Auto Liability Insurance

How much coverage does someone in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Grand Prairie, Mansfield, Cleburne, Mesquite, or anywhere else in Texas have on their automobile policy? The answer would depend on what type of coverage you are talking about. There are different coverage amounts based on what a person wants and what is available. Let’s look at just auto liability coverage.
The Austin American Statesman published an article that ran on December 13, 2010. The title of the article is, “Mandatory Auto Liability Coverage to Rise in New Year.” The article was written by Tim Eaton.
According to a 2007 law, authored by former State Senator Kip Averitt, the minimal liabilty coverage that can be sold in Texas raises to $30,000 for each injured person, $60,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage.
Prior to this bill the mimimum limits had been $20,000 for each injured person, $40,000 per accident and $15,000 for property damage.
After passage of the bill the limits had risen in April 2008, to $25,000 for each injured person, $50,000 per accident.
Effective January 2011 the new legal minimum goes into effect. The law requiring this minimum limit to be offered by auto insurance companies can be found in the Texas Transportation Code, Section 601.072.
According to the Texas Department of Insurance this raise in limits is necessary because the previous limits are too often insufficient to cover damages incured in an automobile accident.
The article tells us that state insurance regulators report the increased coverage should not amount to significantly higher insurance bills. A spokesman for the Texas Department of Insurance reports that fifty per cent of all vehicles in Texas, or about 7.5 million, are insured for the minimum amount. They also report that about 1 in 5 vehicles do not carry any liability insurance.
According to the article, neither the insurance industry or consumer advocacy groups such as Texas Watch, are opposed to the increased minimum limits. According to Texas Watch executive director, Alex Winslow, the group actually supports the move.
State law requires drivers to carry auto liability insurance to pay to repair or replace the vehicle of the person who is not at fault in an accident. It also covers at least a portion of the medical expenses of the driver who is not at fault. It does not pay to repair or replace the at-fault driver’s car or to treat the at-fault driver’s injuries. It is important to point out that this extra coverge can be purchased if the driver wants it.
The limits to what can be sold a person for auto liability coverage is stated above. The maximum really does not exist except in the context that some companies will limit their coverage thereby forcing a person who wants higher amounts of coverage to find a company that offers the higher amounts.
As to other forms of coverage available on an auto insurance policy, here are some of them:
1) personal injury protection (PIP)
2) medical payments benefits (Med Pay)
3) towing 4) rental coverage 5) underinsured / uninsured coverage (UM/UIM)
6) collison (should include, hail, flood, vandalism, etc)
7) life insurance There is even more than stated but the best source for learning about these coverages and what is available would be to talk with an insurance agent. However, an experienced Insurance Law Attorney is the best source to seek out for someone who thinks they are not being treated properly as it regards their coverage.