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Texas

Texas Car Insurance

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Here you will find out everything you need to know to buy car insurance in Texas. We explain Texas car insurance laws and provide average Texas auto insurance rates for your neighborhood, gender and age. You’ll also learn how much your rates will go up if you get a ticket or get into an accident, and why you may want to buy optional coverages. That means you’ll know what to expect when shopping for auto insurance in Texas.

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Requirements
Cheapest rates
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If you want to compare car insurance quotes, use our tool. Enter a ZIP code to see the average premium for the location. You will also see the highest and lowest rates from the six major carriers surveyed. This way you can tell if your quotes are too high and if you should keep shopping for a lower rate.

Texas Car Insurance

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Texas car insurance minimum requirements

When buying liability insurance, you can go with the state-mandated minimum or choose higher limits. Texas state law requires the following minimum car insurance coverage, often written as 30/60/25:

  • Minimum bodily injury liability: $30,000 to pay for injuries others receive in an accident caused by you or other drivers listed on your policy, for a total of up to $60,000 per accident. That means for each accident you will have $60,000 to divide between all the injured people with no one person having to pay more than $30,000 for his or her injuries.
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 to cover damage to others’ cars or property.

Cheap car insurance in Texas

If you just buy the state minimum liability insurance, here is what it will cost you, on average, broken down by age and gender:

Age

Rate for women

Rate for men

18

$1,568

$1.836

19

$1,295

$1,505

20

$953

$1,100

21

$746

$850

22

$692

$786

23

$645

$732

24

$617

$678

25

$566

$562

35

$508

$495

45

$495

$488

55

$447

$449

65

$496

$500

75

$628

$680

85

$763

$855

Average rate for all ages

$744

$822

*The table shows the average annual rate of 10 ZIP codes in the state from the following carriers, in no particular order: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.

 

Why full coverage offers the most protection

The best car insurance in Texas may not be the cheapest. Bare-bones coverage may be a good choice if you have few assets. But if you have a home and investments, consider buying more insurance. If you don’t, you’re at risk for having your money and house taken to cover the cost of an accident. Here’s why: A minor accident could easily exceed minimum liability coverage limits. This means you’re responsible for damages not covered by insurance. For example, let’s say you have $30,000 in bodily injury liability insurance. You cause an accident that costs $50,000. That means you have to pay $20,000 out-of-pocket. If you can’t fork over the cash, your assets may be at risk or your license and registration may be suspended until you can cover the expenses.

The Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends liability coverage levels of 100/300/100 for sufficient protection.

In addition to higher liability limits, here are other common optional coverages:

  • Collision: Pays for damage to your car from an accident. The average yearly cost for collision coverage in Texas is $345, according to the III.
  • Comprehensive: Pays to replace stolen cars and for damages to your car from fire, flooding, hail, animal strikes, falling objects and vandalism. The average annual cost for comprehensive coverage in Texas $190, according to the III.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage: Pays for medical, funeral and pain-and-suffering expenses for you and your passengers if you’re hit by an uninsured, underinsured or hit-and-run driver. Uninsured motorist property damage pays for damage to your car or property. This usually costs about 10 percent of your total rate.

When you buy collision coverage and comprehensive insurance, you will have to choose a deductible. A deductible is the amount you pay before your insurer pays out on a claim. For example, if you pick a $1,000 deductible and it will cost $1,800 to fix your car, you will pay $1,000 and your insurance company will pay $800. The higher your deductible is, the lower your rate will be. If you decide on a high deductible, be sure you have the money set aside to pay the deductible if you have to file a claim to get your car fixed.

Is full coverage expensive?

Here are how rates compare for bare-bones coverage and full coverage of 100/300/100. You’ll see that buying a policy with higher liability limits, uninsured motorist, comprehensive and collision is more expensive, but typically it’s not a budget-buster.

Average Texas car insurance rates for minimum coverage and full coverage

Minimum liability

Full coverage with $1,000 deductible

Annual extra cost for full coverage

Monthly extra cost for full coverage

Women

$744

$1,867

$1,123

$94

Men

$822

$2,100

$1,278

$107

 

Car insurance quotes: Texas

Car insurance rates vary significantly by insurer. This is because they all weigh risk differently. Here is the difference between the highest and lowest quote among six carriers for the same driver. These ZIP codes are the most expensive for car insurance in their respective metro areas. The rate difference is how much you can overpay if you don’t compare quotes:

 

ZIP code

Highest rate

Lowest rate

Amount you may overpay

Austin

78712

$2,157

$872

$1,285

Dallas

75207

$2,525

$1,155

$1,370

Houston

77091

$2,934

$1,241

$1,693

San Antonio

78264

$2,372

$977

$1,395

* Averages are based on insurance for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. Data for CarInsurance.com provided by Quadrant Information Services.

Texas DUI insurance

Here are the penalties and fines for a DUI in Texas:

First offense: Up to a $2,000 fine; possible 72 hours to 180 days in jail; license suspension 90 days to one year. A fee of $1,000 every year for three years to keep license.

Second offense: Up to a $4,000 fine; 30 days to one year in jail; license suspension 180 days to two years. $1,500 fee every year for three years to keep license.

Texas SR-22

After a DUI, you have to submit proof to the state that you have liability insurance to get your license back. This is done by having your insurer file a form with the Texas Department of Public Safety. It is called a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate. It is commonly known as the “SR-22” form.

Once you buy your liability coverage, your insurer will file the SR-22 form for you. Be aware, however, that not all insurers will process SR-22 forms. Contact our call center toll-free at 855-430-7753. Our agents will help you obtain a quote for the coverage you need. Most companies we work with can provide immediate proof of insurance via e-mail or fax. You will have to keep SR-22 coverage in place for two years.

Your rates will increase following a DUI conviction, typically for five years. The average rate increase in Texas for a DUI is 60 percent, according to a CarInsurance.com analysis of data commissioned from Quadrant Information Services. While you will pay more, you can still save by shopping for the insurer with the lowest rate.

Texas DUI car insurance rates by company

Company

  Clean driver rate

DUI rate

Dollar increase

% increase

Company 1

$1,716

$2,725

$1,009

59%

Company 2

$1,024

$2,655

$1,641

160%

Company 3

$1,312

$2,614

$1,302

99%

Company 4

$1,337

$1,568

$231

 17%

Company 5

$1,098

$1,948

$850

 77%

Company 6

$2,032

$2,466

$434

 22%

 *The table shows the annual rate for Dallas ZIP code 75019 from the following carriers, in no particular order: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers.

How much will a speeding ticket raise my rates?

Typically insurers review your driving record upon renewal, and will raise your rates if you have a speeding ticket. This higher rate typically lasts for three years. A speeding ticket in Texas will raise your rates, on average, by 15 percent, according to our analysis of rates based on Quadrant Information Services data.

Other factors that raise your car insurance rate

In addition to traffic violations, your credit, gaps in coverage, accidents and who you add to your policy can impact your rates. Here is how average car insurance rates in Texas compare to those for common mishaps, as well as for adding a young driver:

 

Clean driver rate

Rate after incident

$ difference

One bodily injury accident

$1,416

$1,956

$540

One property damage accident over $1,000

$1,416

$1,956

$540

Coverage lapse of 60 days

$1,416

$1,667

$251

Add 16-year-old female teen

$1,416

$3,186

$1,770

Add 16-year-old male teen

$1,416

$3,882

$2,466

Poor credit

$1,416

$2,247

$831

*The table shows the average annual rate of 10 ZIP codes in the state from the following carriers, in no particular order: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers. In some cases, insurers declined coverage. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.

Texas Car Insurance Laws

How to register a car in Texas: Registration and inspections partner up

To register a car in Texas, your car must have recently passed inspection and you must have car insurance. The state recently eliminated inspection stickers, resulting in a “single-sticker” system. This means your registration sticker now is proof of both registration and a passed inspection. When you get your car inspected, you will receive a vehicle inspection report (VIR) instead of an inspection sticker.

Under the new system, you will need to pass inspection prior to renewing your registration. The familiar blue-bordered registration sticker will serve as proof of both inspection and registration.

The first year of the program is a transition period to allow vehicles’ inspection and registration expiration dates to align. Here is what you will need to do:

  • March 1, 2015 – Feb. 29, 2016: You will be able to renew your registration the same way as always as long as your car has a current, passing inspection. However, if your inspection and registration stickers already expire in the same month, your vehicle will need to pass inspection prior to registration renewal. When you renew your annual registration online, by mail, or in-person at your county tax office, your inspection status will be verified electronically. Remember that a current, passing inspection is required for registration renewal.
  • March 1, 2016, and beyond: Your inspection and registration will expire at the end of the month indicated on your registration sticker. You will have a 90-day window prior to your expiration date to complete two steps -- pass vehicle inspection and renew your registration. Registration renewal will still be available online, by mail or in person at your county tax office.

You can register online by visiting the Texas DMV registration page.

If you get busted for having an expired registration, you can normally get your citation dismissed if you get your registration renewed within 20 days of receiving the ticket. The fines for the offense usually run between $120 and $180 depending on the jurisdiction where you received the ticket.

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.

Uninsured motorists and TexasSure

The TexasSure program allows state officials to find out who is insured and who is not. It is a database police and tax assessors use to confirm that you have liability coverage. The database connects every registered vehicle in the state by its license plate, vehicle identification number (VIN) and liability insurance policy. The goal is to reduce the number of people who drive without insurance or who use fake insurance cards by giving officials a quick and easy way to verify insurance information. Currently, an estimated 20 percent of Texas drivers have no car insurance, according to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

TAIPA: Texas high-risk driver plan

The Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association is a group of insurers that provides coverage to high-risk drivers. If you have been turned down by two insurance companies in the past 60 days, you can buy a policy from TAIPA.

Once your application is received, you’re assigned to one of the insurers in the group. The group is made up of major insurers that are mandated by law to offer insurance to applicants. Each company must accept a certain number of drivers every year to comply with state laws.

Regardless of which company from the TAIPA pool insures you, the coverage will be the same. The following is offered by all TAIPA member companies:

  • $30,000/60,000 Bodily injury liability, $25,000 Property damage
  • $2,500 Personal injury protection
  • $30,000/60,000/25,000 Uninsured/Underinsured motorists

A TAIPA policy will cost more than a standard policy because you are considered a high-risk driver. Optional coverage, such as collision and comprehensive, and higher liability limits are not offered. To find out about rates, or to check on the status of your application for a policy, call toll-free (866) 321-9154.

More Texas car insurance resources

Penalties and fines

Driving without insurance: You may be fined $350 and you may be required to file an SR-22 form.

Mandatory discount for drug and alcohol awareness

Texas requires a 5 percent discount when the principal driver on a policy completes a drug and alcohol awareness training class.

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.

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 43 states that allow drivers to show proof of insurance during a traffic stop on a smartphone.

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.

Largest car insurance companies in Texas by market share

Rank Company / Group Direct Premiums Written ($) Market share (%)
1 State Farm Group 2,923,827 19.23
2 Allstate Insurance Group 1,711,014 11.25
3 Farmers Insurance Group 1,651,484 10.86
4 Progressive Insurance Group 1,329,425 8.74
5 Berkshire Hathaway Insurance 1,238,220 8.14
6 USAA Group 1,145,519 7.53
7 Texas Farm Bureau Group 570,737 3.75
8 Nationwide Group 540,909 3.56
9 Home State Insurance Group 528,694 3.48
10 Old Amer Capital Group 457,374 3.01
Source: A.M. Best market share rankings are based on direct premiums written in 2013.

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