Uninsured Motorists

Does Texas Require You To Have Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage?

While Texas requires that uninsured motorist coverage be offered on each policy, Texas also permits you to reject the coverage. This means that your agent must automatically include uninsured motorist coverage on your policy, but you can opt out of the coverage by signing a statement declining the coverage.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage Protects You As a Victim of a Hit and Run Accident

Eligibility for uninsured motorist benefits depends on whether you, or the vehicle you occupy, carries uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist benefits are available when the responsible third party in an auto collision has no insurance, or when an unknown hit-and-run driver flees the scene of the accident. However, to constitute a hit-and-run accident under Texas law, the fleeing vehicle must have made physical contact with your vehicle. Whether physical contact actually occurred can be a source of argument, requiring the client to hire an experienced lawyer which knows how to present the evidence with the use of proper experts.

Policies for uninsured motorists usually have one of the following coverages: 30/60, 50/100, or 100/300. The amount of uninsured benefits depends upon the amount of coverage selected by the policyholder. Having a 30/60 policy means that the insurance company will pay a maximum of $30,000 per person, and a maximum of $60,000 per accident.

To provide an example of this, let’s imagine that Curly is riding in Larry’s car and Curly is injured by John Doe who has no insurance. Let’s suppose Curly has medical bills of $48,000 and that Larry has uninsured motorist coverage of 30/60 on his vehicle. Because John Doe had no insurance, Larry’s insurance will likely pay Curly the policy limits of $30,000. Curly may then be required to sign over all of his rights from the auto accident to Larry’s insurance company which may then pursue John Doe to recover the money paid to Curly.

Can I Stack The Benefits?

What if the vehicle I occupy has uninsured motorist coverage, but I, as a passenger, also have uninsured motorist coverage on my own policy? Can I stack the benefits?

What does it mean to “stack” the benefits? To “stack” benefits means to collect benefits from more than one policy on a particular claim. In Texas, you are allowed to stack uninsured motorist benefits. This means that if Curly had his own uninsured motorist coverage of 30/60, then Curly, as the passenger, could stack the benefits, providing for $60,000 in total coverage on the two combined uninsured motorist policies.

Don’t Delay! Call Us Now Before Time Runs Out!

If you have sustained injuries because of an accident and the responsible person did not have any insurance, or if the liable driver fled the scene without providing any information, then you may be entitled to collect uninsured motorist benefits. Contact the Houston law firm of Joel A. Gordon & Associates for a free consultation and to discuss how our attorneys may assist you in your claims.