What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in Texas?
State laws determine how much car insurance you need in Texas. Drivers in Texas must have policies that meet the state’s minimum car insurance requirements, which are:
- $30,000 per person for bodily injury
- $60,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
- $2,500 per personal injury protection (unless waived in writing)
In addition to liability coverage, PIP or personal injury protection protects you against expenses incurred in an accident you caused. Remember, though, that these are minimum requirements only — you always have the option of increasing your limits to have more protection on the road.
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What Does This Minimum Coverage Mean?
Having proof of insurance with you at all times is crucial. If you can't show your insurance card during a traffic stop, you may receive fines and penalties, especially if you get in an accident. A 30/60/25 coverage limit means your insurance covers the other party’s medical bills up to $60,000 per accident, with a $30,000 limit per individual. Damages to their property, such as their home or car, will also be covered up to $25,000.
Car insurance laws in Texas also require personal injury protection unless you explicitly reject it by signing a waiver. PIP coverage protects you by covering costs from medical bills and loss of income in a covered accident. It also applies to injured passengers during a collision. PIP in Texas covers the following:
- Ambulance services
- Rehabilitation therapy
- Funeral services
- Loss of wages due to the accident
Unless you waive this insurance, the minimum PIP coverage in Texas is $2,500, but you always have the choice to increase it for additional financial protection.
How Much Does the Minimum Car Insurance Cost in Texas?
Insurance carriers consider several factors to determine the cost of car insurance in Texas. These include your age and driving history, where you live in the state and even your credit score. Rates between car insurance carriers in Texas may also vary. After comparing policies from several car insurance companies, MoneyGeek found that Farmers offers the most affordable car insurance option in Texas at $420 per year.
These prices are only estimates based on rates for an average Texas driver and should not be used to compare insurance prices.
The rates are based on car insurance policies in Texas with the minimum coverage limits of 30/60/25 and a $2,500 PIP limit. MoneyGeek used the profile of a 40-year-old male with a 2010 Toyota Camry, a clean driving record and a good credit score.
If you're instead looking for a policy that balances quality with affordability, MoneyGeek also ranked the top car insurance companies in Texas.
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What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in Texas While Leasing a Car?
In Texas, you need to purchase car insurance even if you don’t own your car. Although car insurance laws in Texas require your policy to at least meet the state’s minimum coverage requirements, you may find that this isn’t enough for a leased vehicle. Most leasing companies expect you to have a full coverage car insurance policy with at least 100/300/50 liability limits. It means that on top of liability insurance, you also must have comprehensive and collision insurance.
The best way to determine car lease requirements in Texas is by contacting the financial leasing company directly. It's also your opportunity to find out other vital information, such as their terms and conditions, as well as other prerequisites they may have.
How much insurance do you need in Texas? Typically, it’s recommended you carry a policy with at least 50/100/50 limits instead of the state’s 30/60/25 requirement. Though this may cost more, it gives more protection than a plan that only meets the minimum insurance requirement in Texas. On top of protecting you from the usual liability risks, it also helps cover costs if the other driver happens to be uninsured. Although car insurance is mandatory in Texas, 8.3% of drivers are not covered.
Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in Texas
If you are pulled over and unable to show proof of insurance, there are many consequences to face, in addition to lacking coverage for potential liability risks.
Consequences for driving without adequate coverage vary by state, but they may range from fines to jail time. In Texas, these are the penalties for driving with no car insurance:
- Fines ranging from $175 to $1,000, depending on the number of offenses you have on record
- An annual surcharge of $250 for three years after the conviction
- Vehicle impoundment for 180 days or until proof of insurance is provided
- Suspension of vehicle registration and driver’s license for a maximum of 2 years
- An SR-22 filing
The same penalties apply if your policy does not meet the minimum car insurance requirements in Texas.
When you purchase insurance, having a conviction on your record will result in higher annual premiums. Depending on the severity of your driving infractions, you may also need to file an SR-22 form to reinstate your driver’s license, which serves as proof to the state that your policy at least meets Texas’ minimum insurance requirements. An SR-22 also affects the cost of your insurance as you will be considered a high-risk driver.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Insurance in Texas
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About Mark Fitzpatrick
- Insurance Information Institute. "2020 Insurance Fact Book." Accessed July 11, 2021.
- Insurance Information Institute. "Facts + Statistics: Uninsured Motorists." Accessed July 11, 2021.
- Kelly Blue Book. "Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance by State." Accessed July 11, 2021.
- Office of Public Insurance Counsel. "Understanding PIP vs. MedPay." Accessed July 8, 2021.
- Texas Department of Insurance. "Automobile Insurance Guide." Accessed July 8, 2021.