Texas is an enormous state both in population and size and has a vast interstate and highway system that is great for motorcyclists. It also has some of the biggest cities in the whole of the United States, with three cities currently having over a million residents in each (excluding the metropolitan area which would increase the number), Houston, San Antonio and Dallas, and one of the fastest growing populations of any state so that over the next few years many more will probably join that elite group.
And so considering how you are going to insure your motorcycle by getting some Texas Motorcycle Insurance that suits your needs is vital if you are to stay protected on the roads of Texas.
In this article I will be dipping into Texas’s requirements as they relate to motorcycle insurance, and also considering some of the different options that you can consider when choosing between various policies.
What are the minimum requirements for Texas Motorcycle Insurance?
There are some minimal requirements demanded by the Texas Department of Insurance as to what is required in order to ride your motorcycle on the streets of Texas.
These are as follows:
$20,000 – Bodily injury liability for one person
$40,000 – Bodily injury liability for one accident
$15,000 – Property Damage liability cover
These requirements are often shortened to 20/40/15 cover.
Are the Texas Motorcycle Insurance minimums enough?
There is a very real issue with simply getting these minimum amounts of cover and thinking that you are somehow properly protected. Closer to reality is that you have some level of protection, but that it is fairly minimal and not only does it not cover you for quite a large array of different circumstances, but also it doesn’t even protect you when accidents are particularly severe or involve a lot of participants.
The 20/40/15 cover that is the minimum requirement in Texas for motorcycle insurance is about 20% lower than most other states minimum requirements. Most of them weigh in at 25/50/25, and so even as minimal coverage it is somewhat doubtful whether a basic Texas Motorcycle insurance policy is really going to be enough.
And in practice it is well-worth giving some thought to supplementing the policy both with additional amounts to add to the basic bodily injury liability and also to add to the property damage liability cover.
How much is enough?
This is a difficult question to answer because it does depend not only on what might be ‘ideal’, but also on what type of budget you have, and on the types of cover that you are seeking.
If we look at the basic minimums then consider that some states like Maine have minimums which are 50/100/25, which are five times the Texas minimums for bodily injury cover, and significantly higher for property damage liability cover.
What this means is that you should give careful thought to increasing your cover to at least these levels and preferably higher, because whilst these sound like big numbers, the truth is that medical costs in the United States are very expensive, and if you find yourself in an accident then some of the costs that you would have to meet for hospital stays alone (and not even counting surgical interventions) would make your eyes boggle.
The average hospital stay according to one leading federation of health professionals was $14,427 in 2010, and figures rising well beyond $50,000 were very far from being uncommon. So, if you do find yourself in any kind of serious accident, then the minimums of $20,000 per person could end up seeming very limiting indeed, and the last thing you want is the hospital to ask for your credit card because you have maxed out your insurance cover!
Similarly with property damage liability. Of course many accidents (perhaps most) are relatively minor, and all that needs to be paid for are bent bumpers, or new paintwork etc. And in these cases the minimums may be enough, but if you do get involved in a more serious accident then you need to ask yourself if your cover would really be enough, because it is for these rarer, but not infrequent occasions, when you will be glad that you opted for better cover.
Other types of cover…
There are also other types of cover that you should almost certainly be looking to add on to a basic policy.
These would include:
Comprehensive Texas Motorcycle Insurance cover that would also cover you for theft, vandalism and storm damage which are not included in basic policies.
Theft is particularly a big deal when it comes to big cities like Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, because theft of motorcycles is very common (over 80,000 a year), and also very hard to deal with because most motorcycles once they have been stolen do not get recovered. So if you want to replace your motorcycle then you are left with the unenviable choice of either paying out the money to buy a new one, or not having one at all. If you get decent motorcycle insurance though, then this is not something you would have to deal with as the policy would simply pay out.
You should also look into adding Uninsured Driver cover which would protect you in the event of being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
(You can always find out more technical details about this type of Texas Motorcycle Insurance from the Texas Insurance Departments website here.)
It is also a good idea to talk to the company who covers you for your Texas Auto Insurance or Texas Life Insurance (if you have any) to see if they can do you a preferential rate because you are an existing customer.
Consider your choices carefully before finally deciding on a motorcycle insurance policy as it is a big deal to get one that is right for you. Shop around and get different Texas Motorcycle Insurance Quotes so that you can properly assess what is available and what would be a good fit for your budget and circumstances.