Cheap Auto Insurance in Texas
Auto Insurance Requirements in Texas
Outside of New York, there are a few other states that take car insurance as seriously as Texas. In order to satisfy Texas’ law regarding financial responsibility drivers can choose from a number of options including:
• depositing $55,000 in cash or securities with your county comptroller
• depositing $55,000 in cash or a cashier’s check with a county judge
• posting a real estate bond with your county clerk; the bond must include at least two individuals with real estate holdings in Texas
• certify self-insurance with the state (this option usually reserved car dealers)
• purchasing affordable car insurance from a state licensed company
Minimum Liability Insurance Requirements
Since most Texas drivers will choose the last option, it’s important to know what the minimum liability requirements in Texas are. Every auto policy in the state, whether it’s cheap auto insurance or a more expensive policy, starts with the following:
• $30,000 per accident to pay for bodily injuries or deaths of a single person
• $60,000 per accident to pay for bodily injuries or deaths of several people
• $25,000 per accident to pay for property damage
These limits are indeed higher than most other states. Yet the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles suggests on its website consumers increase these limits if they can afford to. They make a good case when you consider that injuries sustained in a serious accident could blow through the bodily injury coverage in just a matter of days.
Stiff Penalties for No Insurance
As stated earlier, Texas takes the issue of liability protection very seriously. If you’re involved in an accident or a traffic stop you’ll be required to show the police officer proof that you have met the state’s liability regulations. You can do that with an insurance ID card, a bond certificate, a certificate of deposit, or a self-insurance certificate.
If you can’t produce that document you will be given a citation which can be contested in court. But to contest it successfully you’ll need to bring with you proof that you had proper coverage in force when you were cited.
If you allow your insurance policy to lapse, both the DMV and Texas law enforcement agencies will automatically have access to the information through an electronic reporting database. You’ll receive a letter from the DMV warning you of a suspension of your driver’s license and registration if you can’t provide proper proof of coverage. You’ll have up to 20 days to appeal the suspension if your circumstances dictate.
In the end, being found without proper liability coverage will result in a fine, the impounding of your vehicle for up to 180 days, and reinstatement fees ranging from $175 to $350. Furthermore, you’ll have to pay a $15 fee for every day your car was at the impound lot.
Texas law is stringent enough to make it unwise to drive without proper liability coverage. The easiest thing to do is to just buy a cheap insurance policy and keep it going long as your car is registered.