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Texas Car Insurance Laws and Requirements (Updated August 2022)

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Maria Sanchez

By: Maria Sanchez

Edited by Jackie Cohen

Last Updated June 24, 2022

Texas auto insurance law dictates the minimum requirements for insurance coverage that all drivers must carry. All drivers in Texas must hold 30/60/25 in liability coverage. It’s suggested to get personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured motorist coverage, even though not required by law. Additionally, drivers can pick from a long list of extra coverages for added protection.

Quick Facts

  • Car insurance is required by law in Texas.
  • Drivers in Texas must carry 30/60/25 in liability insurance, which covers both bodily injury and property damage.
  • If caught driving uninsured, drivers face up to $1,100 in fines and potential jail time.

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Texas

The minimum car insurance requirements in Texas[1] are:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury liability per person
  • $60,000 for bodily injury liability per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage liability per accident
  • Texas law requires that all policies include PIP, but it can be rejected in writing

Texas law differs from states across the U.S. when it comes to the minimum amount of required car insurance, so read your state laws carefully. Texas is an at-fault state, meaning that the person found responsible for causing an auto accident needs to pay for any related damages or expenses. Having automobile insurance can help make sure you’re not left paying out of pocket.

Why is car insurance required in Texas?

Auto insurance protects drivers from financial liability in the event of an accident. Depending on a policy’s specific coverage limitations, car insurance may cover everything from vehicle damage to medical bills.

Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily injury liability is part of your liability car insurance coverage. If you cause an accident, this coverage will help cover the other party’s medical expenses and related costs, like lost wages. This type of coverage will not cover your own medical expenses for injuries sustained in a car accident you caused. Bodily injury liability coverage is required in Texas.

Property Damage Liability

Property damage liability is the other half of your liability car insurance. It covers repair costs and damage expenses to the other cars involved in an accident you caused, like a fender bender or a fence you accidentally backed up into. This does not cover damage to your own car in an accident you were at fault for. Property damage liability coverage is required in Texas.

Additional Coverage for Leased Cars

While not mandated by the state, your lender might have its own set of coverage requirements. If you haven’t finished paying off your car loan or lease, your lender will require that you also include collision and comprehensive coverage in your auto insurance policy, on top of the minimum insurance requirements.

See More: Cheap Car Insurance in Texas

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Is state minimum car insurance enough in Texas?

The minimum required car insurance coverage in Texas provides drivers with a solid foundation of auto insurance coverage, but it may not be enough for everyone. The liability limits prevent your insurer from having to pay beyond the mandated 30/60/25 coverage. So if you need a payout beyond the minimum requirements, you might want to consider getting extra coverage.

Since the state of Texas only requires liability insurance in case you cause damage or injury to another party, you might want to consider getting medical payments (MedPay) or personal injury protection (PIP) to make sure you have enough coverage if you suffer damage or harm yourself. While it may result in a higher insurance premium, it could be worth it in the long run.

Optional Car Insurance Coverage for Texas

Texas drivers who want to be protected in any situation should consider bolstering the minimum car insurance coverage with the following supplemental car insurance coverages:

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage covers damages to your car after a collision with another vehicle or object. If your vehicle is a total loss, collision coverage will reimburse you for the actual cash value of your vehicle. This is a great addition to the required property damage liability coverage in Texas, which applies only to the damages to the other driver’s vehicle.

Comprehensive Coverage

Complementing your collision coverage, comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle that occurs during an event that is not a collision with another vehicle or object. This may apply in situations of vandalism, theft, weather damage, or a run-in with an animal. Adding comprehensive and collision coverage together creates a full-coverage car insurance policy.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If an uninsured (or underinsured) driver causes an accident and you suffer bodily injury, uninsured motorist coverage will cover your medical expenses. If the at-fault driver surpasses their bodily injury liability coverage limits, your underinsured motorist coverage will cover the rest of your medical expenses.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection, also known as PIP, covers medical bills, lost wages, and replacement services for you and other members of your household if you’re injured in a car accident. PIP provides coverage regardless of who is at fault for an accident. Personal injury protection is not part of Texas’ auto insurance requirements, but it is recommended.

Other Supplemental Coverage

If you want help with car trouble, try roadside assistance. This add-on includes services like towing, changing a flat tire, jump-starting a dead battery, helping if you lock yourself out of your car, and delivering gasoline to your car if you run out on the road. Thankfully, it only costs a few extra bucks. Also, rental car reimbursement can offer support if your car is in the shop.

Since Texas only requires liability insurance, you could add MedPay to your insurance policy to make sure you and your passengers’ medical bills are also covered in the case of an accident. MedPay also pays if you’re hurt while riding in someone else’s car, or even while walking or riding your bike.

See More: Average Cost of Car Insurance in Texas

Penalties for Driving Uninsured in Texas

It is illegal to drive in Texas without the minimum car insurance coverage. Drivers must show proof of insurance, like an insurance card, when asked by a law enforcement officer. Failure to do so can result in some serious penalties, beginning with a citation and multiple fines on a first offense, escalating to a revoked driver’s license and impounded vehicle on multiple offenses.

  • First offense: citation, $175–$350 fine, three-year $250 annual surcharge
  • Multiple offenses: $350–$1,000 fine, three-year $250 annual surcharge, and more

See More: High-Risk Car Insurance in Texas

Minimum Requirements for High-Risk Drivers in Texas

Hits on your driving record can make it a lot harder to get a policy or your driving rights back. High-risk drivers need to provide a few extra documents to get back on the road. For example, an SR-22 is a form that provides proof of financial responsibility. Repeat offenders can get a similar SR-22A, but the insurance policy needs to be paid up front due to the multiple offenses.

An insurance agent needs to help you file an SR-22 and add it to your policy. There are alternatives if two or more insurers have rejected you, as well as a few other ways of proving financial responsibility in Texas. For example, you can set $55,000 in cash or a personal certificate of deposit CD aside with the state or satisfy minimum requirements with TAIPA.

More Information for High-Risk Drivers in Texas

DUI Insurance in Texas

SR-22 Insurance in Texas

Cheapest Minimum Car Insurance in Texas

Car insurance companies weigh different factors to determine what to quote drivers on their car insurance policies. Minimum coverage generally means lower car insurance rates. It also means low coverage limits, which may cost you if you’re ever involved in an accident. Here are the cheapest car insurance quotes for minimum coverage in Texas.

Insurance CompanyMonthly Quote for Minimum Coverage
Progressive$86
Dairyland$128
Travelers$135
Bristol West$139
Liberty Mutual$193
Nationwide$218
Disclaimer: actual quotes may vary based on the policyholder's unique driver profile.

How to Find Cheap Car Insurance in Texas

From Houston to Dallas and everywhere in between, getting a car insurance policy you can afford is easy when you shop around first. Insurify makes it easy to compare car insurance quotes, providing you a side-by-side look at rates from hundreds of different companies in the market. Getting the coverage you want—–minimum or beyond—shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes, Texas drivers need to carry 30/60/25 in liability coverage, as required by state law. This ensures that any party harmed in an accident is protected after bodily injury or property damage. The law also requires that personal injury protection is included in a policy, but it can be rejected in writing by the policyholder.

  • No, it’s an at-fault state. This means that the person found responsible for causing an accident needs to pay for any related damages and expenses. Having insurance can help make sure that you’re not left paying out of pocket, but policyholders should consider getting extra protection to make sure they’re covered in case they or any passengers in their car need a payout, too.

  • No, uninsured/underinsured (UM/UI) motorist protection isn’t required by law, but it could be worth having so that you’re not stuck paying bills after being hit by a driver without a policy. It’s also useful in the case of a hit-and-run accident.

  • Yes, you need to show proof of insurance via your insurance card at the time of registration. You also need to show proof of vehicle inspection from the station and proof of ownership, like the registration or title from your previous state[2].

  • Whether you’re just looking to fulfill the minimum requirements or get extra add-ons to tailor your policy to your needs, getting coverage that you can afford is possible when you shop around first. Use Insurify’s tools to compare car insurance quotes in just minutes and all for free. We do all the work to sift through thousands of quotes to get a price you can afford.

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Maria Sanchez
Maria Sanchez

Insurance Writer

Maria Sanchez is a personal finance writer specializing in auto, home, and renters insurance. With a special interest in educational content, Maria distills complex financial information to be more accessible to the greater public. She holds degrees from the University of Massachusetts and the London School of Economics.

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Sources

  1. Texas Department of Insurance. "State Minimum Car Insurance Requirements." Accessed June 15, 2022
  2. Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. "Vehicle Registration." Accessed June 16, 2022