Third Party Insurance
Third party insurance simply means the insurance of the party who caused the accident. Most drivers in Texas carry minimum limits coverage, called a “30/60” policy. This means that it provides a maximum of $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, but only a maximum of $60,000 in total coverage for bodily injuries if more than one person is injured.
There are, of course, higher limit policies available and some other types of third party insurance policies. Commercial vehicles, for instance, have higher minimum limits and vary under the law. Whatever the policy limits, if they are not enough to compensate for serious injuries or death caused by another driver, your own insurance may come into play.
Your Own Insurance
It is vital that you make sure that you have adequate coverage to protect yourself and your family in a serious accident. Many drivers do not realize that their own insurance may afford protection when injured, even if the injuries are the fault of another person. However, you must request the additional coverage when purchasing your insurance. All insured drivers in the state of Texas have at least the minimum coverage. There is additional coverage you can purchase to protect you and your loved ones:
- PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION – Personal Injury Protection, or “PIP,” is no-fault coverage. This means that you can make a claim against your PIP policy no matter who is at fault in the accident. It provides a minimum of $2,500 in coverage to help with medical bills and lost wages. You can buy higher amounts of PIP coverage, and depending on the wages you might lose if seriously injured and other factors, most should. PIP coverage cost varies by insurance carrier, but is quite reasonable.
- UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED COVERAGE – Also called “UM/UIM,” uninsured/underinsured coverage protects you when injured by the negligence of a driver with no insurance or less insurance than is needed to restore you medically and financially after you are seriously injured or a death occurs. Like Personal Injury Protection, UM/UIM may be purchased in increments up to the value of your liability coverage. So if you have a “20/40/15” policy you may purchase up to a 20/40 UM/UIM policy (property damage is not covered by UM/UIM, you need COLLISSION coverage for this). The UM/UIM coverage works two ways:
- It covers losses not covered by the at-fault drivers insurance policy or
- It becomes the coverage for your losses when the at-fault driver is uninsured
UM/UIM coverage, like PIP, is highly affordable and can often save a person or family from financial ruin after a serious accident. We recommend a minimum of $25,000/$50,000 on your UM/UIM policy.
- GAP INSURANCE – GAP insurance does just what the name implies: if your car is totaled in an accident (no matter who is at fault), it covers any gap between what the insurance company pays for the car and what may be owed on it. If your car is financed, you should have gap coverage. Contact your insurance agent or finance company about obtaining GAP coverage.