Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Texas: Do You Need It?

Uninsured motorist coverage might not be a legal requirement in Texas, but driving without it puts you at potential risk on the road.
Written by Mariza Morin
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Updated on Dec 09, 2022
While uninsured motorist coverage isn’t legally required in Texas, it might be worth the additional cost due to the state’s high rate of hit-and-run accidents and the number of uninsured drivers on Texas roads. 
Texas state law requires all drivers to carry a minimum amount of
liability insurance
coverage before getting behind the wheel. This coverage will help pay for damages to other drivers if you cause an accident, but it won’t help cover you or your property. Uninsured motorist insurance helps prevent unexpected out-of-pocket medical costs if you’re involved in a car accident.
, the top-rated insurance comparison app that saves drivers money on
car insurance
is here to guide you through everything you need to know about uninsured motorist coverage in Texas. We’ll look at why you should get this particular coverage, along with how to lower your
Texas car insurance costs
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Do you need uninsured motorist coverage in Texas?

uninsured motorist coverage
is not required by law in Texas, it might be worth your consideration as a precaution on the road for several reasons. According to the
Insurance Information Institute (III)
, approximately 8.3% of all drivers in Texas are uninsured. 
This means that 1 in 13 drivers operate a vehicle without the proper insurance coverage in Texas. Even as the 40th worst state for uninsured drivers, uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage is still recommended in case you get into a car accident with another driver who lacks insurance. 
Uninsured motorist coverage can be an affordable addition to your policy. On average, many Texas drivers look at paying between $50 to $75 per year for this vital coverage. 

How uninsured motorist insurance works in Texas

Minimum auto insurance requirements in the Lone Star State follow a 30/60/25 structure, meaning you must carry the following amounts of coverage:
Compared to the rest of the nation, drivers in Texas tend to pay slightly higher costs on average for car insurance. And while sticking to the bare minimum liability insurance may be cheaper for you in the short term, you could be putting yourself at a big financial risk if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver. 
And to make matters worse, Texas ranks as
the 6th most expensive state for ER visits
with average hospital costs of around $2,318 per visit. Add up all the medical costs and you could face a final price tag that’s well beyond any other driver’s coverage limits as required by
Texas car insurance law
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What’s available

So what are your options for uninsured motorist coverage in Texas? 
UM/UIM insurance coverage available in Texas falls into three categories: 
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI or UM): Covers your medical bills and lost wages (and those of your passengers) after an accident where the uninsured driver is at fault
  • Underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UIMBI or UIM): Covers your medical bills and lost wages (and those of your passengers) after an accident where the driver is at fault and has insurance with insufficient limits
  • Uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD): Covers repair costs to your vehicle or other property after an accident where the uninsured driver is identified and at fault
While you’re not required by Texas law to purchase either UMBI/UIMBI or UMPD, the state does require insurance companies to offer this particular coverage as an added protection for you and your property. If you prefer to waive this coverage, you’ll have to decline it in writing. 

What it covers

Generally, uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage in Texas pays for medical expenses for you and your passengers. But these aren’t the only expenses that will be covered by your policy. You can also expect your UM/UIM insurance coverage to cover: 
  • Future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Funeral costs
Additionally, UMPD will pay for repairs to your vehicle so you can avoid paying out-of-pocket costs to fix your damaged car. However, it will only pay out after confirmation that the at-fault driver does not have insurance. If it is a hit-and-run situation and the at-fault driver isn't identified, this coverage will not be applicable.  This is where having
collision insurance
will come in handy since it pays to repair your vehicle regardless of fault. If you carry collision coverage on your policy, UMPD might be unnecessary
Getting into a car accident is hard enough without also having to worry about how you’re going to cover your medical expenses if you or your passengers suffer a serious injury. Adding UM/UIM coverage to your current car insurance policy is a simple, low-cost way to keep you and the ones you love safe from the economic burden of a major car accident. 

How to make a claim 

After a car accident
, the first thing you should do is exchange information with the other drivers involved, including swapping insurance information. Unless the other driver tells you so, you probably won't know if they have an active insurance policy or not. Don't worry, just contact your insurance provider to file a claim and explain the details of what happened.
The claims adjuster will sort out who is at fault, if they have coverage, and what coverages to access on your policy to ensure your needs are met.
If you or your passengers are injured and take a trip to the hospital, give the medical provider your car insurance information. They will contact your insurer and it will be handled from there. In most cases, your insurance company will make payments directly to the hospital, and if you happen to get a bill in the mail, forward it to your claims adjuster. Texas requires all drivers to carry
personal injury protection (PIP)
unless they sign a waiver declining the coverage.
Medical payments coverage (MedPay)
is also available but optional. Both of these coverages are primary in an accident and will pay out first for you and your passengers, regardless of fault, if you choose to have them. Once these limits are exhausted, your UM/UIM (whichever one is appropriate) will kick in.
If there are any medical expenses not covered when the UM/UIM coverage hits its limit, your health insurance might cover the overages.

Why it’s a good idea to buy uninsured motorist insurance in Texas

While adding uninsured motorist insurance to your current auto insurance policy will cost more than adhering to the minimums set by Texas—it’s still worth it to purchase this coverage to further protect yourself on the road. Here are a couple of reasons why. 
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Texas is #8 in the nation for hit-and-run accidents

UM/UIM coverage not only helps pay for your damages if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver but also if you’re the victim of
a hit-and-run accident
And sadly, Texas has the eighth highest number of fatal hit-and-run accidents in the nation, according to a recent study from the AAA Foundation Traffic Safety. From 2015 to 2016 alone, hit-and-run-related deaths on the road soared by 30%! 
It might go without saying, but if you get hit by a driver who then speeds off without exchanging insurance information, you won’t be able to file a claim with their insurance, which leaves you with the repercussions of being uncovered
That’s why it’s so important to carry UM, PIP, or even collision coverage, as you will not be able to recover any damages from a
Texas hit-and-run accident
without any of these additional coverages. 

Up to one in 13 Texas drivers is uninsured

The Lone Star State has a decent amount of uninsured drivers on the road. While the number of uninsured drivers is not as high as in neighboring states like
New Mexico
, many large urban counties—including
El Paso
, and
Harris County
—all hold the top locations for uninsured drivers in Texas. 
But that doesn’t mean you’re not at risk if you don’t live in one of the state’s larger cities. Out of an abundance of caution, it’s always a good idea to add UM/UIM insurance to your policy.  

How to save on uninsured motorist coverage in Texas

The only reason most drivers don’t purchase uninsured motorist coverage in Texas is due to the added expense. If you’re on a strict budget that’s preventing you from adding UM/UIM coverage to your policy,
is here to help you find the best coverage at the best price. 
Here’s how it works: just download our
trustworthy licensed broker app
and sign-up in less than one minute to unlock several customized quotes from over 55 insurance companies in the nation. You’ll be able to tell right away if you’re overpaying for car insurance in Texas with this speedy service! 
Once you pick a new policy, our team of expert agents will get straight to work switching you over while helping you cancel your old policy. On average, Jerry customers save over $800 a year on car insurance when they make the switch!
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