Category: Texas

Texas Car Insurance

When it comes to car accidents involving two or more drivers Texas Car Insurance law requires the driver that caused the accident to pay for any injuries or property damage sustained by other parties. Since the costs of even a minor accident can place unbearable financial burden on many motorists the state of Texas operates under a financial responsibility law that requires drivers to prove that they have the ability to pay for any damage or injuries they cause before they are able to legally drive on a public road.  The easiest way for Texas residents to prove financial responsibility is to purchase an auto insurance policy that includes the minimum amount of coverage as required by state law. In the state of Texas the only type of insurance that is legally required to be maintained on a vehicle is liability insurance. The state mandates that every auto insurance policy purchased in the state should include at least $30,000 in bodily injury or death benefits for an individual person and $60,000 in bodily injury or death benefits per accident. These benefits are only to secondary parties involved in an accident with the policy holder and cannot be paid out to the policy holder or passengers in the policy holder’s vehicle. In addition to bodily injury and death coverage Texas State law also requires auto insurance policies to include a minimum of $25,000 in property damage liability coverage which can be used to pay for the property damage caused by the policy holder. Because the costs of medical care and property damage can be so high, even in a relatively minor accident, Texas recommends that vehicle owners purchase liability coverage in amount that’s exceed state minimum requirements. Purchasing extra coverage will also help reduce the chance that the policy holder is sued by another party because their liability coverage did not cover the full cost of the accidents. According to Texas law at-fault drivers are responsible for the entire cost of an accident and even if they have insurance they could still be personally liable for a portion of the cost if their insurance does not cover everything or if the other driver attempts to sue for punitive damages. Although liability coverage is generally described as bodily injury or property damage coverage it can actually cover a much wider range claims. Liability coverage for instance can be used to pay for punitive damages if they are awarded to the court and it can also help pay for  policy holder’s attorney fees if they are sued because of an accident and will even pay $250 toward bail if the policy holder or driver of the insured vehicle is arrested.

Liability coverage on a vehicle also covers more people than just the policy holder or the person that happens to be driving the vehicle. The liability coverage included with most policies covers the policy holder’s immediate family and any other people living in the policy holder’s home. If a Texas vehicle owner wishes to have auto insurance coverage that will pay their injuries or property damage most Texas car insurance companies will allow them to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage. Comprehensive and collision coverage typically covers pretty much any physical damage done to the insured vehicle no matter how it was caused and who was at-fault for the damage. Some residents may also wish to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage which will be activated if the insured vehicle is involved in an accident and the at-fault driver does not have enough coverage to pay for the injuries to all parties involved in the accident.

In order to enforce state car insurance requirements Texas residents are required y law to present proof of insurance in a variety of situations Like many other states Texas requires a vehicle owner to provide proof of insurance when they register a vehicle with the DMV or when they receive or attempt to renew their drivers license. Drivers are also required to provide proof of insurance when they are pulled over or involved in an accident. Failure to provide proof of insurance to a law enforcement officer upon request will often result in a traffic citation and other potential penalties if they are convicted of driving without insurance. For a first offense an uninsured driver will be fined anywhere from $175 to $350 and for a second or subsequent offense a Texas resident could face a fine as large as $1,000 and will also have their license suspended and their vehicle impounded. If an uninsured driver is involved in an at-fault accident that results in serious injury or death to the other driver they will receive a minimum $4,000 fine and could potentially be sentenced to up to 1 year in jail. Driving uninsured in Texas will also result in a black mark on the driver’s record that could result in increased insurance premiums.

Filed under: Articles, Car Insurance, TexasTagged with: ,

Texas – General Emissions Information

Texas General Emissions Information

Although Texas is able to enjoy the fairly clean air, it does conduct annual Texas emissions testing for many of the vehicles that are on its roadways. The state has issued a program called AirCheckTexas that is dedicated to making sure that areas with additional smog and pollution have vehicles tested annually.

If you live in one of the areas that require testing, you can easily find online an inspection station that is near to your location. The state even offers a tool that can allow you to see if you live in an area that requires Texas emissions testing and where the stations are in accordance with those counties.

Inspections

All cars in the state of Texas are required to undergo a safety inspection each year. Many of these vehicles are also required to undergo an emissions inspection during this same process. The state requires a variety of emissions testing and the method that is used depends on the specific county where the vehicle is registered.

There are three different smog inspection methods, and they are listed below:

  • Two speed idle
  • Onboard diagnostic
  • Acceleration simulation mode

Two speed idle and acceleration simulation mode are typically used for vehicles are older. The onboard diagnostic is the method that is currently used for most newer models. This is when information is downloaded directly from your vehicle’s onboard diagnostic computer.

Failing The Test

If your vehicle happens to fill the emissions test, you will first need to have the vehicle and the issue diagnosed. This will give the mechanic the know-how on how to fix the problem so that you will be able to pass the emissions test when you have it retested later on. You are required to have it repaired through a recognized emissions repair facility and then retested.

There are also waverers available when you use these facilities and even though you are allowed to use other shops to have the work completed, you may end up paying more for them. If you are not able to pass inspection, you may be able to apply for a waiver, but if you do not use a recognized repair facility it may be more difficult to receive the waiver.

Incentives

The state of Texas currently offers drivers some rewards for eco-friendly vehicles, such as vehicles that are not powered by gasoline, diesel-powered vehicles, and vehicles that are less than two years old. These vehicles are all exempt from having an emissions test completed.

However, since hybrids are able to run on gasoline, they are not exempt and must undergo the emissions testing. It is also important to note that all vehicles that are registered in the state of Texas are required to undergo annual safety inspection regardless of the type of vehicle that they are.

When you’re driving a green vehicle, you’re doing more than just helping the environment. You may also be saving yourself money because you are able to participate in many federal tax incentives that have been put in place to encourage drivers to think about the environment as they drive their vehicles. Be sure that you discuss your options with both your tax accountant and your insurance company.

Filed under: Articles, State Emissions Testing, Texas