Texas law requires all drivers to carry at least liability coverage. However there are many other types of auto insurance. Texas insurance companies generally provide these major types of coverages for you to choose from.
Medical Payments Coverage
This type of insurance pays medical and funeral bills arising from accidents, including those in which the victim was a pedestrian or a bicyclist. It covers you, your family members and all passengers in your car regardless of who caused the accident. Because many drivers still do not have insurance, it is a good idea to add this coverage to your auto insurance. Texas law requires all drivers to carry insurance, but it is not something you want to count on if you or someone you love gets hurt.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
This type of insurance is the same as medical payments, but offers the additional coverage of 80% of lost income and the cost of hiring a caregiver for an injured person. It is a valuable addition to your auto insurance. Texas law, in fact, requires insurance companies to offer $2,500 in PIP to you, and that you reject it in writing if you choose not to add it to your policy.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage
This type of coverage explictly covers expenses from an accident caused by an uninsured driver, or if the driver did not have enough insurance to cover your bills. This type of coverage also pays for damages arising from a hit and run accident if you promptly report it to the police. Auto insurance in Texas is mandatory, but this type of coverage is a good idea to protect yourself against those who do not follow the law.
There are two types of UM/UIM coverage: bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury coverage pays for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and permanent or partial disability. Property damage coverage pays for auto repairs, rental car fees, as well as damage to items in your car. Insurance companies must offer UM/UIM in addition to your auto insurance. Texas law requires that you reject, in writing, if you choose to waive this protection.
Collision (Damage to Your Car) Coverage
This type of coverage pays the cost of repairing or replacing your car after an accident, regardless of who was driving or who was at fault. Payment is limited to your auto’s actual cash value, minus your deductible. Actual cash value is the market value of a car like yours before it was damaged.
Comprehensive (Physical Damage Other than Collision) Coverage
This type of coverage pays the cost of replacing or repairing your car if it is stolen or damaged by fire, vandalism, hail, or another cause other than collision. Comprehensive coverage also pays for a rental car or other temporary transportation if your car is stolen. Your policy won’t pay for an auto theft unless you report it to the police. Payment is limited to your car’s actual cash value, minus your deductible.
Towing and Labor Coverage
This pays the towing charges when your car cannot be driven, as well as labor charges, such as the cost of changing a tire, at the place where your car broke down.
Rental Reimbursement Coverage
This type of coverage pays a set daily amount for a rental car if your car is stolen or is being repaired because of damage covered by your policy.
Clearly auto insurance in Texas can be much more extensive than a simple liability policy, and provide much greater protection and peace of mind.
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