If you’re a driver in the Lone Star state, this resource was designed with you in mind. We’ve researched Texas auto insurance requirements, coverage options, cheapest companies, and more–to provide you the inside scoop. We looked into the cheapest auto rates and company reputations to see what the best options are.
Every driver is different. Some just want the minimum coverage policy limits at the cheapest price. Other drivers want peace of mind and coverage that will take care of them after an accident, but they don’t want to spend more than necessary. Whatever your situation, there are options in the Lone Star state.
What Are Texas’ Car Insurance Requirements?
The law is the law. If you get into an accident or are pulled over, you have to be insured for the following, at minimum, or you can find yourself in a lot of trouble. Texas holds drivers to minimum liability limits as follows:
- $30,000 for each injured person
- $60,000 for injuries per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
These liability limits are only meant to cover the other party if you’re at fault in an accident. It does not cover your injuries or property damage. If you were at fault in an accident, you’d have to cover all your own medical and repair bills. Unfortunately, many people cannot afford this large a financial burden at one time.
Unfortunately, this is compounded by the fact that other drivers can still sue you if their damages exceed your liability limits.
What Coverage Can You Add on to Protect Yourself after An Accident?
Rarely is the bare minimum coverage enough. The following additional coverages are popular among Texas drivers, providing peace of mind and added financial support if you find yourself in a number of situations not covered by the state minimums.
Collision Coverage – As the name suggests, collision coverage kicks in to cover your auto property damage.
Comprehensive Coverage –Don’t end up paying for the damage yourself if you hit an animal, have storm damage, or fall victim to a vandal. This insurance can help pay for all of that.
Uninsured/underinsured Motorist Coverage – People driving around without insurance are ticking time bombs. If one hits you, expect to pay for it out of your own pocket if you don’t have this insurance.
Personal Injury Protection – Some people assume their health insurance will cover any medical bills. Unfortunately, health insurance companies often exclude auto accident related injuries. Even if you just don’t want to pay a high deductible, amounts as small as $10,000 can go a long way to make your life a little easier after an accident.
Towing and Labor Coverage – Whether you need a tow or help getting gas or changing to your spare, towing coverage costs just a few dollars per renewal period. Some insurance companies include it automatically with collision coverage.
Why Does Proof of Insurance Matter in Texas?
Proving you’re insured is just as important as making sure you are. While you will get an insurance card from your auto insurance provider when you get a policy, Texas government agencies verify proof of insurance electronically through the TexasSure program. The goal of it is to try and reduce the number of uninsured drivers in Texas since it’s estimated that law-abiding Texas motorist end up paying close to $1 billion in extra costs in insurance premiums every year to help protect themselves against the millions of under and uninsured drivers. The following agencies use TexasSure:
- The Texas Department of Public Safety
- Police and sheriff departments
- Vehicle registration offices
The TexasSure program can detect issues with your car insurance information and may prompt you to receive one of the following notices:
Unmatched notices- You will receive this notice if you are recorded as having car insurance but the insurance doesn’t match with your car.
Uninsured notices- You may receive this notice if you have registered a vehicle with no record of insurance for the car.
What Happens If You Get Caught without Insurance?
If you get caught driving without car insurance, you can face the following fines and penalties:
- You’ll pay $175 – $350 in fines for the first offense
- You’ll pay $350 – $1,000 in fines for additional offenses
- Your driver’s license could be suspended
- Your car could be impounded
Obey the law and you won’t have to worry about this.
How Are Auto Policies Rates Calculated?
What an insurance company quotes you is based on a number of factors that help them determine your risk level. While many of the same variables are used from one company to another, companies can place more of an emphasis on certain ones. For example, one insurance company may see a PhD student as a lower risk then a student who only has a G.E.D. The second company may not use a drivers education level at all when providing quotes. That’s why insurance rates can vary so drastically for the exact same driver. Here are the most common factors that go into determining your rates:
- Driving/claims record
- Make and model of car
- Credit score
- How car is used
What Kind of Car Insurance Discounts Are Available in Texas?
See if you qualify for the following popular discounts when shopping for car insurance:
- Safe Driver
- Claims Free
Additionally, the state also offers drivers ways to save. By completing a state-approved drug and alcohol driving awareness course, you will pay lower rates. If you are required to take this course as punishment for a DUI, you won’t be able to get the discount.
What Do Texans Pay for Auto Insurance?
Our research shows that Texas drivers on average pay $1,211 a year in insurance making it the 12th most affordable state. Here are the companies we found that provided the cheapest quotes:
|Average Annual Rates|
|Auto Club Enterprises Insurance||$703.33|
|Texas Farm Bureau Mutual||$775.61|
Insurance rates are unique to you, so it’s important to know how much drivers like you are paying. Here is our full analysis of the costs of car insurance in Texas.
Have you been deemed a high-risk driver and rejected by two insurance companies in the last 60 days? You can apply for insurance with the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association (TAIPA) if that happens. To do so, you must:
- Pay the full annual premium up-front or,
- Put down 20% of the policy or $40 (whichever is more), and pay eight installments throughout the year
After three years of a spotless driving record, you can probably get back on the horse and apply for insurance with another company. It might even be cheaper by that point, too.
Texas’s Most Commonly Stolen Cars
Ever heard of the expression, one bad apple ruins the bunch? It’s those rotten thieves in this case who love stealing certain cars. Since specific cars get swiped more than others, you’ll probably pay for it in higher insurance premiums. Here are the ones that go missing the most*:
- Ford Pickup (Full Size)
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
- Honda Accord
- Honda Civic
- GMC Pickup (Full Size)
- Chevrolet Tahoe
- Toyota Camry
- Chevrolet Impala
- Ford Explorer
*According to www.nicb.org
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