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Here you’ll learn everything you need to know to buy the best car insurance policy in Houston for your particular situation. You’ll see which carriers are rated as the best car insurance companies for customer satisfaction and what the average car insurance rates are for your neighborhood. You’ll also discover how much you can save from knowing how to make smart choices about coverage. And, find out how rates for Houston drivers are affected by tickets, accidents and adding teen drivers.

Who Has The Best Car Insurance in Houston, TX?

Deciding who has the best car insurance to suit your needs depends on what is most important to you. For some it may be price, while others may value customer service the most. Still others may be looking for the convenience of mobile apps, or a company that offers the most car insurance discounts. Below we list car insurance companies in Houston, and who they are the best at serving, based on CarInsurance.com’s customer satisfaction survey of current policy holders and rate data analysis.

Best forCompany
ClaimsGeico
Value/PriceGeico
Customer ServiceGeico
Websites/AppsUSAA
RecommendMetlife
Low Annual MileageAllstate F&C
Good StudentNationwide CCMIC
BundleAllstate F&C
Paid in FullAllstate F&C

Cheap Car Insurance in Houston, Texas

State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co and Texas Farm Bureau Mut Ins Co have the cheapest car insurance rates in Houston, based on our rate analysis for three different coverage levels. The driver profile is for age 30, with good credit and a clean driving record. You can see how major insurers rank for price in the chart below

CompanyLiability Only - State Minimum BI/PDLiability Only - 50/100/50 BI/PDFull Coverage - 100/300/100 BI/PD - 500 Comp/Coll
Texas Farm Bureau Mut Ins Co$562$619$1,770
State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co$588$651$1,698
AAA TX Cnty Mut Ins Co$646$705$2,138
Geico County Mutual Ins Co.$669$720$1,801
Allstate Fire & Cas Ins Co$792$816$3,624
Colonial Cnty Mut Ins Co$872$839$1,914

Car Insurance Coverage – How Much Car Insurance do I Need in Houston?

Below we’ll explain what coverage you need to drive legally, which is your state required minimum liability limits, and what types of car insurance you may need to be truly protected.

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Houston

Texas car insurance laws require only that you insure yourself against bodily injury and property damage liability, so it’s your choice whether to add coverage for yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle.

If you have a newer model car, it makes sense to get comprehensive insurance and collision coverage. In Texas, comprehensive costs $325 and collision costs $782 , on an average per year, according to a rate data analysis done by CarInsurance.com. These optional coverages come with a deductible. That’s the amount you pay before your insurance company pays. Typical deductibles amounts are $1,000, $500 and $250 – you choose which one you want. The higher the deductible is, the lower your rate will be.

The best car insurance coverage usually isn’t the cheapest. You may be used if you’re in an accident and your insurance doesn’t cover all of the damages. That means your home or savings could be in jeopardy. To protect your assets, you should buy liability insurance in the following amounts:

  • $100,000 to pay for others’ medical bills
  • $300,000 to pay for injuries to others in an accident you cause
  • $100,000 to pay for damage to others’ property

You should also consider buying these optional coverages:

  • Comprehensive, which replaces stolen cars and covers damage to your car from floods, fire, hail, vandalism.
  • Collision, which pays for damage to your car from accidents.

The average rate for Houston drivers for a year of minimum coverage is $688 according to our rate analysis. If you increased your coverage to 50/100/50, you would pay just about $3.08 more a month, or $37 more a year. You can get full coverage (100/300/100) by paying $122.50 more a month, or an additional $1,470 a year more than minimum-level coverage.

Houston average for:

  • Minimum coverage: $688
  • 50/100/50: $725
  • 100/300/100: $2,158

Average Car Insurance Rates in Houston

CarInsurance.com analyzed car insurance rates from six car insurance companies for nearly every ZIP code in Texas. Here's how Houston's highest average rate $2,411 for ZIP 77076 compares to others, for a full coverage policy of 100/300/100 for a driver age 30:

  • $526 more than the least expensive average rate $1,885 in ZIP code 77062
  • $588 more than the state average $1,823
  • $652 more than the national average rate $1,759

Compare Car Insurance Quotes in Houston – How to Save on Insurance Policy?

You can save an average of $1,993 annually on a full coverage policy in Houston by comparing car insurance quotes, according to CarInsurance.com's rate analysis. While savings will depend on your particular circumstances, this shows that there is a significant benefit to shopping your policy.

Why Does Comparing Car Insurance Quotes Save Money?

No two insurance companies will charge the same amount of money for the same policy. So if you compare car insurance quotes and opt for the lowest, you won’t over pay. For example, the highest rate from any carrier surveyed for ZIP code 77076 , the priciest ZIP code Houston car insurance, was $4,128 . The lowest was $1,907 . The difference is $2,221 , which is how much you could overpay. That’s why car insurance comparisons are paramount to finding the best cheap car insurance for your situation.

Houston Car Insurance FAQ’s

How much does insurance go up after a speeding ticket in Houston?

A speeding ticket in Houston will hike your car insurance rates by an average of 13% , or about $242 yearly. CarInsurance.com’s rate analysis shows how much more drivers in Houston can expect to pay, on average, for speeding and other common violations. Minor traffic violations, such as speeding, typically stay on your record for about three years, and you can expect to see the rate increase upon your policy renewal date. More severe infractions, such as DUI, typically stay on your record much longer.

Houston drivers can expect to see a hike in their rates in the range of 14% for minor moving violations such as tailgating or blowing through a stop sign, 76% for more severe infractions such as DUI. Below you’ll see how much rates increase, on average, for common traffic violations. Remember, though, that because insurance companies assess risk differently, you can still save by comparison shopping, because one carrier may ding you a lot for a citation, while another may spike your rate by much less.

ViolationAverage rateRate after violation$ Increase% Increase
DUI/DWI third offense$1,890$4,857$2,966157%
DUI/DWI second offense$1,890$3,960$2,070109%
Reckless driving$1,890$3,336$1,44676%
DUI/DWI first offense$1,890$3,012$1,12259%
Operating a vehicle in a race (highway racing)$1,890$3,003$1,11359%
Distracted driving ticket$1,890$2,438$54829%
Careless driving$1,890$2,438$54829%
2 speeding tickets 11 mph or over$1,890$2,392$50227%
Driving without a license or permit$1,890$2,352$46124%
Driving without insurance$1,890$2,182$29215%
Texting ticket$1,890$2,162$27214%
Talking on cellphone ticket$1,890$2,162$27214%
Improper/illegal pass$1,890$2,162$27214%
Improper turn$1,890$2,162$27214%
Following too closely$1,890$2,162$27214%
Failure to yield$1,890$2,162$27214%
Failure to stop$1,890$2,162$27214%
Seatbelt infraction$1,890$1,890$00%

An accident will increase car insurance rates by 28% to 41%, on average, for drivers in Houston. When you file a claim for an accident that's your fault, typically your car insurance rates will increase. However, claims under your comprehensive coverage, if you have it as it’s optional, typically won’t trigger an increase. That’s because comprehensive claims are for damage insurers consider to be beyond your control, for instance due to hail, fire, flooding, falling objects or collisions with an animal. The table below shows how much for drivers in Houston can expect to pay for common car insurance claims.

AccidentAverage RateRate after claim$ Increase% Increase
2 At-fault property damage accident over $2k$1,890$3,889$1,999106%
At-fault bodily injury accident$1,890$2,668$77741%
1 At-fault property damage accident over $2K$1,890$2,668$77741%
1 At-fault property damage accident under $2K$1,890$2,424$53428%

In Houston, adding a 16-year-old daughter to your policy will hike your rates by $2,641 annually, or 140% It's more for boys. Insuring your 16-year-old son will increase your yearly rate by $3,290 , or 174% according to CarInsurance.com rate data. Teen drivers are inexperienced, and are involved in more accidents than older drivers, according to federal research, and insurance companies categorize them as high-risk drivers, so they cost more to insure. If you're insuring a teen driver of any age, you can get expert tips, more rate data by age and details from our “Parents guide to insuring a teen driver."

CarInsurance.com data show that for drivers in Houston, your rate will go up by an average of $1,218 or 64%. If you're convicted of a serious offense, such as DUI or reckless driving, you may be required to have your insurance company file an SR-22 form on your behalf. An SR-22 is a car insurance company’s guarantee to the state that you are carrying the legally mandated coverage. If you are required to have an SR-22 filed, your car insurance rates will increase.

Driving in Houston

Traffic in Houston: The city and nearby areas came in fourth for the worst traffic in the country in a recent report by USA Today, which noted that drivers spend about 58 hours a year stuck in traffic.

Car crashes: Major accidents have resulted in an average of 180 deaths a year in recent year (2012-2014).

Commuting: The average commute in Houston lasts 27 minutes.

Public transportation: The U.S. Census Bureau says that the majority of riders in Houston who commute to work by public transportation are white (about 16 percent), Hispanic (about 41 percent) and black (about 37 percent). The bureau notes that commuting is the main reason people turn to mass transit.

High Occupancy Vehicle rules: The HOV lane, also known as the carpool or diamond lane, is designed to reduce traffic congestion and promote ride-sharing on freeways. In Texas, only vehicles with at least two people, mass transit vehicles like buses, and motorcycles are allowed to use the lanes. Use may be restricted during specified hours.

Smog rules: Texas requires Houston residents with vehicles two to 24 years old to have emissions testing every year as part of the registration process. New Houston residents must have the vehicle tested within 30 days of moving to the city to register it.

Bad intersection: The meeting of Genoa Red Bluff Road and Beltway 8 has consistently been called one of the worst intersections in the Houston area.

The information was gathered from various sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, state transportation departments and city police departments.

Pedestrians/cyclists killed or seriously injured in Houston crashes

There were 3,984 crashes that involved a pedestrian or cyclist in Houston between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2017. There were 641 seriously injured or killed during the time, according to a study conducted by LinkHouston.

LinkHouston’s study showed that in crashes during 2016 and 2017:

  • 382 pedestrians were incapacitated
  • 160 pedestrians were killed
  • 85 cyclists were incapacitated
  • 14 cyclists were killed

As part of what is called the “Safer Streets Initiative,” the city of Houston works in tandem with the Federal Highway Administration, BikeHouston and LINKHouston, which has studied traffic patterns and risks in Houston since 2013.

LINKHouston said that between 2013 and 2017, more than 12,000 people were injured or killed in auto-pedestrian crashes. Here are the Top 10 Houston intersections the project named as the most dangerous for pedestrians:

  1. Fannin and Pierce
  2. Ranchester and Bellaire
  3. Westheimer and South Dairy Ashford
  4. Long Point and Gessner
  5. Westpark Drive and US 59 South
  6. Old Spanish Trail and 288 South
  7. Fondren and West Bellfort
  8. Bissonnet and Wilcrest
  9. West and Airline
  10. Bellaire and South Gessner

 

Houston congestion

It’s no Los Angeles or Boston, but Houston holds its own in terms of congestion on its roads.

In an annual report conducted by INRIX, Houston, ranked  number 13 in 2018 on the “most congested urban areas in the U.S.” list. Houston lagged behind list-toppers Boston, Washington, DC., Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles. Houston ranked at number 77 globally, up from slot 82 in 2017. According to the study, Houston drivers spent an average of 98 minutes of time in congestion in 2018. They crawl at about 15 mph during the last minute of inner city driving time.

Houston drivers lost up to $1,365 per year due to congestion. That's much better than Boston, whose drivers lost up to $2,291.

 

Houston’s most dangerous intersections

 

As with any city, there are certain streets, roads and highways that pose more of a risk than others to drivers, either because of the amount of congestion or their design, or both. Video telematics company Lytx in 2019 put together its five most dangerous roads to drive in the Houston area.

Ranking in order of riskiest road:

  1. Intersection of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Aldine Bender Road
  2. I-45 between Chartres Street and Frontage Road
  3. TX 225 between Shaver and Scarborough Lane
  4. East Freeway Frontage Road at the intersection of Gellhorn Drive
  5. Intersection of 1-610 and North McCarty Drive

Also from the Lytx report on Houston’s risky roads:

  • Number of risky driving events observed: 654,000
  • Tuesday morning is when most collisions and near collisions occur
  • Sunday evening is when the fewest collisions occur

 

Houston commuters

 

According to the U.S. Census, the average drive time for Houston workers 16 and older to their job is 27.4 minutes. The result is just about the national average of roughly 27.1 minutes.

The mean time calculated by the Census (based on figures from 2014-2018) includes time spent waiting for public transportation, picking up passengers in carpools and time spent on other activities related to getting to work.

Data compiled by Data USA showed that 1.96% of the workforce in Houston are "super commuters," meaning they drive an excess of 90 minutes to their job.

Of the Houston commuters (top three, as measured in 2017):

  • Drive alone: 77%
  • Carpooled: 10.4%
  • Worked at home: 4.3%

 

Houston crashes

There were 64,126 crashes on Houston’s streets and roads in 2018, a decrease from 2017, which saw 64,720 wrecks in the city, as shown by Texas Department of Transportation data. While there were fewer crashes overall in Houston between 2017 and 2018, there was a significant increase in fatalities between the two years. In those years, 197 people were killed in 2018, while 245 lost their lives in 2017 crashes.

2018 traffic crashes in Houston:

  • Fatal crashes: 189
  • Number of fatalities: 197
  • Suspected serious crashes: 1,030
  • Suspected serious injuries: 1,175
  • Non-incapacitating crashes: 5,038
  • Non-incapacitating injuries: 6,703
  • Possible injury crashes: 14,123
  • Possibly injured in crashes: 21,878
  • Non-injury crashes: 40,657
  • Total in crashes not injured: 128,370
  • Unknown severity crashes: 3,089
  • Unknown injuries: 18,399
  • Total crashes: 64,126

2017 traffic crashes in Houston:

  • Fatal crashes: 228
  • Number of fatalities: 245
  • Suspected serious crashes: 1,062
  • Suspected serious injuries: 1,277
  • Non-incapacitating crashes: 5,468
  • Non-incapacitating injuries: 7,377
  • Possible injury crashes: 13,518
  • Possible injuries: 21,158
  • Non-injury crashes: 41,682
  • Total in crashes not injured: 133,122
  • Unknown severity crashes: 2,762
  • Unknown injuries: 17,358
  • Total crashes: 64,720

Leading the nation: DUIs in Houston

 

The Houston Chronicle dug deep into data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from 2001 to 2016, reviewing the number of fatal drunk driving accidents in 12 metropolitan areas in the county. Texas leads the country with the most drunk-driving accidents, according to the findings. Houston is the worst city for drunk driving.

Houston is the deadliest place in America for impaired driving,” writes Brian White, attorney. ”Every year, an average of over 300 people in the Houston area die in DWI collisions.”

According to this report:

  • More than 3,000 fatal DWI accidents occurred in Houston over the 16-year period – three times more than Los Angeles, which has about twice the population of Houston.
  • Since 2010, the Houston region has recorded more than 5,000 impaired driving accidents annually. This equates to around 14 DWI crashes per day.
  • The Dallas/Fort Worth area came in second place for drunk driving accidents, with 2,425 DWI collisions from 2001 to 2016.
  • The majority of DWI fatalities in Houston (2,325) during the time period studied came from alcohol-related accidents, while 708 deaths involved drugged drivers.

 

There were 3,303 fatal crashes in the state of Texas in 2018, with 850 of those fatal crashes involving driving under the influence. In those DUI fatal crashes, 940 were killed in 2018. Texas saw 405 fatal DUI crashes in 2018, and 49 of those occurred in Houston, according to Texas DOT.

2018 Houston DUIs:

  • Fatal crashes: 49
  • Number of fatalities: 53
  • Suspected serious crashes: 87
  • Suspected serious injuries: 121
  • Non-incapacitating crashes: 207
  • Non-incapacitating injuries: 303
  • Possible injury crashes: 336
  • Possible injuries: 561
  • Non-injury crashes: 1,116
  • Total in crashes not injured: 3,084
  • Unknown severity crashes: 113
  • Unknown injuries: 445
  • Total crashes: 1,908

2017 Houston DUIs:

  • Fatal crashes: 71
  • Number of fatalities: 77
  • Suspected serious crashes: 42
  • Suspected serious injuries: 74
  • Non-incapacitating crashes: 179
  • Non-incapacitating injuries: 263
  • Possible injury crashes: 220
  • Possible injuries: 362
  • Non-injury crashes: 934
  • Total in crashes not injured: 2,583
  • Unknown severity crashes: 105
  • Unknown injuries: 393
  • Total crashes: 1,551

The Houston County Sheriff’s Office reported that it had made 24 arrests for driving under the influence in 2017-2018.

Houston, we have a tech problem: distracted driving

 

Statistics show that distracted driving traffic deaths continue to shoot off the charts in the United States, despite growing efforts to strengthen the laws banning or curbing hand-held device behavior when behind the wheel.

In 2017, Zendrive conducted a three-month analysis of 5.6 billion miles, 570 million trips and three million drivers and sifted through the behavior related to distracted driving. Looking at January and February 2017 trip data from a sample of cities in the best and the worst states, Houston was the sixth most-distracted city. Houston was surpassed only by Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Austin and Los Angeles (no. 1 on the list) as having the most distracted drivers.

Nationwide, Zendrive found more driver phone use in its 2018 study than in its 2017 study. All but one state “got worse” in Zendrive’s distracted driver study for 2018, naming the Lone Star State as the worst in terms of distracted drivers.

“Drilling into some of the largest cities in the country, we also found some startling insights when looking at the average percent of time people spent using their phones while driving each day,” said the report. “Seattle remains the least distracted city in the country, while Houston took over as the most distracted city.”

Houston is followed by Miami, Detroit, San Jose and Los Angeles County as drivers who cannot seem to put the devices down while their feet are on the gas.

“And there it is: Houston is the city with the worst DUI statistics in Texas and the worst distracted-driving statistics in the entire United States,” reads a blog from Michael Grossman at Grossman Law Offices.

In June 2017, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 62, which prohibits texting while driving in the Lone Star State, making it the 47th state to pass such a law. The prohibition went into effect on Sept 1 of that year, carrying a fine of up to $99 for first-time offenders. Texas has also banned the use of hand-held phones in school zones.

Houston auto thieves prefer trucks, according to a report

 

In a report issued by the Houston Police Department in August 2019, the following is the Top 10 list of the most stolen vehicles during that month.

  1. Chevrolet trucks: 228
  2. Ford trucks: 201
  3. GMC trucks: 73
  4. Dodge trucks: 66
  5. Honda cars: 62
  6. Chevrolet cars: 40
  7. Toyota cars: 39
  8. Nissan cars: 28
  9. Ford cars: 27
  10. Toyota trucks: 23

A 2018 FBI report showed that in South Houston that year, there were 105 motor vehicle thefts, 75 thefts from a motor vehicle and 30 thefts of vehicle parts or accessories.

Vision Zero initiative

 

A group of national organizations in 2014 originally adapted Vision Zero, which developed in Sweden, to establish a national strategy on highway safety referred to as Toward Zero Deaths (TZD). It focuses on data-driven topics such as safer drivers, safer passengers, safer users, enhanced medical services, safer infrastructure and safer vehicles.

Houston wasted no time in joining hundreds of cities and towns across the country. In August 2014, Mayor Sylvester Turner signed an executive order to adopt Vision Zero Houston, a plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries caused by crashes on Houston roads by the year 2030.

“Some will say this goal is unachievable,” said Tuner in a release. “But I say no loss of life is acceptable on our roadways, None, ZERO. Together we can create change, together we can make a difference, together we can shift the way we think about mobility and traffic safety, and not only see the Vision, but make it possible.”

Houston doesn’t have a lead foot

 

While numbers paint a less-than-rosy picture for drivers in Houston as it relates to drinking and driving or distracted driving, speed-related crashes are minimal in the county. The Texas Department of Transportation reported that in 2018, there was one fatal crash in 2018 in Houston County that can be attributed to speed. There was a total of 41 speed-related crashes in 2018 in Houston County.

How many vehicles are there on the streets of Houston?

 

There is public transportation available in Houston, which includes bus and rail lines. But Houston is a city of drivers, with an ownership rate of 94.4%, compared to the U.S. rate of 91%, according to Fox Business.

There were nearly 1.3 million vehicles in Houston proper in 2018 that are owned or rented by the city’s residents, according to census data.

Here’s how the estimates break down:

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  • Total vehicles: 1,268,601
  • Owner occupied: 692,955
  • Renter occupied: 575,646