Most Texas drivers understand that to drive legally in Texas they must provide proof they carry the state required minimum auto liability limits. These limits are $30,000 /$60,000/ $25,000, to read more about policy limits and what they mean click here. While these are relatively low limits, some drivers may not want to give their money to the insurance companies.
While carrying an auto insurance policy is the most recommended and standard way to meet the legal responsibility in Texas, there are a few other ways to show your responsibility and ability to pay for at-fault accidents. Each of those ways requires proof in the form of a Financial Responsibility Certification from the Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Alternatives to a Traditional Auto Policy
Deposit of Cash/Security with the Comptroller: of the four this is the most common alternative. It requires drivers to set aside $55,000 in either cash or a personal certificate of deposit (CD) with the Texas Comptroller. Reach out to DPS for an application, then send the money or security along with all the necessary paperwork to the Comptroller. The DPS will issue a Financial Responsibility Certification after the Comptroller verifies the deposit. If an accident occurs, you and the other driver have to settle the payment amount. Once the amount is agreed upon, it gets deducted from the $55,000 that was set aside. If you can’t agree to an amount, you must settle it in court.
Surety Bond: for this method to be accepted, you must find any two people to insure you. This is accomplished through a surety bond that is issued for the same minimum limits as required by the state. The bond then serves as a guarantee that the other two individuals will pay for the damage you cause in an at-fault accident and can’t reimburse the other party for the injuries or damage. The other two individuals will have to provide a list of their real properties in Texas, get the County Tax Assessor-Collector to certify there are no tax liens, plus get a DPS judge’s approval for the surety bond collateral. The DPS will issue you the certificate after all required documents have been received.
Ask Your County Judge to Accept a Deposit of Cash or Cashier’s Check: According to the DPS, this option is the least accessible because the likelihood a county judge will accept this type of deposit is low. First, you must do your research to find the judge of the county of registration for your vehicle, and then you must ask if they will accept a $55,000 deposit in the form of either cash or a cashier’s check. If he agrees, then he will inform the DPS, and they will issue your financial certification.
Certificate of Self-Insurance: while the law allows for individuals to self-insure, in reality, it is only permitted for companies. A company that owns and has 26 or more cars registered in their name may apply to self-insure all of its vehicles, as opposed to buying a commercial auto policy. The key to a certificate or self-insurance is to produce an audited financial statement showing the business has more than $255,000 of monthly net assets. Other records may be required, such as past claims history and any existing claims procedures as a self-insurer, as well as an agreement that it will pay up to $85,000 per accident. These certificates must be renewed every three years to remain valid.
Exciting News for Texas Drivers
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of these other methods and would rather stick to regular ol’ insurance, Progressive Insurance is offering Texas drivers all-new incentives to lower their insurance premiums. Some ways you can save with Progressive Insurance are:
- Own or rent a home? Bundling them with your auto can offer significant savings.
- Don’t have to switch right away? Purchasing a policy with a future date will give you additional savings.
- Save the environment, go paperless and save!
- Be sure to ask about Progressive’s Snapshot program! The Snapshot program personalizes your rate based on your actual driving. The safer you drive, the more competitive your rate.
Start your online quote today and see how we can help you with your auto insurance.