New Year Means New Car Insurance Law - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

New Year Means New Car Insurance Law

With the new year comes a new car insurance law and it could effect you.  Car insurance minimum coverages have gone up.  It means more protection, but at what cost.

This affectss those who have a minimum coverage policy.  It increases the coverage costs in a few key areas.  These changes are enacted because medical bills have gone up, property damage is more expensive to fix, and it's in hopes that people have to pay less out of their pockets if an accident should happen.

Jim knows a thing or two about accidents, he was in one three years ago.

"Hit me on the side, down the whole side," he said.

Luckily he didn't suffer any injuries, but he does have a few choice words for a car insurance law that will increase the minimum coverage for each person injured in an accident.

"I just don't think it's going to be that much of a difference," he said.

The changes effective last Saturday would increase the minimum coverage in a few key areas. 

Bodily injury coverage for each individual would go up from $25,000 to $30,000.

The total cost per accident would increase a total of $10,000, from $50,000 to $60,000.

Property damage would increase to cover $25,000.

"I've seen people not have high enough limits and have to pay the difference out of their pocket.  This protects them better," said Mark Inman, agent and owner of Mark Inman Insurance Agency.

It's likely those with minimum coverage will never see any money leave their pockets.

"The rates can not change until the renewal of their policy and they still won't change until the company can justify to the state that the rates need to go up," Inman said.

With the cost of health care it doesn't take much to reach those minimums these days.  This law hopes to help change that, and there is a price for the uninsured.

"It's a minimum of $1,000 fine the first offense, $3,000 the second and they can eventually lose their license," said Inman.

Jim hopes another law will makes it's way to the state, one that has stiffer fines against the uninsured.

"There are penalties out there and there are laws in the books, I just don't think they enforce them that much."

Inman says even if your minimum coverage policy handbook doesn't show these changes they are there.  He also says one out of five drivers involved in accidents have no insurance.

Crystal Hall News Channel 6.

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