Auto insurance is a legal requirement that is necessary so all drivers are able to accept legal and financial responsibility for their actions while driving. Considered an essential part of total personal insurance, drivers are legally required to have some form of driving liability insurance to protect others on the road in the event of an at-fault accident. There are also different levels of coverage available from most auto insurance agents. To ensure that a driver has the right coverage, it is important to understand what auto or personal insurance covers before purchasing a policy.

Required Auto Insurance Coverage

Texas auto insurance requirements state that drivers must have a minimum amount of liability insurance to protect others in the event of an automobile accident. Liability coverage pays claims to those who suffer damage at the fault of the insured when they are found liable. Although collision insurance and other types of auto insurance coverages exist, it is not required in Texas for a driver to carry those particular coverages, although it can certainly be very helpful.

Types of Auto Insurance and Coverage

There are many types of auto insurance coverage that drivers can purchase to protect themselves and others in the event of an accident, such as the following:

  • Liability Coverage- Required by law, liability insurance protects drivers found to be at fault for an auto accident. It pays for both property and injury claims of other parties involved in the accident and not at fault for the loss. Although there is a minimum amount of insurance that drivers are required to carry, most agents who write auto and personal insurance recommend that policyholders purchase higher amounts of liability insurance for the best protection.
  • Collision Coverage - This type of coverage pays for damage to the policyholder’s vehicle. Collision insurance is not required for cars unless the vehicle is financed, as most lenders require it. Collision coverage pays for damage resulting from collisions involving the insured vehicle.
  • Other Than Collision Coverage - This specific coverage is just as it is named.  It covers most other things that could happen to an insured vehicle, including fire, theft, hail and storm damage as well as other covered perils.
  • Medical Payments Coverage - This covers medical bills and funeral expenses related to an auto accident. Medical payments coverage is a no-fault coverage for the insured and family members in any vehicle as well as passengers in the insured vehicle.
  • Personal Injury Protection Coverage - As an extension of medical payments coverage, PIP covers medical bills and funeral expenses as well as loss of income due to injuries sustained in an auto accident. PIP is also a no-fault coverage for the named insured and family members while in any vehicle as well as for any passengers in insured car.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage - UM/UIM coverage pays the insured and any passengers for injuries and damage caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. UM/UIM covers any person in the insured vehicle for a specific accident.
  • Other Types of Coverage - Most auto insurance agencies also offer additional coverage for towing and labor, rental reimbursement, and coverage for additions to an insured vehicle not otherwise covered.

Although the state of Texas only requires that drivers have an established minimum amount of liability auto insurance, drivers may elect to purchase other coverage as well. Based on a driver’s individual risk profile and the benefits these various types of coverage can provide, it is better to purchase additional coverage than to incur the many costs that can arise after an accident. For appropriate auto or personal insurance, contact an experienced vehicle insurance agent to help select the right coverage!

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