All states require that you carry liability coverage on your car in case of an accident. However, not all
states require the same amount of coverage or the same types of coverage. In Texas if you want to operate your
vehicle on any public roads you need to carry liability. You also need to have your coverage in place in order to
renew your vehicle registration each year.
What does you liability cover?
Basically, liability covers in case you cause injury to another person or damage their property. The injury can
consist of medical injuries or loss wages, while the property damage would cover the other person's car or other
property such as a fence, light pole, building etc... There are some exceptions to this, such as your liability usually
will not cover you if you hit another vehicle that you own.
What about people in your car?
People riding in your car including yourself are generally not covered under your liability coverage. Instead they are
usually covered under the Personal Injury Protection or Medical Payments option. In Texas, these are optional
coverages that can be purchased with your liability coverage. While it is advisable to carry one of these, and in
some states it is required, in Texas it is not required.
The difference between these two is that Personal Injury Protection can cover for medical expenses and loss wages.
Plus, you can double collect. This means that if you are being covered under another policy, say the other driver's
policy in a not at fault accident, you can submit the same bills to your company and collect again. Under the Medical
Payments coverage you can only collect for medical expenses...no loss wages....and you cannot double collect. The
Medical Payments coverage usually costs less than Personal Injury Protection.
What if you get hit by an uninsured driver?
If you are in an accident caused by an uninsured driver you can claim your injuries or damages under the uninsured
motorist coverage. In Texas this is an optional coverage that you can add with your liability coverage. Uninsured
coverage usually covers hit and run claims also. Uninsured Motorist comes in two parts, bodily injury for medical
expenses and property damage which covers your vehicle. You can usually get the bodily injury portion without
having to get the property damage portion but you cannot get the property damage portion without the bodily injury.
Policies can vary not only from state to state but from company to company. To have a better
understanding of what your policy covers, you should read your policy or contact your insurance agent.