Purchasing auto insurance is an important part of being a responsible citizen in Texas. Insurance is a guarantee that you can afford to pay for any damage that you cause in a motor vehicle accident. Operating a motor vehicle, including a motorcycle, without the required insurance or proof of financial responsibility is against the law. Learn how Texas’ insurance laws work as a motorcyclist.
Texas requires automotive insurance for all motor vehicle drivers. It requires liability insurance, which pays for others’ medical bills and property damage after a collision. All registered vehicle operators must carry at least the minimum required amounts of liability insurance to avoid penalties in Texas. This includes a rider who operates a registered motorcycle. The minimum amounts of insurance required by a motorcyclist in Texas are:
A motorcycle operator has the option of paying extra for additional types of vehicle insurance, as well. If a motorcyclist wishes to have insurance pay for his or her own damage after an accident, for example, the motorcyclist will need to purchase collision and/or comprehensive coverage. Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance is also available to pay for an accident with someone who does not have enough insurance to fully pay for your losses.
Texas is unique in that it allows drivers and motorcyclists to use an alternate type of proof of financial responsibility instead of traditional car insurance. You can meet Texas’ insurance requirements as a motorcyclist with a $55,000 deposit to the county comptroller or county judge, a surety bond with the county clerk with two others who own real property in Texas, or a certificate of self-insurance through the Texas Department of Transportation.
If a law enforcement officer pulls you over on your motorcycle while you are uninsured or underinsured, you could face a traffic ticket and a fine. The officer may also suspend your motorcycle license until you can show proof of insurance or even impound your bike. As an additional penalty, you may also be required to purchase SR-22 insurance for your motorcycle for the next few years, which is more expensive than standard insurance.
Texas is a fault-based car insurance state when it comes to assigning financial responsibility for a traffic accident. This law states that the insurance provider of the individual who caused the crash is responsible for paying for related injuries and losses. If you cause a crash as a motorcyclist in Texas, your auto insurance will pay for the other party’s property damage and medical bills. If the other driver crashed into you, on the other hand, his or her insurance will pay your bills. In a no-fault state, all drivers seek compensation from their own insurance providers, regardless of fault.
If you are involved in a motorcycle collision in Dallas while you are uninsured or underinsured, this can cause issues during the processing of your claim. If you caused or even slightly contributed to the collision, you may be responsible for paying for part of the damage. If you don’t have insurance to cover these costs, you may have to pay out of pocket.
If you did not cause the motorcycle wreck, you can file a claim with the insurance company of the other driver. In this case, your medical expenses and property damage repairs should be covered by the other driver’s insurance. If the other driver does not have enough insurance to pay for all of your losses, however, and you are uninsured, you may have to make up the difference with your own money. If you had insurance, it would provide secondary coverage.
For additional information about insurance coverage after a motorcycle accident in Texas, consult with an attorney in Dallas.