Texas Auto Insurance Change Underscores Value of Higher Coverage

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Drivers in the Lone Star State who are renewing their policies soon will see that the state-set minimum car insurance coverages have risen.

A bill approved by the Texas Legislature in 2007 established a two-step, gradual increase in the amount of car insurance that is legally required of drivers in the state, and as the state’s Department of Insurance (DOI) points out in a new public bulletin, the second and final part of that increase takes place on Jan. 1, 2011. Drivers who want to ensure that they get the additional protection for an affordable rate may want to go online in order to compare auto insurance quotes efficiently.

When the legislature approved the bill in 2007, motorists in the Lone Star State were required to have a policy in place that would provide for at least up to $20,000 in bodily injury liability for each person injured in an accident and up to $40,000 for each accident, as well as $15,000 in property damage liability. (This often gets denoted as 20/40/15.)

The provisions of the bill held that those minimums would be raised to 25/50/25 in April of 2008. And as of Jan. 1, 2011, that minimum will be raised further to 30/60/25.

Source: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/80R/billtext/html/SB00502F.HTM

Although some drivers may be lamenting the new costs that may come as a result of the increase in minimum requirements, the change could benefit them in the long run. Many industry experts point out that most state-set minimums are relatively low, and according to the national Association of Insurance Commissioners, getting extra coverage tacked on to a policy can actually be done for only a small increase in premiums.

The DOI says that legislators who originally approved the increase did so out of concern that the minimums had become outdated and would not be sufficient to cover the costs associated with severe injury or serious property damage.

To begin shopping for coverage in Texas or in any other state, or to learn about state-required minimum levels of coverage, readers can go to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/quotes/ where visitors can use the free quote-comparison generator to see how rates could be affected by an increase in coverage levels.

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Benjamin Zitney
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