What if I Don’t Have Auto Insurance in Texas?

If you were born in the 1980s or before, you may have faint memories of a time when auto insurance was not mandatory. In Texas, for example, the state began requiring that all drivers purchased auto liability insurance in 1991. The purpose of making auto insurance mandatory was to dramatically reduce the number of uninsured motorists on the road.

While this measure definitely been effective as identical measures have succeeded throughout the United States, there are still some uninsured motorists on our roads, which is why most states require auto insurance companies to at least offer “Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage” and for policyholders who don’t want it, to reject the coverage in writing.

Auto Insurance Protects You Financially

While automobile insurance may be expensive, it protects you financially in case you cause a car accident. It protects you by paying for the other person’s medical expenses, the repairs or replacement of their vehicle, and the other driver’s damages, such as lost income, pain and suffering, etc.

If you cause an accident and you don’t have the legally-required automobile insurance, the victim can go after your personal assets and income to compensate them for their losses (financial damages). If the other driver prevails in court, you can be ordered to pay tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars directly to the accident victim.

“Texas law requires you to have liability coverage. If you still owe money on your car, your lender will require you to have collision and comprehensive coverage. There are eight basic auto insurance coverages. You can choose whether to buy the others,” according to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI).

Getting Caught Without Insurance

What if you get caught driving without auto insurance in Texas? As of this writing, a first offense of driving without valid auto insurance is punishable by a fine up to $350 and a surcharge of $250 will be added to the person’s annual driver’s license fee for three years. The fines and surcharges go up after each additional conviction. To learn more, read the article, “Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Texas” by Emily Delbridge.

If you need help, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC for help.

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