If you drive on Texas roadways, there is no doubt that you know about the importance of having car insurance. Texas law requires drivers to have minimum coverage car insurance to protect you, and everyone else on the roadway. The question many drivers fail to ask is “do I have enough coverage”? While the minimum amount of coverage may help in the event of a minor accident or “fender-bender”, can you be certain that your insurance will protect you if you are involved in a serious accident?
Basic Insurance Types and Coverage
Minimum, or basic, insurance coverage refers to the legally-required and recommended policies that most Texas drivers have. This includes:
- Liability – Liability insurance is required by law for all Texas drivers. Commonly referred to as 30/60/25, minimum liability coverage must meet (or exceeding) the following:
- $30,000 for each person injured
- $60,000 total per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
- Collision – Covers damage done to your vehicle during an auto accident.
- Comprehensive – Covers damage to your vehicle by vandalism, natural disasters, fire, or theft.
- Medical Payment – Specifically allocated for medical or funeral expenses.
Important Underestimated Coverage Types
When it comes to insurance coverage, most people opt for the minimum coverage and hope for the best. Unfortunately, even the most conscientious drivers can fall victim to unfortunate, devastating accidents. Further, there is no way to tell whether other drivers on the roadway have adequate insurance coverage, or insurance at all.
Consider your options with personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – PIP coverage works similar to medical payment coverage in that it offers coverage for bodily injuries. However, PIP offers the additional coverage of 80 percent of lost wages, as well as 80 percent of caregiver costs when applicable. This is vital if you find you or a loved one seriously injured or disabled after an auto accident.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) – UM/UIM coverage is one of the most beneficial (yet underestimated) types of insurance. With this coverage, you and your passengers will be covered in the event that your auto accident was caused by someone who did not have insurance, or whose insurance is not adequate to cover your losses and expenses. UM/UIM coverage has two options – one for bodily injuries, and one for property damage. With UM/UIM coverage, you are required to pay a deductible, but it is nominal compared to the costs associated with most accidents.
You should be aware that PIP and UM/UIM coverage is often offered by insurance companies, but a great many drivers are unaware of their importance and thus feel that the cost is not worth the coverage. This is a common misconception that costs Texas drivers millions of dollars every year due to lost wages, property damage, medical expenses, and funeral costs.
What to Do after an Auto Accident
When auto accidents occur, you have more important things to worry about than whether your insurance coverage, or that of other drivers, is adequate to cover the basic expenses you incur – not to mention any ongoing or permanent costs. If you have been in an auto accident and you are struggling to understand your coverage, are fighting with insurance companies, or find that another driver was not covered, you may find it helpful to contact a personal injury attorney.
At Daic Law, we regularly work with clients who have been injured in auto accidents and who find their insurance claims denied, inadequate, or who find other drivers are not properly insured. Let us help you sort through your claim and get the compensation you need.