The State of Texas takes insurance laws very seriously. It requires that all Texas motorists carry insurance for registered vehicles in the state – amounts equivalent to $25,000 in property damage, $30,000 per injured person and $60,000 in total bodily injury coverage per accident. Driving without the required minimum auto liability coverage in Texas could result in serious consequences.
The first time you are caught driving uninsured will result in a citation and fee of up to $350. If, however, you continue to drive without insurance in Texas, the fines and severity of consequences increase with each offense. Your second and subsequent underinsured motorist offenses could mean fines of $1,000, suspension of driver’s license and impoundment of your vehicle. Furthermore, the consequences for driving without insurance in Texas continue for years following the first offense. The state implements an ongoing surcharge of $250 per year to maintain your license after you are found to be driving without insurance.
In addition to the legal consequences for driving uninsured in Texas, the offense also carries major financial risks. In Texas, you are liable and must pay for any and all damages you cause in a collision or accident, regardless of whether or not you have adequate insurance coverage. That is why it is a good idea to not only purchase the Texas state minimum auto liability coverage, but also comprehensive coverage that protects your own car and health after a collision.
Most homeowners go many years before needing to make a home insurance claim. When that time comes, the process of making a claim may seem intimidating. However, thanks to Texas state laws, the process is usually fast and simple, so long as you have the proper documentation of your losses.
File a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim
Contact your insurance agent as soon as your home or its contents experiences damage or a loss. Complete a claim form and supply your insurer with any additional information requested of you, such as a police report or a fire department report. Your insurer may send a claims adjuster to view the damage to your property, after which time your insurer will make a decision about your claim.
Texas law states that your home insurer must begin investigating your claim within 15 days of its filing. During that time, it may request further information about the claim. Once it is satisfied with the information you have given, you will receive either an approval or denial of your claim within 15 days, after which time your insurer has 5 days to either pay you or explain why your claim was denied.
Although some circumstances may allow for extended deadlines, failure to comply with state insurance laws could result in fines and penalties. If you have a complaint about a Texas homeowner’s insurance claim, you may contact the Texas Attorney General.
Also, do not fear that filing a claim against your homeowner’s insurance policy will result in a cancelation. Texas law prohibits your insurer from refusing to renew your policy because of one or two claims. Instead, your insurer may choose not to renew your policy if you file three or more claims in three years.
If you live near the coastal regions of Texas, you will likely pay more to insure your vehicle than other drivers in the state do. Keeping a vehicle along the coast means that your car is more vulnerable to flood damage than other vehicles are, meaning you need increased protection. Although that protection may come at a higher price, it could ultimately save you thousands of dollars to replace your car.
With more than 350 miles of coastline in Texas, the state is often prone to hurricanes and strong Gulf storms that can cause flooding of streets and garages in low-lying areas. Even if you live in an area that has never flooded before, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future. And do not expect your homeowner’s insurance to cover the damage if your garage floods. While Texas homeowner’s insurance policies protect against water damage to a home and its contents, they do not provide coverage for water damage due to flooding.
Be sure to shop for auto insurance coverage that will replace or repair all mechanical and aesthetic damages to your vehicle in the event of a flood. Be aware that you may have to submit to a complete vehicle inspection before flood coverage can begin. Insurers often order inspections to ensure that your vehicle has not previously suffered water damage. Shop and compare premiums between insurers to get the best rates for vehicle flood damage protection.