Why Do You Need Underinsured / Uninsured Motorist Auto Insurance Coverage?
When you’re hurt in a car crash that wasn’t your fault, you face big expenses that you might not be able to afford. Your injuries may require expensive medical treatments, and your vehicle may be totaled. Paying for those costs out of pocket can be beyond your financial means, especially if your injuries put you out of work.
You can file a claim against the other driver’s insurance company to recoup some of those costs, but getting compensation isn’t always guaranteed. That’s because at-fault drivers may leave the accident scene, or they may be uninsured or not carry enough insurance coverage to adequately compensate you for your crash-related expenses.
How Many Drivers Are Uninsured in Texas?
Carrying minimum coverage auto insurance is required by law in Texas to drive legally. Unfortunately, underinsured and uninsured drivers are everywhere in Texas, despite being in violation of state laws.
A recent study found that Texas ranks 16th in the U.S. in most uninsured drivers, with around 14 percent of motorists not having valid auto coverage. However, because Texas has such a large population, that means there are millions of uninsured drivers on its roadways at any given time.
What Is the Minimum Legal Amount of Auto Insurance Coverage in Texas?
Although around 86 percent of Texas drivers meet the legal requirement for auto insurance coverage, that doesn’t always mean that you can count on their policies compensating you fairly if you’re involved in a crash caused by a negligent driver.
Texas’s minimum liability coverage breaks down to 30/60/25:
- $30,000 per injured person
- $60,000 total for each accident
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
While those amounts may seem substantial, they are often significantly less than what victims need—especially when they suffer serious injuries and become disabled and unable to work for long periods of time.
Protect Yourself with Underinsured / Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Most auto insurance policies don’t cover crashes caused by other drivers unless you purchase optional coverage called underinsured / uninsured motorist coverage.
Purchasing this additional coverage typically doesn’t add much to your monthly insurance bill, but it can be extremely beneficial if your accident is caused by one of Texas’s millions of under or uninsured drivers.
How Does Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage Work?
Victims who are injured in auto crashes caused by drivers with adequate insurance coverage can be compensated by filing claims against those drivers’ insurance policies. But that isn’t an option when the other driver can’t be located, doesn’t have insurance, or has a policy that only offers minimum coverage.
If any of those scenarios apply to you, here’s what you can expect:
You’ll submit a claim to your own insurance company—Generally, auto insurance policies only pay out to victims in crashes caused by policyholders. However, having under and uninsured motorist coverage means you can benefit from your own policy.
Your insurance company will investigate the crash—Even if you have under and uninsured motorist coverage, it’s important to remember that your insurance company must do their due diligence.
You’ll get compensation based on your expenses and the other driver’s insurance status—If the other driver can’t be located or doesn’t have insurance, your own policy will kick in to compensate you for your damages. If the other driver’s insurance doesn’t cover all of your expenses, your policy will make up the difference.