In Texas, 1 out of every 5 vehicles is uninsured. Now Texas knows which ones they are via the TexasSure Vehicle Insurance Verification program. So, police who are patrolling know when they run your plates or scan your registration sticker if you have liability limitations or not. And, now that they have implemented the Texas Two Step Program which combines the inspection and registration into one sticker, when you renew your registration, they already know if you have insurance coverage as well. The current minimum liability insurance in Texas covers $30,000 for each injured person (up to a total of $60,000 per accident) and $25,000 for property damage.
So, what if you can’t afford insurance? Well, you really can’t afford not to have it. The Driver Financial Responsibility Program has put a kibosh on drivers with no insurance. The citation for no liability insurance is a heft fine between $350 and $400. And the second violation is around $1,000. Plus you will get your car impounded and have a two year driver license suspension. In addition, you will receive a surcharge, annually, for three years of approximately $260 per year (money you could have used to pay for insurance). And, it will remain on your driving record FOREVER. And forever is a long time. Those of us who have liability insurance are paying higher rates for uninsured and under insured motorist coverage because of the 1 in 5 drivers without insurance. So what about college students, single parents and elderly drivers who cannot afford insurance? If you’re having trouble paying for insurance or have been denied coverage, you can seek insurance through an association of insurers called the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association (TAIPA). And you can access more information about them at taipa.wpengine.com/faq/taipa-fags/. In addition, if you have a car that is 10 years old or older, you can get state assistance to get your car repaired so it will pass inspection, or even get state assistance to purchase a newer car. That link is http://www.nctcog.org/trans/air/act/.
Those of us who do have insurance carry uninsured and under insured motorist coverage, usually carry the minimums. And most newer cars cost an average of $30,000 and up. So make sure those minimums are enough to pay for ALL of the damages, should your car be hit by an uninsured driver. Having to pay money out of your own pocket to get your car fixed (especially when it wasn’t even your fault) would be a real drag.
Until next week…
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
TexasSure – Comedy Defensive Driving