Do Texas Drivers Need Uninsured And Underinsured Auto Insurance?
July 17, 2014
Uninsured drivers are a serious problem. In fact, the Insurance Research Council estimates that 14% of drivers nationwide are uninsured, and in some states the number of uninsured drivers is as high as 25%.
An uninsured driver is someone who has no insurance, does not have insurance that meets the minimum liability limits set by the state, or whose insurance company is unwilling or unable to pay the claim. Hit-and-run drivers are also considered to be uninsured motorists.
Every state, including Texas, requires motorists to have some form of auto insurance, but assuring 100% compliance is difficult. What’s more, there are many drivers who purchase only the minimum coverage required by law, which may not be enough to cover the costs of injuries and other damage from an accident.
Texas law requires all motorists to pay for accidents that they cause. Most do this by purchasing liability insurance, which allows for the at-fault driver to pay for damages to the other driver’s car and medical expenses. However, what if you are in an accident with someone who has insufficient insurance to cover your expenses, or who has no insurance at all?
Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage pays for your expenses after an accident that is caused by an uninsured motorist, a driver who does not have enough insurance to cover your expenses, or a hit-and-run driver. UM/UIM coverage also pays for any personal property damage you incur (items in your vehicle that are damaged in an accident).
Texas UM/UIM coverage includes an automatic $250 deductible, and two types of coverage:
Bodily injury UM/UIM pays for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and permanent or partial disability.
Property damage UM/UIM coverage pays for repairs to your car, rental car expenses, and personal property damage.
Texas uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage extends to you, your family members, passengers in your car, and anyone driving your car with your permission. All Texas insurance companies must offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, and you must reject it in writing if you do not want it.
Your best defense against uninsured and underinsured motorists is to include UM/UIM coverage in your auto insurance policy. This coverage only adds a small amount to your overall auto insurance premium, and will be worth every penny should the worst happen. Protect yourself with UM/UIM!