Do You Need To Buy An Uninsured Motorists Policy In Texas?

The short answer is yes.

Another driver who was injured when she was crashed into by a pickup truck on I-30 contacted me yesterday, but unfortunately she won’t be able to collect her damages because of this growing problem of restricted driver policies.

They are written by companies like Fred Loya, Afirmative, Old American, Hallmark, United, Sante Fe and other budget companies who insure a lot of high risk drivers.

According to the Dallas Morning News, over one million Texas drivers who have purchased limited auto insurance policies will face increased scrutiny under a new law. It is designed to spotlight these “junk policies” that are limited to single drivers — not the vehicle that might have just hit you but driven by another person.

But don’t hold your breath. The new law won’t help you.

Yes, it requires that liability carriers who sell these “named driver” policies conspicously disclose the limits of the coverage to drivers as well as list the names of covered drivers on insurance ID cards they issue to customers.

But they can still be sold. Even though they are deceptive. But since they are much cheaper, it’s not likely that the buyer is going to care if his brother crashes into you and doesn’t have any insurance, it is?

If you are driving in Texas, you are at great risk of being hit by an uninsured driver.

Approximately one out of every four drivers in Texas is probably not insured.

And so many people have insurance with such horrible companies with inadequate reserves and terrible claims adjusters and attorneys that they might as well be uninsured.

We have to file lawsuits on more and more clear liability/documented injury cases that would be settled by reputable carriers.

How do these drivers get away with this?

Simple. They pay the first month’s payment to get their vehicle inspected and registered, then they stop paying. But they keep the insurance card in their glove compartments.

And noone’s doing much about this serious and well-known problem.

So we Texans are stuck with buying expensive uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage at an annual cost of $1 billion. That’s not fair.

Insurance companies naturally say that the only way for covered drivers to protect themselves from these deadbeats is to buy extra coverage.

Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, got the state’s House of Representatives to pass her bill to crack down on uninsured drivers so we wouldn’t have to. It was killed in the Senate.

At least we have the TexasSure vehicle insurance program as of four years ago. The state is finally sending out notices to drivers it suspects are uninsured, and they are requested to call back to verify that they have a valid insurance policy. Some probably do.

And several cities, including Dallas, have passed laws which require that uninsured vehicles stopped by police or involved in wrecks be towed. That is, if you can prove they are uninsured.

The fine for drivers without insurance is $350 for the first offense and increases to $1,000 and possible suspension of their license on the second offense. Drivers with multiple violations can be arrested. It’s obviously not working.

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