In an age when a few clicks are all it takes to get an insurance quote, you’d think that finding cheap auto insurance in Texas would be simple. Unfortunately, each company takes a different approach to calculating premiums, so the quotes you get from one provider could be substantially different from another.
To help you find the best deal, our team crunched the numbers from nine insurers to identify the most affordable rates for these four driver categories:
Best Rates For Drivers With No Recent Accidents
If you haven’t caused a collision in recent years, your insurance carrier may classify you as a safe driver. In effect, you should pay less for car insurance than someone who doesn’t have a spotless record. In our study, State Farm stood out as the company with the best car insurance rates for safe drivers in Texas.
Best Rates For Teen Drivers
If you’re searching for cheap car insurance for teenagers in Texas, you might find the task to be more challenging than you expected. That’s because teens are more of a liability to insurers due to their inexperience.
Allstate stood out in our study as the best option for finding low cost auto insurance for teens in Texas. The driver in our test was 18 years old and had never caused a collision.
Best SR22 Insurance Rates For Drivers With A DWI Or DUI
If you were convicted of DWI or DUI, you should expect to pay more for car insurance. But that doesn’t mean you should struggle to afford your monthly premiums.
If you think you’re overpaying, you may be able to find cheap SR22 car insurance quotes from Esurance and State Farm. The driver in our study had one DUI conviction with a blood alcohol content of 0.08.
Best Rates For Senior Drivers
We compared car insurance quotes for senior drivers age 65 who traveled 4,000 miles per year. Seniors tend to drive less than young adults, so they often pay lower car insurance premiums.
The results of most segments of our study are based on estimated premiums for a 29-year-old motorist who drove a Toyota Corolla model year 2014. The default annual mileage was 12,000. We averaged the rates for males and females from five zip codes to estimate the monthly insurance rates. Our team used the minimum insurance requirements in Texas to estimate the monthly premiums in the “teen driver” segment of our study. But for all other driver categories, the liability limits were 50/100/25 and we used the same limits for uninsured motorist coverage.
What Is The Minimum Required Car Insurance Liability Coverage In Texas?
In Texas, drivers are required by law to purchase car insurance that meets the following minimum liability limits:
- $30,000 For Bodily Injury To One Person
- $60,000 For Bodily Injuries Per Wreck
- $25,000 For Property Damage
Texas Car Insurance FAQs
What Are The Penalties For Driving Without Car Insurance In Texas?
The penalties for driving without auto insurance in Texas depend on whether it is your first or subsequent offense. For a first offense, the penalties include a fine of $175 to $350. You will also have to pay an annual surcharge in the amount of $250 per year for the next three years, which means the total cost of a first offense is $925 to $1,100. If police catch you driving without insurance a second or subsequent time, your fine with jump to $350 to $1,000. The annual surcharge will still be $250 per year for three years.
How Can I Get My Car Insurance Premiums Reduced In Texas?
Nobody wants to overpay for car insurance, but many people are missing easy opportunities to get their premiums reduced. Before we break down the most effective ways to do so, it’s important that you’re familiar with the main factors that determine your monthly insurance rates, which include:
- Your accident history;
- Recent traffic citations you’ve received;
- Whether you’ve been convicted of driving under the influence;
- Your age and the age at which you received your driver’s license;
- Where you live and intend to drive;
- The car you’re getting insured;
- Your mileage each year; and
- Whether you’ll be driving the car for business, pleasure, or to commute.
Now you need to identify ways to prove to your insurance carrier that your car insurance rates should be reduced. The following strategies are often effective:
- Avoid accidents for several consecutive years;
- Never break traffic laws;
- Never drive while impaired;
- Buy a car that is inexpensive to insure; and
- Lower your annual mileage by spending less time on the road.
Of course, you may also be able to cut your rates by changing to a different insurance company. Each insurer takes a different approach to calculating monthly premiums, so even if your current provider was your cheapest option a few years ago, that may not necessarily be true today.
Can My Texas Car Insurance Provider Increase My Premiums If Someone Else Causes A Collision?
Yes. Your car insurance company can and most likely will increase your insurance rates after a collision even if you were found not to be at fault. This is because it is common for more than one driver to be at least partially liable for a crash, so your insurer might see you as a greater risk.
When Could My Auto Insurance Company Increase My Premiums?
There are several reasons why your auto insurance provider might increase your premiums. Ultimately, the cost of your insurance depends on the probability that you’ll file a claim. So it should be no surprise that your rates may increase if:
- You were involved in a recent crash;
- You were convicted of DUI;
- You were cited for a major traffic violation;
- You purchased a vehicle that has a high claim rate;
- You moved to a new residence; or
- You added another driver to your policy.
What Should I Do After An Accident In Texas?
After any accident, your top priority is to seek medical attention for yourself and anyone else who was injured. Contact the police and, if necessary, request emergency medical assistance. If you are physically able, take photos of the crash scene to document any injuries, property damage, skid marks, traffic signs, and the weather. You should also exchange contact and insurance information with all drivers involved, and be sure to record the full names, email addresses, and phone numbers of eyewitnesses. You should also notify your insurance company as soon as possible.
4 Tips To Give Your Car Insurance Claim The Best Chance Of Success
If you file a car insurance claim, it is important that you have proof to show who caused the crash and why the damage should be covered by your insurance carrier. Here are a few tips to improve your claim’s chance of success:
- Be honest with your insurance carrier;
- Take photos of the crash scene;
- Get a copy of the accident report to show your insurance company; and
- Write down the contact information of eyewitnesses to help with your insurance company’s investigation.
Texas Drunk Driving Laws
If you get behind the wheel under the influence, Texas’ strict penalties will sober you up in seconds. The Lone Star state pulls no punches when prosecuting people caught driving while intoxicated (DWI), strapping drunken drivers with jail time, fines, and license suspensions.
The blood alcohol limit in Texas is 0.08% for drivers over the age of 21. To put it simply, most people would be considered over the limit after knocking back a whole glass of wine or a shot of hard liquor. If you are under the age of 21, you could be penalized if tests pick up any detectable proportion of alcohol in your system.
Here are the penalties for driving while intoxicated in Texas:
Between 72 hours to 6 months behind bars;
Up to $2,000 in fines; and
License suspended for up to a year.
Between 30 days or 12 months in prison;
Up to $4,000 in fines;
License suspended for up to 2 years; and
Ignition Interlock Device installed in vehicle for 1 year.
Up to 10 years in jail;
Between $2,000 and $10,000 in fines;
2-year license suspension; and
Ignition Interlock Device installed in vehicle for 1 year.
Texas Child Safety Seat Laws
Children’s bones and muscles are still developing. Even minor crash forces can cause damage that may never heal. As a result, Texan authorities have implemented numerous important safety provisions to ensure kids are protected in a collision.
Kids under 1 year old or weighing less than 35 pounds must be buckled in a rear-facing child safety seat fixed to the rear seats of your vehicle. Kids under the age of 4 and weighing between 20 to 40 pounds can make use of a front-facing seat, but it’s best to seat your child in a rear-facing unit as long as he or she is still within the manufacturer’s prescribed height and weight limits.
Children under 5 are still required to use a safety seat while on the road. However, if your child is more than 36 inches tall, your little one can be buckled into a booster seat instead. In Texas, children must always be seated in a booster seat on the road until they are at least 5 feet tall.
Texas Texting and Driving Laws
Until 2017, Texan drivers were given carte blanche to use their phones any time while driving. But a new law has closed the tap on tarmac texting, prohibiting drivers in the state from shooting off or reading texts, emails, or chat messages while they are behind the wheel. If you’re caught violating this new rule, you could be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $200. However, drivers can still use their phones to play music, report crimes, follow a GPS, call emergency services, and make calls as long as they are using a hands-free kit.
Texas Car Insurance Terminology
Do you speak insurance? While providers have developed their own comprehensive lexicon in an effort to simplify the elements of your policy, this dictionary of new jargon can still be difficult to understand. Use our glossary of common Texas car insurance terminology to demystify the language around purchasing coverage in the state:
Collision Coverage: A common add-on to your basic policy, collision coverage is your safety net in the event of a crash with any object or another vehicle. This can include, but isn’t limited to, accidents involving walls, other motorists, fire hydrants, or potholes.
Declarations Page: The first page of your printed policy document is a concise summary of the particulars of your coverage. Often this will include your personal details, your coverage amount, the model and make of your vehicle, your rate, and any other important information about your auto insurance. Our advice: Keep a copy of this page in your car at all times.
Deductible: Calculating the perfect deductible is an artform few have taken the time to master. Your deductible is the amount of money you will have to fork over to cover the cost of repairs and treatment for damage and injuries sustained in a crash before your coverage kicks in. A high deductible will help reduce your rate but will put you at risk of severe financial loss in a crash. A low deductible will ensure you have the funds to cover damages but will increase your premiums.
Third Party: A third party is anyone other than yourself (or your insurer) listed as part of your policy. This may include other people in your household such as members of your family or anyone else who is covered as either a driver or passenger when using the insured vehicle.