Driving without insurance in the State of Texas isn’t an option for motorists as it is illegal to do so. While the law doesn’t require drivers to purchase coverage to protect their own vehicle, it does require them to carry liability coverage with the following limits:
- $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident.
- $25,000 of coverage for property damage
[Source: Texas Department of Insurance].
When a driver still owes money on their vehicle, the Texas Department of Insurance says they will likely be required to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage as well. Now, although the law has made it very clear that all drivers are required to purchase and carry insurance coverage when they are in possession of a vehicle and actively using it, not all drivers abide by the law. In fact, it is estimated that “one out of every eight drivers does not carry auto coverage, and in some states, that number is one out of five” [Source: Insurance Information Institute (III)].
Given these statistics, it is important that you do everything you can to protect yourself from drivers who choose to violate the law and drive without insurance. Here’s what the III recommends you do:
- Make sure you’re insured.
Although insurance can be expensive depending on where you live, it is essential to have. You want to be sure you purchase enough coverage so that you meet the state’s minimum insurance requirements so that if you were to cause an accident, your policy will pay repairs as well as other losses you caused the other driver to suffer. You also should consider purchasing a basic auto insurance policy, says the III. For instance, you will want to include in your policy comprehensive and collision coverage which protects you and your property in the event of an accident.
What’s the difference between comprehensive and collision insurance?
While collision coverage will pay to repair or replace your vehicle after a collision, comprehensive coverage will pay you “if your car is stolen or damaged by fire, flood, vandalism or something other than a collision” [Source: Texas Department of Insurance]. Although your premium will increase when you add the two types of coverage onto your policy, you can choose higher deductibles and less coverage to lower your monthly cost. The fact is, having some coverage is better than none, especially if you were to engage in a collision with a driver who wasn’t carrying any amount of insurance coverage at all.
- Purchase additional insurance coverage.
Another way you can protect yourself from an uninsured driver is by adding on coverages to the basic policy you have. Some additional coverages you might considering buying include:
- Uninsured Motorist (UM) insurance- This coverage will “pay for you and your passengers’ medical bills if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist who is at fault.” UM insurance will also “reimburse you and your passengers for lost wages” and cover you if you are hit while walking or involved in a hit and run accident. While this insurance might not seem necessary, it can definitely benefit you to have it if you ever cross paths with an uninsured motorist and suffer injuries severe enough to keep you out of work.
- Underinsured Motorist (UIM) protection- If you are involved in a car accident with a driver who is carrying liability insurance “but his or her policy’s limits do not cover the full extent of damage to your vehicle,” this type of coverage would kick in and provide you with the compensation you need.
While we can only hope that we will never engage in an accident with a driver let alone one that is uninsured, we can’t predict when these things will happen which is why we need to be prepared at all times. If you aren’t carrying the coverages mentioned above but are considering adding them onto your policy as you wish to protect yourself from an uninsured motorist in Houston, contact an insurance agent to find out about getting them added on to the current policy you have.
What should I do if I was already involved in a car crash with an uninsured driver in Houston, TX?
If you were involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist and aren’t sure what to do in order to recover the full amount of compensation you know you are entitled to, contact Blizzard Greenberg, PLLC to speak with a car accident lawyer in Houston, TX. While you might be concerned that you won’t be able to obtain the amount of money you need to cover your property damage, medical bills, lost wages, etc., we are here to tell you that our team of experienced car accident attorneys have handled cases similar to yours and we know what needs to be done to get you the funds you need and deserve.
You can reach Blizzard Greenberg, PLLC at:
5020 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006