insurance mandated by the state. The following are a few basic coverage types in the state of Texas along with what each type has to offer, as well as a brief introduction to general insurance requirements.
General Insurance Requirements (Liability Coverage)
Texas law requires that all registered vehicle owners have complete financial responsibility over each vehicle the individual possesses. The minimum liability limits required of the car insurance however include injury coverage of up to $30,000 for any individual who is hospitalized or fatally injured. If multiple individuals are involved in a single accident, then the insurance must cover up to $60,000. Liability insurance also needs to cover a minimum of $25,000 in property damage. It should be noted that this minimum insurance is often not enough to cover the full amount of certain accidents, depending on how severe of an accident it is. Also, it should be noted that liability insurance does not cover the expenses needed to repair your vehicle or help to cover medical expenses towards your injuries.
In general, liability coverage will cover the costs associated with injuries or funeral expenses endured by the other party, as well as any damages to the other party’s car or possible rental costs. However, though the minimum is only required, often it is beneficial to have higher insurance, in case an accident costs greater than what the minimum can cover. This way, you can be sure to protect your assets in the event of a vehicular accident.
Though only liability insurance is required, there are also host of other insurance policies that can definitely protect you financially.
Unlike liability insurance, which only pays for damages incurred to the other person’s vehicle, collision coverage helps in covering the expenses in replacing or repairing your own vehicle. Usually the amount covered depends on the cash value of your car and the amount needed for repairs.
Comprehensive coverage, unlike collision coverage, is not just limited to paying for repairs caused by a vehicular accident. Comprehensive coverage takes the worries off of damages incurred by fire, theft, water, and basically anything that could happen outside of just a standard car-on-car collision.
Personal Injury Protection
This type of coverage offers medical and funeral coverage, as well as a percentage of the cost required in instances where you need to hire a caregiver or the loss in income that may be accrued from an accident. Though you are automatically enrolled with this coverage through your insurance company, you can opt to decline it if you so wish.
Student Car Insurance
Students also have a few options when it comes to choosing car insurance, and the best one depends on the situation. Students who are studying in state or are living at home with their parents should really opt to stay on their parent’s car insurance policy. The benefits of doing so include paying lower rates than if deciding to get their own insurance plan, and that it will provide continuous coverage that will help make it cheaper to acquire a separate insurance plan sometime in the future.
Also, students have the opportunity to reduce the cost of their premiums through insurance company offered discounts. Though not all insurance providers offer discounts, many will reduce the premiums depending on the student’s grades. Other discounts can be received if the student is a pleasure driver or one who drivers only occasionally. Other discounts include “resident only” discounts, where a student is attending university less than 150 miles away and will not be driving while attending university.
However, needless to say, students who are driving or own their own vehicle should receive insurance and liability coverage for the same reasons any other driver would need to get one.
Though Texas only requires minimum coverage, it is often advised to look into better insurance plans that offer greater coverage in case an accident costs greater than what the minimum can cover. Speaking with your agent and looking at different policies ahead of time can help alleviate a lot of frustration in the future and save money on premiums.