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How Much Car Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Jan 21, 2019 in Auto Accidents

insurance policy formMany people are unsure about how much car insurance coverage they may need to purchase. You may shop around or talk to an insurance agent, but that could leave you even more confused. Sometimes more information becomes too much information, which can make it difficult to reach a decision on your policy.

Below is information you may need to consider when purchasing auto insurance in Texas. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact Stephens, Anderson & Cummings’ car accident lawyers in Fort Worth. We will provide you a free, no obligation consultation to help you determine a fair amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive after the collision.

Coverage Requirements in Texas

Texas motorists are legally required to purchase and maintain minimum liability insurance to operate a vehicle. However, there are other types of insurance that you may want to include in your policy to protect yourself in case of an accident.

Liability

Liability coverage, also known as state minimum coverage, pays for the other person’s damages if the car accident is your fault. Under this type of policy, you and your vehicle are not covered by insurance. However, passengers in your vehicle may be protected by your liability coverage.

Texas’ minimum requirement for liability insurance includes:

  • $30,000 in bodily injury coverage for each person injured in the accident
  • $60,000 in bodily injury coverage total per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident

Collision

If you are still making payments on your car, Texas lenders require you to purchase collision coverage with your policy. This type of coverage pays for the damages and cost of repairs to your car after a collision. This applies to you, your family members or anyone else insured under your policy.

Under collision coverage, insurance companies will decide if your car is salvageable and can be repaired, or if your car is totaled. If your car can be repaired, the insurance company will pay for the cost of repairs up to the limit purchased in your policy. If the car is totaled, however, an insurer may pay you the actual cash value for your vehicle. This is the total cost of your vehicle, minus depreciation.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive insurance covers the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged during an event other than a car accident. This includes damage inflicted by hail, vandalism, fire, or falling objects. It may also cover the cost to replace your vehicle if it is stolen.

The maximum payment of comprehensive coverage is the value of your car, minus your deductible. Similar to collision coverage, your vehicle lender will require you to purchase comprehensive coverage if you are still making payments on your car.

Medical Payments Coverage

Medical payments coverage pays for the medical treatment and funeral expenses resulting from an accident, regardless of who is at fault. This coverage is provided to you, your family members, passengers in your vehicle and other people injured in the accident.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection, also known as PIP coverage, pays for the cost of your medical treatment, 80 percent of your lost income, and the cost to hire a caregiver, regardless of who is responsible for the accident.

Your insurance company will automatically include $2,500 in PIP coverage when you purchase your auto insurance policy. If you do not want to include PIP coverage with your policy, you may reject it in writing. You may also purchase additional PIP coverage, if you choose.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage pays for the damages you suffered in an accident caused by a hit-and-run driver, an uninsured motorist or a motorist who does not have enough insurance. There are two types of UM/UIM coverage:

  • Bodily injury UM/UIM: This pays for your medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and permanent or partial disability. You do not have to pay a deductible for this type of coverage.
  • Property damage UM/UIM: This pays for the cost of your vehicle repairs, a rental car, and damage to your personal property during the accident. Typically, there is a mandatory $250 deductible for property damage. You must pay the first $250 for property damage yourself before the insurer pays for the rest.

Similar to PIP coverage, you may refuse to purchase UM/UIM coverage. However, you must provide your refusal to purchase this coverage in writing when you purchase your policy.

How Much Liability Insurance Do You Need?

The main consideration for liability insurance is calculating how much coverage you need in case the other driver sues you. The amount of liability insurance you purchase with your policy should cover the value of your assets, such as your home and savings.

Determine your net worth by adding up the value of all of your property, investments and savings. Then, subtract the amount of debt you have from that amount. Your total bodily injury limit should be at least as high as your net worth. It is most important to consider the possible amount of bodily injury because this number will usually be much higher than property damage.

What About Umbrella Coverage?

If you need more liability insurance than your insurer allows, you can purchase umbrella coverage with your policy. Umbrella coverage adds protection for damages above the basic limits of your policy.

It may be necessary to purchase umbrella coverage if you want to protect your assets, or if the damages you incurred in the accident exceeds your policy’s limits. This may occur if you are traveling with several passengers in your vehicle during the accident, and each suffers an injury. The total cost of damages for everyone covered in your vehicle could easily exceed the limits you purchased with your insurance policy.

Contact an Experienced Texas Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are injured in a car accident, it is important that you contact an experienced lawyer for qualified legal representation. Stephens, Anderson & Cummings’ personal injury lawyers in Fort Worth understand the difficulties many car accident victims endure. We can help you determine the cost of your damages and help you recover fair compensation.

To get started, contact us today for a free consultation. We work for our clients on a contingency fee basis. This means we do not charge our clients upfront fees when we represent them. We only require payment for our services if we recover compensation for you.

Call (877) 920-9009 to schedule a free consultation.