Understanding Austin Car Insurance Requirements – Auto insurance protects you financially by paying for car repairs and the other driver’s medical bills if you are involved in an accident. Depending on the type of cover you have, it can also pay to repair or replace your car if it is damaged or stolen.
Texas has a consumer bill of rights for auto insurance. Your insurance company will give you a copy of the bill of rights when you get or renew the policy.
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Texas law requires drivers to provide proof that they can pay for the accidents they cause. Many drivers do this by purchasing auto liability insurance. Liability insurance pays to repair or replace the other driver’s car or damaged property, and pays for other people’s medical expenses when you’re at fault in an accident.
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If you still owe money on your car, your lender will require you to have collision and comprehensive coverage.
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Most rules apply to you, your family and anyone driving your car with your permission. Ask your agent or read your policy to find out who your policy covers and if anyone is excluded from coverage.
Coverage varies by policy and depends on the type of coverage you choose. This chart shows some of the things most policies do and don’t include. Read your policy or speak to your agent to confirm your exact coverages.
Damage to your vehicle caused by fire, hail, theft, flood, flying gravel or being hit by an animal (if you have full cover)
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Accidents that occur while you are driving or delivering food or other items for a fee
An accident that occurs while you are driving a car that you do not own but use regularly, such as a company car
Car repairs, lost wages, and medical and funeral bills for the driver and other passengers if you’re in an accident.
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When you get a new car, your insurance now automatically covers it for about 20 days. The type of coverage depends on whether the vehicle is a replacement or replacement vehicle.
Tell your company about the new car as soon as possible to avoid coverage.
Car rental. Rental agencies offer damage waivers and liability policies. Damage waiver is not insurance. This is an agreement that the rental agency will not charge you for any damage to your rental car.
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You may not need the rental agency’s liability policy. Your auto policy usually covers you when you drive a rental car for personal use. Ask your agent if your policy covers you if you drive a rental car for work.
Before renting a car, ask your agent if you need the rental agency’s liability policy and damage waiver.
Borrowed car. If you cause an accident while driving a rental car, the car owner’s insurance pays the claim. If the owner does not have insurance or does not pay enough for the damage and injury you cause, your insurance will pay.
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If you don’t own a car but often borrow it, you can buy a non-owner’s liability policy that pays for damages and injuries caused to other people while driving the borrowed car. Do not pay for injuries or damage to the vehicle you drive.
If you take the car from a repair shop, your liability insurance will pay for the damage to the car. It will also pay for injuries and damages to other people if you are at fault in an accident. Check your liability limits to make sure they are enough to pay for damages.
Mexico does not recognize American car policies. Some companies offer endorsements for short trips to Mexico, but the coverage may not meet Mexico’s legal requirements. If you are going to Mexico, you should purchase a Mexican liability insurance policy. Some agents in Texas sell them. Your agent can help you find an agent who does.
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You must pay the deductible for collision, comprehensive and uninsured/underinsured motorist claims. The claim amount is the claim amount that you have to pay yourself. For example, if you have a $1,500 collision claim and your policy has a $500 collision deductible, the insurance company will deduct $500 from your claim amount and pay $1,000. You have no claim to pay for posting. another driver’s insurance company.
Liability, personal injury protection, uninsured/underinsured motorist, towing and labor and rental have dollar limits. This is what most companies will pay, even if the cost is higher. If you don’t have enough coverage, you’ll have to pay the difference yourself. Collision and comprehensive coverages do not have a dollar limit.
The first page of your policy is the declaration page. It has a summary of your policy, including your coverages, dollar limits and deductibles.
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You have two options for covering your young driver. You can add them to your policy, or you can purchase a separate policy for them. Adding them to your policy is usually cheaper.
Some companies require that you include everyone living with you and your age in your policy. Tell your company when someone in your family starts driving or turns 16. If you don’t tell the company, and the company finds out later, the company will pay you for the extra premium you have to pay. The company may also deny any claim you have or not renew your policy.
If the teenager is the primary driver of the vehicle, the company will base the premium on that vehicle. Otherwise, the company will base the teenage premium on the family car with the highest rate.
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Some companies require you to keep young drivers on your policy even if they leave school. Tell your insurance company if you have children who live out of town and are not at school. If your child has a car, the company may charge you differently because the price is based on where the car is usually located. If your child doesn’t have a car, you can get a discount on your premium. If your child attends school in another country, check the country’s laws to make sure you have adequate liability coverage.
Texas law requires insurance companies to charge rates that are fair, reasonable and commensurate with the risks they assume. We do not approve the rates in advance, but if we find that the rates of an insurance company are too high, we may demand that they pay compensation to the people they have added. The insurance company can appeal our decision.
Insurance companies use a process called underwriting to decide whether to sell you a policy and how much it will cost you. The amount paid for insurance is called premium.
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Most companies use the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) to learn your claim history. Companies may charge you more or refuse to sell you a policy based on the data in your CLUE report. You can get a free copy of your report every year. Call LexisNexis at 866-312-8076.
Discounts help lower your premium. Each company decides for itself what discounts to offer and the amount of the discount. You can get a discount if you have:
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If you ask, the company must tell you in writing whether it is denying, canceling or not renewing your policy. You can complain to us if you think the company has refused, canceled or not renewed your policy.
Cancellation means that you or the insurance company ends coverage before the end date of your policy. The company must give you 10 days notice before canceling your policy. The company can cancel your policy for any reason within the first 60 days, as long as the cancellation is not illegal.
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If you or the company cancels your policy, the company must refund the unpaid premium to you within 15 days from the date of cancellation. Unearned premium is the amount paid upfront that is not applied to coverage. For example, say your premium is $100 a month and you pay six months in advance. If you don’t cancel your policy after one month, the company will owe you an unpaid $500 premium.
Non-renewal means the company refuses to renew your policy when it expires. The company must tell you in writing that it is not going to renew your policy. It should tell you at least 30 days before your policy expires.
The company may not renew your policy until after it has been valid for 12 months. This means that if you buy a six-month policy, the company cannot refuse to renew it after the first six months are up. Should renew it to give you a full 12 months of cover.
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The company cannot refuse to renew your policy because of your age. It also cannot fail to update your policy
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