What is full coverage car insurance
If you’re shopping for insurance and need full coverage, you’d be surprised to find out that the term “full coverages” means different things to different people. As a result, different insurance agents will quote different coverage combinations. As a result, calling different agents could result in drastically different policy combinations. It may surprise you to find that there is no standard definition for “full coverage”. As a result, how do you know if you have the right coverage? To answer your questions, we’ve broken down the Texas insurance policy into these manageable sections. That way, you can easily decide which auto insurance coverages fit your needs.
Liability is a requirement in “full coverage”
Generally, while discussing coverages, I start with liability. All registered vehicles must carry liability. If you operate a motor vehicle without insurance in many jurisdictions like Dallas county, your motor vehicle could be towed and impounded until you provide proof of financial responsibility. Texas minimum auto liability limits are as follows:
- Bodily Injury Liability – $30,000 per person / $60,000 per occurrence or per accident
- Proper Damage Liability – $25,000 per accident
While the 30,000 per person/ 60,000 per occurrence is the minimum, it is wise to look at higher limits. You should always consider carrying higher than the minimum limits for liability. If you cause accident that exceeds your policy’s limits, you are still responsible for the damage you cause. Therefore, it is always wise to talk to your local insurance agent about carrying higher coverage.
Physical Damage covers damage to your vehicle
The second component that is required if you need full coverage car insurance is physical damage. Physical damage is broken down into to main coverages; comprehensive (which is also referred to as “other than collision”) and collision. If you need to drive a financed vehicle off the car lot, these are the two coverages that your finance company and car salesman want you to have when you leave.
Collision coverage provides protection in case your car collides with another object or is over turned over in an accident. This coverage will pay for damage to your car regardless of whether the accident is your fault. When choosing this coverage, you must choose a deductible. The deductible is your portion of the of the insurance claim that you will pay. So, if you have a $500 deductible during a claim, you pay the first $500 of damage done to your car. Your insurance company pays the rest.
The second physical damage coverage you’re required to carry if you need full coverage is comprehensive coverage or “other than collision”. This cvoerage provides a form of “all risk” protection for your auto from perils or causes other than a collision or upset. Comprehensive protects you financially against perils like fire, theft, vandalism, glass breakage, hail, vandalism or damage caused by collision with an animal. Just like collision, you must choose a comprehensive deductible as well.
Other important Texas car insurance coverages
If you’re looking for the minimum full coverage to get by, liability and physical damage are all you need. However, if you really want to get the most protection for your insurance dollar, you should consider the following coverages.
Personal Injury Protection or Medical Payments
Personal injury protection (P.I.P.) provides protection for bodily injury and up to 80% of lost income if you or your passengers are injured in an accident while in your automobile. The minimum limit available is $2500 per person per accident. This coverage can be used regardless of whether you or someone else causes the accident. Unlike other states, Texas does not require d this coverage. However, you must reject coverage if you do not wish to carry P.I.P. If you reject P.I.P, you can either reject medical coverage altogether or select medical payments coverage for you an your passengers.
Generally, most insurance companies will allow you to choose whether your want personal injury protection, medical payments, or no medical coverage at all. If you choose to carry medical payments, your policy will pay for medical expenses for an insured or passenger that is injured in an auto accident. The minimum limit available for medical payments will vary based on the insurance company. It is up to you and your insurance agent to discuss the right level of medical payments for your insurance needs.
Uninsured Motorists Coverage
Another coverage that you should consider when looking at full coverage auto insurance is uninsured motorists protection. In Texas uninsured motorists coverage provides extra protection for you and the passengers in your vehicle in case you’re involved in an accident where someone is no insurance or insufficient insurance. Just like the liability limits, this is written in split limits for bodily injury and proper damage. However, you have the right to reject uninsured motorist protection just as you can reject personal injury protection.
Unlike other states, Texas uninsured motorist coverage is broken down into bodily injury and property damage. That way, if your car has liability only, you can still have physical damage coverage in case you’re hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Uninsured motorists property damage carries a $250 deductible.
Towing, and Rental Reimbursement coverage
Towing coverage is coverage that adds lots of value for little cost. Today, many standard and preferred companies offer emergency road service instead of towing. That way, if you lock your keys in the car or need a jump on a cold morning, you can call your roadside assistance company with paying money out of your pocket. Companies that do not have the roadside assistance version of towing, offer a reimbursement form. In these cases, if you pay for the roadside assistance, you can submit your receipt to your insurance company’s claims department and they will in turn reimburse you after the claim is handled.
Rental reimbursement adds coverage for a rental car in the event of damage to your automobile. While your car is in the shop due to a car accident. selecting this coverage gives you protection while your insurance company pays to have your vehicle repaired. Like other coverages, you must select a limit you think is best for you rental coverage.
So the next time you’re looking for full coverage car insurance, remember that full coverage means different things to different agents and companies. Bookmark this blog post so that you can make sure you understand what coverages are available to you. If you have further questions, feel free to contact us at 214-717-4326.