Car owners can expect Texas auto insurance rates to go up as the state government mulls increasing minimum liability requirements. According to insurance experts, there are plans for revising existing provisions regarding insurance liability in the state. Already, insurance providers are gearing up for the next round of changes slated for 2011. Despite the target date still more than a year away, analysts warn that insurers may begin introducing higher rates at a much earlier date.
Before April 1, 2008, the Texas Department of Insurance required car owners to have a minimum insurance liability amount of $20,000 for a single injured individual, $40,000 for injuries sustained in an accident, and $15,000 for property damage. After the most recent change in the requirements, Texans had to contend with $25,000 for single individuals, $50,000 for injuries, and $25,000 for property damage. Policyholders and providers alike criticized the decision, saying that the increase would eventually mean higher insurance rates.
Experts say that the current minimum amounts are set to change once more come January 1, 2011. Industry analysts point out that rising medical and repair costs would most likely result in the state government mandating another round of increase. A single injured person would then require $30,000 in liability limits. Also, injuries sustained by passengers during an accident would call for a $60,000-liability amount. However, insurance liability for property damage would remain at $25,000.
Despite the projected increases, some insurance experts are hopeful that many Texan car owners would get substantial discounts by simply driving safer. According to researchers, studies often suggest that cautious motorists are less likely to have more expensive premiums. Keeping driving records virtually spotless can also earn motorists significant discounts from their providers. In fact, analysts say that policyholders can get up to 20 percent off their premiums if they remain accident-free and avoid traffic tickets or moving violations.
Car owners can also slash their premiums by not filing for insurance claims on a regular basis. Avoiding filing for insurance claims can help convince insurers that a particular driver presents less of a risk than other motorists. Providers often look for the instances wherein car owners file for insurance. Even minor fender benders can severely affect the chances of policyholders getting favorable rates. Some experts would even recommend paying for any minor repairs from the car owners’ own pocket to help keep insurance premiums at a minimum.