What's considered full coverage car insurance in Texas?

Whether you’re driving a Honda in Houston or a Ford in Fort Worth, you need auto insurance. But when do you need full coverage car insurance in Texas? What is full coverage, anyway, and is it the same in every state?

What's considered full coverage car insurance in Texas?

Whether you’re driving a Honda in Houston or a Ford in Fort Worth, you need auto insurance. But when do you need full coverage car insurance in Texas? What is full coverage, anyway, and is it the same in every state? The options are staggering, and the terminology can seem as overwhelming as the Katy Freeway at rush hour, but don’t worry. There are just a few things you need to know to make an informed decision when choosing a car insurance policy.

What does “full coverage” car insurance actually mean?

From liability coverage to collision coverage, you can get many different coverages on your car insurance! But “full coverage” isn’t actually on the list. Full coverage insurance describes a policy that bundles liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. Together, those three coverages cover most types of accidents and vehicular damage.

Full coverage car insurance coverage pays for injuries and damage to someone else’s car/property that you are responsible for. It also covers your car. It’s good to be covered!

If you finance your car or lease it, you will need full coverage insurance. If you’re still paying off your car, your insurance has to meet requirements from two entities: the state of Texas and your auto lender.

What does full car coverage include?

Full coverage car insurance includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, no matter what state you live in. In Texas, car insurance, including full coverage, also comes with personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. But what do all these types of coverage mean?

Liability coverage

Liability coverage covers damage to people and things that you cause in an accident. It has two subcategories, bodily injury and property damage

  • Bodily injury liability coverage pays for the costs of harm you do to someone else in an accident, from medical treatment for whiplash to ambulance bills.
  • Property damage liability coverage pays for objects like other people’s cars, buildings or belongings that you damage.

You can’t skip liability coverage – it’s mandatory for all vehicles in Texas. Legally, your liability coverage must cover at least $30,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $60,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability. The more liability coverage you have, the less you have to pay out of pocket if you cause a serious accident.

Collision coverage

Collision coverage pays for fixing crash damage to your car, regardless of who caused the accident. Collision coverage pays to repair damage like a dented fender from sloppy parallel parking, a broken axle from a high-speed accident or a missing side mirror from driving too close to a tree.

Collision is one of several optional coverages in Texas. That means the state doesn’t require it – but your lender might.

Comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive coverage is for sudden damage to your car that’s not from a collision. Imagine your car getting stolen, hit by a falling tree, swept away in a flood or malfunctioning after hitting a deer on the highway. Comprehensive coverage would help pay to fix or replace your poor car.

Comprehensive coverage is an optional coverage. If you lease or owe debt on your car, your lender will probably make you get comprehensive coverage.

Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage

PIP covers medical bills and rehabilitative care (like physical therapy) if you or your passengers get hurt in an accident. PIP can also help with lost wages and childcare bills if you can’t work or take care of your kids while you’re healing.

PIP is technically mandatory in Texas and automatically comes with most policies here. You can waive your PIP coverage, but it’s risky – if an accident is your fault, your liability insurance won’t cover your medical bills. Neither will the liability insurance of other drivers involved in the accident. Your lender might not consider you to have full coverage if you waive PIP coverage.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage

UM/UIM coverage covers the medical bills if an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you and injures you or your passengers. An uninsured driver has no coverage to pay for your medical bills; an uninsured driver has liability insurance, but not enough to cover all the medical expenses from the crash. UIM coverage helps pay for the bills that are left over.

Like PIP, UM/UIM coverage is mandatory for insurance companies to offer. You have the option to waive it, but you probably won’t want to.

How much is full coverage insurance?

It depends! A full coverage policy will cost more than a simple liability policy for the same vehicle, but the specific rate depends on several factors, like:

  • Where you live
  • What type of car you have, how old it is and how much mileage it has
  • How much you drive
  • How many drivers are on your policy
  • The dollar amount of collision and comprehensive coverage you want, or your lender requires
  • The deductibles you choose

To find out how much full coverage insurance would cost for you and your car, your best bet is to contact an insurance agency like Surround Insurance to compare some quotes.

Full coverage and deductibles

When it comes to the cost of full coverage car insurance, your deductibles can make a difference. The higher your deductibles are, the lower your rate will be.

A deductible is the amount your insurance company expects you to pay on a claim before your policy begins to cover it. For example, imagine that your comprehensive coverage has a $500 deductible and a falling tree puts a $1,200 hole in your car’s roof. To fix the hole, you would contribute $500 to the repairs, while your insurance would contribute $700.

Each type of coverage in a full coverage policy can have its own deductible.

  • Liability coverage does not have a deductible.
  • Collision, comprehensive, PIP, and UM/UIM coverage can, and often do, have a deductible.

So, do I need full coverage car insurance in Texas?

Now that you know what full coverage insurance is, you can probably answer this question for yourself!

If you own your car outright, you don’t have to get full coverage insurance. Collision and comprehensive are optional coverages for you. However, you might still want full coverage insurance – if you’re accident-prone, live somewhere your car is susceptible to theft or weather damage, or just want the peace of mind that comes with knowing insurance will help pay for all kinds of harm to you and your car.If you lease your car or finance it, your lender probably requires you to have full coverage insurance. Each lender is a little different, so make sure you understand what they’re asking for. If you need help finding a policy that meets your lender’s coverage requirements, you can always call or email Surround Insurance for quotes and expert advice.

This is general information based on questions our customers ask us. It may not be right for your specific situation. You should get some advice from a licensed insurance agent (like us!) before you make a decision on your own insurance.