The United States driving laws require all drivers to be financially responsible. Some states do not specifically require automobile insurance as a form of financial responsibility. These states will accept another form of proof of financial responsibility. However, Texas is one of the states that require insurance coverage. Driving without insurance or with insufficient coverage can result in fines, a suspended license or jail time. It’s not worth the risk to break the law. Many states only require liability coverage. Other states require additional coverage that increases the cost of the policy but provides the insured with greater protections. Some of these additional requirements include:
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Even with laws requiring insurance coverage, there are still drivers on the roads without coverage or with inadequate coverage. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage (UM/UIM) protects the insured if they have an accident with someone who does not have enough financial resources to be held responsible for the costs associated with the accident. Texas does not require licensed drivers to carry UM/UIM. It does require insurance companies to offer the coverage. The insured must decline the coverage in writing if it is rejected as proof that the coverage was offered.
No-Fault Auto Insurance and PIP in Texas
Some states have no-fault laws that make it possible for individuals to be held accountable for their own damages in an accident but not for any other damages. In other states, at least one party will be held accountable for all damages resulting from an accident. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is coverage offered in no-fault states because will pay for the damages suffered by the insured when an accident is judged to be a “no-fault” accident. Insurance companies in Texas must include PIP in their policies or offer it as an additional coverage. If the insured declines coverage, it must be done in writing as proof that the coverage was offered.
Hands-Free Laws in Texas
Distracted driving has become a crime in many states. This is the result of wide spread cell phone use. Accidents caused by distracted driving can be deadly. Manufacturers have helped reduce distracted driving by installing blue-tooth devices for hands-free cell phone use. Unfortunately, there are still many drivers that text and drive or talk on the phone while driving. Many states have responded to this by enacting “hands-free” laws. The hands-free laws in Texas are as follows:
Highway Safety Laws
|No Cell Phone Ban (Handheld)||School bus drivers w/passengers <17; novice drivers w/ Intermediate License, or within 1st 12 months of driving|
|No Text Messaging Ban||School bus drivers w/passengers <17; novice drivers w/ Intermediate License, or within 1st 12 months of driving|
Affordable car insurance can be difficult to find. Know the laws to find out how much insurance is required. Keep in mind that the minimum requirements may not be enough to cover the costs of an accident. Use the quote generator below to compare costs of minimum coverage and then to see if you can afford more coverage.
More Info on Texas on Wikipedia
State of TX government website