San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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March 28th, 2008
Minimum auto liability insurance to increase

By Amanda Oskey

Texas Drivers will soon be required to carry a higher amount of liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage.

Currently, drivers are required to carry $20,000 for each person injured in the accident, up to a total of $40,000 for everyone injured in the accident, and $15,000 for property damage per accident.

As of April 1st, that will change to $25,000 for each person injured, up to a total of$50,000 for everyone injured, and $25,000 for property damage.

Texas State Low Cost Insurance agent Teri Tristan said the liability increases will actually help drivers in the event of an accident.

“The current limit doesn’t carry enough coverage. If the accident involves multiple or expensive vehicles, everything above $40,000 for total injury and $15,000 for property damage comes out of pocket,” said Tristan.

In 2007, the Texas Legislature amended the current financial responsibility law to increase the auto liability limits. The decision was based on concerns the limits weren’t enough to cover the costs of accidents resulting in serious injury and major property damage.

The Texas Department of Insurance said the limits will increase again on Jan. 1, 2011, to $30,000 of coverage for each person injured, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.

Drivers who carry minimum liability will begin to notice the new limits as policies are renewed, and do not need to take action unless contacted by their insurance provider. The increases will be automatically reflected on the next premium.

“It depends on the insurance company, the driving record, customer status, really any number of things will decide the amount of increase,” said Tristan.

There are penalties for violating the state financial responsibility law. A first conviction will result in a fine up to $350. Multiple convictions could result in fines up to $1,000 or the suspension of your driver’s license.

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