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Car insurance can protect you from overwhelming debt in the event of an accident. Besides helping you avoid financial ruin, carrying auto insurance will also keep you out of legal trouble. In the state of Texas, driving without insurance is punishable with hefty fines and even jail time.
Nevertheless, millions of drivers choose not to invest in coverage. In 2012, 13 percent of drivers, or almost 2.6 million people, in the Lone Star State were driving without car insurance.
In Texas, you are required to carry minimum insurance of $25,000 for property damage liability, $30,000 for bodily injuries to one person, and $60,000 for total bodily injuries per accident. If you are caught driving without insurance, you can expect to be fined between $175 and $350 if it is your first offense. Those numbers increase for a subsequent offense, and you will also have to pay an annual surcharge of $250 for three years. There are also costs involved in having your car returned after it has been impounded as well as a license reinstatement fee.
These expenses might sound steep, but they pale in comparison to the costs accrued if you cause a collision while uninsured.
Am I Required To Purchase Uninsured Motorist Coverage In Texas?
Car insurance is designed to protect you and other drivers in the event of an accident. Texas is a “fault” insurance state, which means drivers are required to carry liability insurance, and the at-fault motorist in a collision will be liable for the other driver’s damages.
But what if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist? Will you have to cover your damages out of pocket?
Fortunately, there are several options for covering your losses after a collision with an un/underinsured driver. If you carry uninsured motorist coverage, you can make a claim against that policy. You may also be able to recover compensation from your Personal Injury Protection policy and/or collision coverage. If you do not have these coverages or if your policy limits are too low, you may be able to recover the difference by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault motorist.
How Can I Get My Auto Insurance Rate Reduced?
Far too many drivers feel car insurance is an unnecessarily expensive luxury. But there are dozens of discounts available to drivers that may cut your monthly rates significantly. Speak to your insurance provider about available discounts, and remember these five tips to get your car insurance premiums reduced:
- Maintain a safe driving record
- Avoid traffic tickets and citations
- Take a state-certified Defensive Driving course
- Reduce the number of miles you drive each year
- Invest in anti-theft devices for your vehicle
Driving Without Car Insurance in Texas Isn’t Worth the Risk
Car insurance might account for a significant part of your monthly budget, but driving without it simply is not worth the risk. From fines to vehicle impoundment to potential jail time, the penalties for driving uninsured are steep and could affect your career, relationships, and freedoms.