Texas is well-known for its motorcycle culture. With many different terrains and long stretches of open roads, it’s a fantastic place to bring your bike. But before you take to the road, you need to know the state motorcycle laws.
Understanding these laws keeps you safe on the road. Besides, you won’t have to worry about legal issues and fines anymore.
Here’s everything you need to know about motorcycle insurance to legally and safely ride your bike in Texas.
What's Needed To Get a Motorcycle License In Texas
In Texas, you need to have a license to operate your motorcycle. To get your Class M license, you must take a motorcycle safety course approved by the Department of Public Safety(DPS). Before enrolling for a course, you must provide proof of:
- Social security number
- Pass a vision exam
- Pass the motorcycle knowledge test
- US citizenship, Texas identity, and residency
- Motorcycle insurance
- Pass a road test
Note that this license course is only valid for 24 months, so ensure you apply for your license before that period elapses. Otherwise, you’ll have to retake the motorcycle insurance course. If you have a legal motorcycle license from another state, you don’t need to take the safety course.
If you’re under 18 years and have a regular driver’s license, the state requires you to take a motorcycle road test. Are you getting back to riding your bike after some time away? Consider taking an Intermediate Motorcycle Operator Training Course.
Besides making you a safer rider, this course can even lower your insurance rates. And it will only take you a day to complete it.
Keep in mind that passengers can only ride on bikes specially designed for them. Therefore, if you’re planning to carry passengers, ensure your motorcycle has footrests, handholds, and a fixed seat.
- What type of motorcycle insurance should I get?
- How to make motorcycle insurance cheaper
- How does motorcycle insurance work?
- Average motorcycle insurance cost
Motorcycle Insurance Requirements In Texas
Texas has minimal insurance requirements, and you can quickly get by with a cheap policy. However, you’ll be putting yourself at risk. Although raising limits and adding coverage will cost you more, it can save you from a tragic loss, especially if you get into a severe accident. In Texas, the minimum for insurance coverage is 30/60/25.
So, you must obtain liability insurance that covers:
- $30,000 for bodily damage per person
- $60,000 for physical harm per accident
- $25,000 in property damage
Remember, this is just the minimum amount of cover you need to ride in Texas legally. To cover all the expenses you could incur from a collision, you may need more.
Related Content: Do you need motorcycle insurance?
Penalties of Riding Your Bike Without Insurance
The first time you ride without motorcycle insurance and get pulled over, you’ll be cited and fined around $175-$350. You’ll also have to pay a $250 annual surcharge for the next three years. Remember, even if you have auto insurance, you still need to apply and obtain insurance for your motorcycle.
If the authorities catch you without insurance for the second time, you’ll have to pay fines of about $350-$1,000. And just like the first time, you’ll also pay a $250 annual surcharge for three years consecutively. In total, you’ll spend like $1,750.
Aside from facing fines, lacking an insurance policy could result in your motorcycle being impounded and suspension of your riding privileges. In case of an accident where you’re responsible for a collision that led to severe injuries and property damage, you may spend one year in jail and pay a fine of up to $4,000. What’s more, you’ll be 100% liable for all the damages and injuries resulting from the accident.
If your license is suspended because of lacking the minimum liability insurance, the suspension may be lifted if you show proof of current liability coverage. Additionally, you must pay the reinstatement fees ranging from $175 to $350.
Along with carrying proper motorcycle insurance in Texas, it’s vital to know that the state needs any rider below the age of 21 to wear a helmet. So, always ensure you pay attention to the motorcycle safety course and stay updated with Texas motorcycle rules.
Additional Insurance Coverage For Motorcyclists
Since liability insurance only covers third-party damage, it’s wise to invest in additional insurance coverage. Besides, you need insurance to help you pay for your property, medical, or personal expenses after an accident. Extending your coverage ensures that you receive payment to help cover your bills irrespective of whether you caused the accident or not.
Additional coverage includes:
Uninsured/Underinsured Protection: If you’re involved in an accident with a rider whose insurance is too low to pay for your damages or who doesn’t have coverage, this insurance will help you out.
Comprehensive Coverage: You can use this coverage to pay for other losses from theft, weather, or wreckage.
Personal Injury Protection(PIP): Personal Injury Protection covers the expenses of injuries for both you and your passengers. And if you’re injured to the extent that you can’t go to work, you’ll be glad to know that PIP also covers lost wages.
Collision Coverage: Collision coverage can aid you in fixing your motorcycle if you cause an accident. Unlike other policies, collision insurance, also known as Full Coverage, requires that you first pay a deductible before it kicks in and repairs your bike.
It’s a good idea to talk to your agent before choosing particular motorcycle or car insurance types for your needs. Here, it’s best to consider the customer service of your provider and the available policies.
Getting the Correct Type of Motorcycle Insurance For Your Needs
Generally, the insurance coverage requirements in Texas are pretty straightforward. You must have insurance to ride your bike or any other moving vehicle. Although liability insurance can cover you from a legal standpoint, you’ll be better off with additional coverage to protect your motorcycle, passengers, and, most importantly, yourself.
Motorcycle insurance premiums are based on numerous factors. This means comparison shopping is crucial if you want the best coverage at reasonable rates. Speaking with your insurance agent and comparing the customer service of various providers are other essential ways of getting the best kind of insurance in Texas for your needs.