Texas' minimum requirements for car liability insurance are about average compared with other states and may be adequate if you do not have substantial savings or a home to protect. Otherwise, most experts suggest $100,000 in bodily injury liability coverage ($300,000 per accident) and $100,000 in property damage liability coverage as adequate to protect a family's assets.
Comprehensive coverage recommended due to hailstorms. Texas gets more hailstorms than any other state in the country, and only comprehensive coverage will handle hail damage claims.
Fines, fees and surcharges. You'll pay and pay and pay if you rack up moving violations in Texas. First, you'll have to pay the fine for the violation itself. Then, if your driving record accumulates six points or more, you'll have to pay an annual fee of at least $100. (The surcharge for drunken driving can reach $2,500 a year for three years.) And that doesn't even count what your insurance company will do to your rates. Moving violations stay on your Texas motor vehicle record five years.
Texas Car Insurance Laws
Insurance required to register a car: You must provide valid proof of insurance (or another accepted form of financial responsibility) to the county assessor-collector when registering a vehicle in Texas.
Mandatory discount: Texas requires a 5 percent discount when the principal driver on a policy completes a drug and alcohol awareness training class.
Driving without insurance: You may be fined $175 to $300 and you may be required to file an SR-22 form.
Driving without a license: A first-time offense will get you a fine of up to $200. Third-time offenses can bring the penalty to $500 plus jail time of 72 hours to six months. In addition, Texas' Driver Responsibility Program will charge you an additional $100 per year for three years.
Expired registration: You can normally get dismissed if you get your registration renewed within 20 days of receiving the citation. The fines for the offense usually run between $120 and $180 depending on the jurisdiction where you received the ticket.
Expired inspection sticker: Fines for an expired state inspection come out to about $150. You can drop this to a $20 administrative court fee, however, if your inspection was expired for fewer than 60 days and you renew your inspection within 20 days.
No grace period: In Texas, there is no 30-day grace period after buying a car before you have to obtain insurance.
No age restriction for vehicle ownership: In Texas there is no age restriction to own and register a car, but proof of financial responsibility (liability insurance) is required to obtain registration.
Motorcycle helmets: Texas' mandatory motorcycle helmet law was repealed in 1997, but exceptions remain for riders under 21 or those who lack health insurance.
Electronic proof of insurance: Texas is one of 31 states that allow drivers to show proof of insurance during a traffic stop on a smartphone.
More about Texas car insurance:
Can teens put a title in their name in Texas?
What is the threshold for a total loss in Texas?
Does Texas allow for a diminished value claim?
Do you need a Texas driver's license to register and insure a car in Texas?
SR-22 in Texas
Largest car insurance companies in Texas by market share
||Company / Group
||Direct Premiums Written ($)
||Market share (%)
||State Farm Group
||Allstate Insurance Group
||Farmers Insurance Group
||Progressive Insurance Group
||Berkshire Hathaway Insurance
||Texas Farm Bureau Group
||Home State Insurance Group
||Old Amer Capital Group
|Source: A.M. Best market share rankings are based on direct premiums written in 2013.