Driving in Other States, Mexico, & Canada
If you’re driving in other states and Canada, you’re likely covered by your insurance. Most insurance companies across the U.S. and Canada have reciprocity agreements with each other.
This means that your Texas insurance company will raise its level of coverage if the other state’s level is higher than Texas’. It also means that the out-of-state driver’s insurer will do the same. But, you should be aware that Mexico doesn’t recognize U.S. policies. In other words, your insurance won’t cover you in Mexico.
An out-of-state driver driving in Texas must have insurance coverage that meets the Texas minimum levels of “financial responsibility” for their car. Transportation Code section 601.072 of the Texas Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act requires all owners and operators of motor vehicles in Texas to carry, as a minimum, the basic “30/60/25”coverage.
This means that all drivers have to have:
- $30,000 dollars for bodily injury to or death of one person in one accident;
- $60,000 dollars for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in one accident; and
- $25,000 dollars for damage to or destruction of property of others in one accident.
Here’s a quote from the Texas Department of Insurance website:
Because of car prices and the high cost of medical care, the minimum amounts might not be enough to pay all of the other driver's costs if you're in an accident. Other drivers could sue you to collect the difference. Consider buying more than the basic limits to protect yourself financially.
Liability insurance doesn't pay to repair or replace your car or to treat your injuries. Other types of coverages such as personal injury protection, uninsured or underinsured motorist, medical payments, collision, and comprehensive - can help you pay for these expenses.
So what happens if you have an accident with an out-of-state driver?
Texas is an at-fault state, which means the at-fault driver is the one whose insurer pays for damages and injuries. If the accident happens in Texas, Texas law is the law that is followed. Tell your insurer and get the out-of-state-driver’s insurer information. You’ll file the claim against the out-of-state-driver’s insurer.
Sometimes, the out-of-state-driver will try to “skip out” on paying up. When this happens, the next step is taking legal action. There are a lot of complex issues in suing an out-of-state-driver. That’s when it’s time to get legal help.