Does Insurance Follow the Car or the Driver in Texas? 2024

Texas is home to some of the most sprawling metropolises in the country. In fact, someone in Texas is involved in a car crash just under once every minute, on average. For this reason, it is vital to have your vehicle insured, and doing so is required by law.

There can be, however, some confusion on whether a different driver is still covered under your insurance policy if they are involved in a crash while driving your vehicle. Understanding how Texas insurance laws work is important for ensuring that your vehicle, its drivers, and its passengers are all properly covered and protected.

Obtaining Insurance and Covering Your Vehicle

In most states, including Texas, insurance coverage follows the car, not the driver. When applying for coverage, you will be asked to list any individuals who will be expected to drive the vehicle on a regular basis, such as a spouse, roommate, or child holding a driver’s license. However, any individual with permission to use your car will be covered by your insurance policy regardless of whether they are named.

In Texas, you can obtain the following types of coverage for your vehicle:

  • Liability. This coverage covers damages in collisions that are deemed to be your fault or the fault of the person driving your vehicle. You will choose limit amounts for both bodily injury and property damage coverage. Texas law requires at least $30,000 for injuries, $25,000 for property damage, and a total of $60,000 per accident.
  • Collision. This reimburses the costs to repair or replace your vehicle after an accident.
  • Comprehensive. This coverage protects against damage that does not result from an accident, such as theft, vandalism, natural disasters, or other causes that are not the result of a collision.
  • Personal injury protection. This pays for medical bills for you and your passengers as well as lost wages and other losses incurred by the accident.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured motorist. This coverage is meant to make up the difference for any damages resulting from an accident that are not covered by the other driver’s insurance. If their policy only covers the minimum $30,000 for personal injuries but your medical bills exceed this amount, for example, then this coverage would kick in to fill in the gap.
  • Additional coverage. Your insurance company may offer additional coverage options, such as glass, towing, additional missed labor coverage, or rental car reimbursement. While not required, many of these additional coverage options are a good idea to have.

What to Do When Someone Else Driving Your Car Is in an Accident

If your vehicle is involved in an auto accident, the following steps are necessary and important regardless of who was driving:

  • Assess your situation. First, make sure everyone in the vehicle is okay, checking yourself and all occupants for injuries. If possible, move the vehicle to a safe location. Then, notify authorities of the accident by calling 911. Seek medical attention, if necessary.
  • Document everything. Next, if you are physically able, take photos of the scene of the accident, including both vehicles from all angles, street signs and other location identifiers, or any marks in the road from tires. Take note of the names of all parties involved from both vehicles, gather witness accounts, and take note of license and insurance information.
  • Contact your lawyer. After leaving the scene of the accident, the remaining steps will involve dealing with insurance companies and potential legal action against the at-fault party. It is strongly recommended that you speak with an experienced attorney, as they can walk you through the process, help you gather proper evidence and documents, and negotiate on your behalf for a full and proper settlement amount.

In short, if someone else was driving your car at the time of an accident, you will follow the same steps as if it were you driving.


Q: Does Car Insurance Cover Someone Else Driving in Texas?

A: In Texas, any individual who drives your car with permission is automatically covered by your insurance policy. This includes family, members of your household, or any individual with permission to drive your vehicle. Some rare exceptions to this rule exist, as some insurance companies specifically craft their policy to only cover named drivers. These are typically low-rate coverages, and Texas law has been adjusting in the last decade in an attempt to eliminate this type of coverage.

Q: What Happens If Someone Who Isn’t on Your Insurance Crashes Your Car in Texas?

A: If someone who isn’t on your insurance crashes your car, Texas law stipulates that they will be subject to the same laws and policies as you would be had you been the driver at the time of the accident. This means that, depending on fault, they will either owe for damages incurred from the accident or be owed restitution for any personal injuries or property damage sustained. You should proceed with all recommended and necessary steps following the accident.

Q: What Happens If Someone Else Is Driving My Car and Gets Into an Accident in Texas?

A: Texas is a “permissive driver” state. This means that, if someone else who is not you is driving your car and gets into an accident, they are covered by your insurance policy. This is true for any individual, regardless of whether they are listed on your policy, so long as they have permission to drive your vehicle. If someone else was driving your vehicle and is involved in an accident, speak with an attorney right away.

Q: Does the Car Have to Be in the Same Name as the Insurance in Texas?

A: In Texas, the name of the insured on a policy does not need to match the name on the title of the vehicle being insured. Insurance will follow the car rather than the individual. Any individual can apply for car insurance without being required to own a vehicle at all. Likewise, a car covered by an insurance policy will be valid for any driver who has permission to drive the vehicle, including family or friends of the insured.

Contact Stevenson & Murray

If someone driving your vehicle is involved in an accident, reach out to a member of our team right away. The attorneys at Stevenson & Murray can help walk you through all the necessary steps to ensure that the rights of the driver and all your vehicle’s passengers are protected. Contact us today.

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