According to a 2023 rate analysis, liability only auto insurance per year for minimum required coverage is:
- $682 for a good driver with good credit in Texas
- $1,111 for a good driver with poor credit in Texas
- $1,041 for a driver with an at-fault accident and good credit in Texas
- $1,407 for a driver with a recent DUI and good credit in Texas
Texas law requires you to have at least $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 of coverage for property damage. This is called 30/60/25 coverage. Think about buying more liability coverage than the minimum to protect your assets in a lawsuit.
Liability coverage in auto insurance refers to the protection you have if you’re found responsible for an automobile accident that causes injury to someone else or damages their property. Here’s a breakdown of how it works:
- Bodily Injury Liability (BI):
- This covers medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and, in some cases, legal fees if you are at fault in an accident that injures someone else.
- Typically, BI is represented with numbers like 25/50, 50/100, or 100/300. The first number (e.g., 25 in 25/50) is the maximum amount (in thousands) the insurer will pay per person in an accident. The second number is the maximum payout for all injured parties in an accident. So, 25/50 means the insurance will pay up to $25,000 per person but no more than $50,000 total for the accident.
- Property Damage Liability (PD):
- This covers the cost of damages to someone else’s property. Most often, this means the cost of repairing another person’s car, but it can also cover damages to structures (like fences or home fronts), other types of vehicles, and other property.
- Similar to BI, there will typically be a specified coverage limit. For example, a $10,000 PD limit means the insurer will cover up to $10,000 in property damage you cause.
- Liability Doesn’t Cover Your Own Damages:
- It’s crucial to understand that liability coverage does not cover your own medical expenses or damages to your vehicle. You’d need other types of coverage, like collision or personal injury protection, for that.
- State Minimums:
- Most states in the U.S. have minimum liability coverage requirements. While it’s often suggested to carry more than the minimum to protect yourself financially, you must at least meet your state’s requirements.
- Liability in “At-Fault” vs. “No-Fault” States:
- In “at-fault” states, the driver found at fault in an accident is responsible for the damages and injuries they caused. Their liability coverage would be used to cover these costs.
- In “no-fault” states, each driver’s own insurance covers their own injuries regardless of who was at fault. However, liability still applies for property damage in most no-fault states.
- Legal Implications:
- If you’re found at fault in an accident and the damages exceed your liability coverage, you could be sued for the remaining amount. This is why many people opt for coverage that exceeds the state minimums.
- Premium Costs:
- The cost of liability insurance (your premium) will vary based on several factors, including your driving record, age, the type and amount of coverage, where you live, and the type of vehicle you drive.
Having appropriate liability coverage is essential, not only because it’s required by law in most places but also because it can protect you from significant financial loss in the event of an accident. Always consider your assets, potential risks, and financial situation when deciding on how much liability coverage to carry.