Texas requires all drivers to carry proof that they can cover the costs of any accident they might cause while behind the wheel. This means all drivers are required to carry auto insurance. In theory, this means if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else, you can rely on their insurance carrier to pay for your damages, including property damage and medical expenses.
That’s the theory, anyway.
In practice, things don’t always work as smoothly as they should. One common problem involves uninsured or underinsured drivers.
What does it mean to be uninsured or underinsured?
Despite what the law requires, many Texas drivers are uninsured. Others carry insurance policies that will pay only to a limited amount. If one of these drivers causes an accident that injures someone else, the injured person cannot rely on the driver’s insurance company to cover their medical bills.
You may be reading this and thinking, “Well, my health insurance will cover it if the driver’s auto insurance can’t.” This may be true if you’re lucky, but many of us are not so lucky. Health insurance policies often have limits, and they won’t pay for property damage costs, such as the expense of buying a new car.
This problem can be especially difficult in cases involving serious, permanent injuries. Many health insurance policies will not cover the costs of long-term care, which can be extremely expensive for people who have been seriously injured in car accidents.
What can I do about it?
The best way to protect yourself from this problem is by carrying uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This can help you pay costs that are not covered by the other driver’s insurance. It can also be important if you should ever be injured by a hit-and-run driver.
It’s important to note that even if you are carrying all the insurance you could possibly need, you may run into a disagreement with your insurance provider. In this situation, it can be a good idea to seek out advice from professionals with experience in insurance law who can tell you about your rights.