The Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Law in Texas

Personal Injury LawWhen you are hurt in motor vehicle accident, one of your first responses is to gather information from the at-fault driver about automobile insurance coverage. But what are your options if the other driver either doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your losses, or perhaps has no insurance at all? Statistics show that as many as one of every five drivers on the road in Texas don’t have a valid policy of insurance.

The Texas legislature, aware of the high number of people operating motor vehicles without insurance, has required that any automobile insurer doing business in the Lone Star State offer uninsured/underinsured (also known as UM/UIM) coverage as a standard part of a personal automobile insurance policy in Texas. Under the law, limits of coverage are set at a minimum, which is now $20,000/$40,000/$15,000. A policyholder may increase coverage amounts for an additional premium.

Such a rider would pay up to $20,000 to a specific person and a total of $40,000 for all injured persons and a maximum of $15,000 for all property damage. The bodily injury portion is specifically intended to compensate or reimburse injured persons without deductibles. It provides broad coverage, compensating victims for past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, permanent scarring and disfigurement, lost wages or earning capacity and even funeral expenses. The property damage component will reimburse the costs of repair of a vehicle, up to the fair market value of the automobile.
It’s important to understand that the Texas UM/UIM laws will provide coverage if you are injured by a hit-and-run driver. The statute specifically defines “uninsured motorist” to include “unidentified motorist.” The only requirement, under the law, is that the injured party report the accident to police in a timely manner.

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