Minimum car insurance requirements differ greatly from state to state. Below, we’ve outlined the basics of insuring a car in the Lone Star state, including the minimum coverages required by Texas law.
To make sure you have the right amount of coverage and the appropriate deductible levels for you and your car, use Insurify to compare auto insurance quotes from different Texas car insurance companies. That way, you know you’re satisfying Texas’ car insurance requirements, you’re protected, and you’re getting the most bang for your auto insurance buck.
State Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Texas
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, the state requires drivers to carry the following auto insurance coverages:
- Bodily Injury Liability: This pays to repair the other driver’s car if you’re responsible for an accident. It also pays medical bills and expenses for the other driver and their passengers. The minimum liability limits in Texas are $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident.
- Property Damage Liability: This pays to repair any property, such as a fence or house, damaged in an accident you’ve caused. The minimum limit in Texas is $25,000 per accident.
Note that liability coverage does not safeguard you. The following coverages, which are usually included in a Texas auto insurance policy, provide protection for you. If you choose not to have them on your policy, you need to let your auto insurance company know in writing.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Similar to medical payments coverage, this coverage pays for lost wages and other related expenses in addition to medical bills. (If you have health insurance, you may not need personal injury protection or MedPay.)
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: This pays if you’re hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist who doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for your car repairs or medical expenses. It also pays if you’re in a hit-and-run accident.
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage: This pays for any damage caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver who causes an accident you’re involved in.
Is state minimum car insurance coverage enough in Texas?
Consider carrying more than the minimum coverage, if at all possible. If you’re responsible for an accident, the property damage and injury costs could add up to a lot more than your minimum limits. This means you would have to pay the difference out of your own pocket—which could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. By selecting higher limits on your policy, you’re protecting your personal assets in the event of a serious accident.
If your car is worth more than a certain amount, you’ll also want to buy collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision pays to repair or replace your vehicle after an auto accident. Comprehensive kicks in if something other than a collision happens to your car (like vandalism or a tree falling on it). If your ride’s financed or leased, your lender will require you to carry collision and comprehensive.
What is the penalty for driving without car insurance in Texas?
Driving without automobile insurance in Texas is risky, as the penalties are harsh. No matter whether you’re driving in Austin, Houston, or in between, Texas law means you’ll be fined $350 the first time you’re pulled over and can’t produce an insurance card. If you get pulled over again, you could end up paying $1,000 and having your driver’s license suspended.
Potentially more devastating, if you cause an accident while driving uninsured, the costs you’ll be responsible for could wipe you out financially. It’s just not worth the risk to go without proof of insurance. Since Texas is an “at-fault” state, you could be liable for 100 percent of the medical expenses and other expenses incurred from accident-related injuries and property damage.
Minimum Requirements in Texas for SR-22 and FR-44 Policies
If your license has been suspended due to a car accident, driving without insurance, or certain other infringements in Texas, you need to file a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22). This confirms that you have liability insurance. The minimum insurance required by law in Texas is $30/60/25.
Your insurance company will let the DMV know you’ve purchased coverage so you can get your license back. If you cancel the policy or let it lapse, your insurer will inform the DMV. An FR-44 is similar to an SR-22 but comes with higher liability requirements and insurance premiums. However, Texas does not currently use the FR-44.
If you’re looking for SR-22 insurance, don’t fret! You have plenty of options. Check outInsurify today for a list of customized, affordable car insurance quotes to pick from!
Additional Coverage Texas Drivers Should Consider
- Medical Payments: This pays your and your passengers’ medical bills. It also protects you if you’re injured while walking or biking or as a passenger in someone else’s car.
- Additional PIP: Texas law requires all drivers to be offered a minimum of $2,500 PIP coverage. If you want more financial protection, you can buy coverage of $5,000 or $10,000.
- Roadside Assistance: Sometimes known as “tow truck service,” this coverage helps if your car is disabled by a flat tire, dead battery, or empty gas tank. It also helps with towing if your car is undrivable for whatever reason. To add this coverage, you’ll need to carry collision and comprehensive.
- Rental Reimbursement: This pays for you to hire a rental car if your car is stolen or damaged after an accident. Some policies also pay for taxis or ride-hailing services.
Texas Minimum Car Insurance Requirements FAQ
Is car insurance mandatory in Texas?
Texas is an “at-fault” state, meaning that state law requires drivers who cause accidents to pay for them. Drivers need to show financial proof they can do so, and most do this by purchasing an auto insurance policy from one of the many insurers in the state.
In what situations do Texas drivers have the right to sue?
If you’re injured in an accident caused by another driver, you can go to court and file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This allows you to seek compensation for property damages, “pain and suffering” caused by the accident, and any other accident-related losses you experience.
Are there alternative proofs of financial responsibility in Texas?
An alternative to carrying insurance is to have a judge verify that you have at least $55,000 in an account or you have a cashier's check for that amount. Or you can use a surety bond or a copy of a self-insurance certificate that you can obtain from the Texas Department of Public Safety.