A affordable car insurance plano tx map
- Cheap car insurance
- Minimum car insurance rates by state
- When it makes sense to buy the cheapest car insurance
- How to get the cheapest car insurance: Frequently asked questions
- This year’s best-selling vehicles
- States with highest car insurance
- States with the cheapest car insurance
- Providing real cost estimates
- How much does car insurance cost?
- Average cost of car insurance by state
- Texas Car Insurance
- Car Insurance Requirements
- Proof of Insurance in Texas
- Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association
- Help With Your Car Insurance Complaints
- Most Stolen Cars in Texas
Cheap car insurance
Not all car insurance is the same. If you want cheap car insurance, you have to choose the lowest amount of coverage that’s legally required. This “bare bones” coverage usually consists of liability insurance at the lowest legal limits. If you cause an accident, it pays for others’ property damage and medical bills and that’s it. For more coverage, you have to raise the limits and buy optional coverages, which bring the price of insurance a lot higher.
To get the cheapest car insurance, choose the liability option with the lowest numbers, don’t buy optional coverages and ask about car insurance discounts. This will give you the cheapest car insurance quote from that insurer.
If you know what coverage you want to buy, start comparing quotes from multiple insurance companies. To find out more, keep reading.
Minimum car insurance rates by state
When it makes sense to buy the cheapest car insurance
Frequently asked questions
Liability limits are usually written like this: 30/60/25. In this example, using Texas minimum requirements, the numbers show coverage that would pay:
- medical expenses of up to $30,000 per person
- medical expenses up to $60,000 per accident
- up to $25,000 for property damage
To give you an idea of how much state minimum coverage costs, here are average annual rates for the cheapest car insurance coverage in every state.
Minimum car insurance rates by state
|State||Minimum car insurance requirements||Minimum car insurance average rate||Get average car insurance rates by ZIP code|
|AK||50/100/25||$426||Alaska car insurance|
|AL||25/50/25||$638||Alabama car insurance|
|AR||25/50/25||$616||Arkansas car insurance|
|AZ||15/30/10||$600||Arizona car insurance|
|CA||15/30/5||$723||California car insurance|
|CO||25/50/15||$646||Colorado car insurance|
|CT||20/40/10||$1,097||Connecticut car insurance|
|DC||25/50/10||$1,054||District of Columbia car insurance|
|DE||15/30/10||$1,520||Delaware car insurance|
|FL||10/20/10||$1,058||Florida car insurance|
|GA||25/50/25||$743||Georgia car insurance|
|HI||20/40/10||$386||Hawaii car insurance|
|IA||20/4015||$403||Iowa car insurance|
|ID||25/50/15||$546||Idaho car insurance|
|IL||25/50/20||$543||Illinois car insurance|
|IN||25/50/10||$633||Indiana car insurance|
|KS||25/50/25||$526||Kansas car insurance|
|KY||25/50/10||$607||Kentucky car insurance|
|LA||15/30/25||$909||Louisiana car insurance|
|MA||20/40/5||$866||Massachusetts car insurance|
|MD||30/60/15||$958||Maryland car insurance|
|ME||50/100/25||$513||Maine car insurance|
|MI||20/40/10||$2,446||Michigan car insurance|
|MN||30/60/10||$864||Minnesota car insurance|
|MO||25/50/10||$506||Missouri car insurance|
|MS||25/50/25||$639||Mississippi car insurance|
|MT||25/50/20||$467||Montana car insurance|
|NC||30/60/25||$385||North Carolina car insurance|
|ND||25/50/10||$512||North Dakota car insurance|
|NE||25/50/25||$472||Nebraska car insurance|
|NH||25/50/25*||$587||New Hampshire car insurance|
|NJ||15/30/5||$1,086||New Jersey car insurance|
|NM||15/50/10||$612||New Mexico car insurance|
|NV||15/30/10||$641||Nevada car insurance|
|NY||25/15/10||$891||New York car insurance|
|OH||25/50/25||$579||Ohio car insurance|
|OK||25/50/25||$712||Oklahoma car insurance|
|OR||25/50/20||$1,007||Oregon car insurance|
|PA||15/30/5||$560||Pennsylvania car insurance|
|RI||25/50/25||$1,026||Rhode Island car insurance|
|SC||25/50/25||$654||South Carolina car insurance|
|SD||25/50/25||$431||South Dakota car insurance|
|TN||25/50/15||$656||Tennessee car insurance|
|TX||30/60/25||$783||Texas car insurance|
|UT||25/65/15||$629||Utah car insurance|
|VA||25/50/20||$536||Virginia car insurance|
|VT||25/50/10||$487||Vermont car insurance|
|WA||25/50/10||$671||Washington car insurance|
|WI||25/50/10||$578||Wisconsin car insurance|
|WV||25/50/25||$669||West Virginia car insurance|
|WY||25/50/20||$410||Wyoming car insurance|
Methodology: The table shows the average annual rate of 10 ZIP codes in the state for minimum coverage from the following carriers, in no particular order: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers. In some states, uninsured motorist coverage and/or personal injury protection coverage is mandatory in addition to liability. For those states, these coverages are included in our average rate shown in the chart, though we list just the state minimum levels for liability. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services. New Hampshire doesn’t require drivers to have car insurance, but most drivers do, and we’ve listed what is mandated if you choose to carry coverage.
When it makes sense to buy the cheapest car insurance
Going with the minimum liability car insurance required by your state is rarely recommended. The amount of coverage required by state law is low, which means even a minor accident can exceed the amount your insurer will pay out. "You should be careful to have adequate coverage to fully protect your vehicle and other assets so you don't get stuck with out-of-pocket expenses," says Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for CarInsurance.com. But there are a few scenarios in which having minimum coverage may be a good strategy. Here are four:
1. Your car is old and not very valuable, so you skip comprehensive and collision
Collision coverage pays to repair your car if you're in an accident. Comprehensive coverage pays to replace your car if it’s stolen and pays for damages from fallen objects, like a tree, and from fire, floods, animal strikes and vandalism. Both of these types of protection are optional. Comprehensive and collision only pay out up to the actual cash value of your car. That’s why these coverages may be unnecessary if the vehicle isn't worth much.
"This is especially true for a car that you aren't driving as much, such as an extra car that sits most of the time and you want to pay as little as possible for insurance," says Gusner. “If you are looking to save to buy a newer car, then by dropping down coverage to state minimum you can put away the money saved for the replacement car."
William Harris, an independent insurance agent in Los Angeles, echoes Gusner, but points out the consequences. "Dropping comp and collision could be reasonable, but remember that, if it's your only car, you'll have to pay for any body work or be prepared to drive around a car that looks like a wreck."
2. You don't drive very much.
If you log few miles on your car, Gusner says minimum coverage may suffice, simply because the less you drive, the less risky your driving experience will be.
"If you are retired, work from home or otherwise don't drive much, then dropping liability coverage to the lowest possible limits can save you money," she says. "You aren't as likely to be in an accident as someone who commutes to and from work each day or drives for work."
She adds that consistently driving few miles each year will likely snag a low-mileage discount.
3. You don't have a home, big savings or other assets to protect.
If you're in an accident, the other driver or drivers can sue you to cover damages beyond what your insurer pays out, which puts all your assets at risk. But if you don't have any assets to target, it's less likely you'll be sued, says Gusner.
But that comes with a strong warning: "Just because you don't have much doesn't mean a lien can't be placed against you, or that your license and registration can't be suspended if you cause an accident and can't pay for all damages," Gusner says. "If you don't want to end up in that type of situation, then it's wise to buy higher liability limits if you can afford it."
4. You want to wait until dings are off your record and full coverage becomes cheaper.
Points are placed on your traffic and insurance record for most moving violations and accidents that are your fault. These points figure into the mix that insurers use to determine how much you pay. High-risk drivers mean higher risks for insurance companies and higher rates for you if you have a less-than-stellar driving record.
These points usually follow you for a few years. Esurance, for one, says moving violations will be used when setting premiums for three years, which gives motorists the opportunity to get lower rates after that time. Most insurers follow similar guidelines.
Until your rates drop, however, you may decide to buy only minimum liability insurance to save money, Gusner says.
"Insurance may be costing you more than average due to violations or accidents on your record," she explains. "While it's always wise to carry higher liability limits if you can, carrying bare-bones basic car insurance is better than nothing.
Try to work on keeping a clean record and within three years your rates should drop so that you can afford higher limits."
There are other ways high-risk drivers can find affordable rates. One way to keep costs low is to buy a policy from a company that sells the majority of its policies to high-risk drivers. A company that provides coverage to just a few high-risk drivers will generally charge you more than a company that specializes in high-risk drivers, Gusner says. Typically, car insurance companies that cater to high-risk drivers offer policies with limits. For instance, they may just cover you, and not those you lend your car to, which helps keep their rates low.
How to get the cheapest car insurance: Frequently asked questions
But what if you want more than the state minimum coverage, and still want to save money? The savings are in the details. Car insurance discounts come when you’re different from the average driver. Sometimes it’s your profession, sometimes it’s your grades, and sometimes it’s your long accident-free record. But sometimes the cheapest car insurance simply means avoiding the most common car insurance pitfalls. If you don’t see the answer to your question here, ask Penny Gusner, our consumer analyst, your own question.
What car insurance discounts are available?
The most widespread car insurance discounts are:
- Multi-vehicle: You insure more than one vehicle with the same company.
- Multi-line: You have homeowners and car insurance through the same company.
- Auto safety features: You have airbags, anti-lock brakes or stability control in your car.
- Anti-theft devices: You have a car alarm, VIN-etched windows or GPS recovery system such as Lojack or OnStar.
- Defensive driver courses: You have recently taken a defensive driver course (only available in certain states).
- Safe driver: You have not had any accidents, tickets or claims in the last three to five years (depending on company guidelines).
- Renewal: You have continuous insurance or renew your policy with the same carrier.
Note that not all discounts are available with all auto insurance companies or in all states, and discount eligibility rules can differ.
Can I take insurance off my car to save money? Will I pay more if I have a lapse in coverage?
Yes, you can take car insurance off your vehicle if you are not going to be driving it. This will of course save you money, but you will have to turn in your plates and registration in most states.
It will be harder to get cheap car insurance with a lapse in coverage. Most insurance carriers will charge you more if you have not had continuous coverage. There are some car insurance companies that require no lapse in coverage to get the more affordable car insurance rates under their preferred or standard driver rating.
Can I take my child off my policy if he or she moves out or goes off to college?
If your child moves out and no longer uses your vehicles, then you can normally take him or her off of your policy. Your car insurance company may require you to prove that your child lives elsewhere or has an auto insurance policy of his own.
If your child has gone off to college, you may or may not be able to take them off your policy to get cheap car insurance prices; it will depend on the guidelines of your insurer. Many car insurance companies will reduce your premiums if your child is going to school more than 100 miles away from your home. If your child was a primary driver on a car, see if your insurer will let you bump him or her down to an occasional driver.
Should I raise my deductible to lower my rate?
The cost-cutting can be significant if you go this route. Loretta Worters, the III's vice president of communications, says you can save as much as 15 to 30 percent on collision and comprehensive coverage by raising your deductible from $200 to $500. Hike it to $1,000, she adds, and the savings could reach 40 percent. Just remember paying that deductible is a big out-of-pocket expense if there's an accident. And there's no way to predict if you'll end up saving money in the long run. But, clearly, it does reduce the premium, so consider the consequences, both good and bad, before making a decision.
Will my credit history prevent me from getting cheap car insurance?
Your credit history can have a big impact on your car insurance. That means if you want the cheapest car insurance rates you can get, maintain good credit –- ideally a score of 700 or higher.
If you already have a poor credit history, try to improve it before you shop for a new policy. Here’s why: Drivers with good credit ratings are favored by insurers because they file fewer claims and tend to pay their bills promptly, studies show. In turn, insurance companies are likely to give the best rates to those with clean credit and good credit-based insurance scores. Your score is based on your payment history, outstanding debt, credit history length, pursuit of new credit and mix of credit. (Note that California, Hawaii and Massachusetts don't allow insurers to use credit information to set rates.)
CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to compare full-coverage rates for drivers with average or better credit, fair credit and poor credit. Key findings show:
- The average difference in rates between good credit and fair was 17 percent.
- The difference between good credit and poor credit was 67 percent.
How do I improve my credit-based insurance score to get cheaper car insurance rates?
- Pay your bills on time. Late payments and collections will hurt you.
- Don’t max out your credit cards. Keep your credit card balances low. The insurance score considers the amount you owe in relation to your credit limits.
- Don't open new credit card accounts. Too many new accounts signals trouble to insurers.
- Don’t cancel all your credit cards. The longer you maintain a decent credit history, the better. Having no or little credit history will lower your score.
- Check the accuracy of your credit report; errors will hurt your score. You can request free copies of your credit reports from the three national credit reporting agencies through AnnualCreditReport.com. Follow directions from the agencies to fix any errors.
- If you're struggling financially and can’t pay your bills, get professional finance advice. You can find free or low-cost help through the nonprofit National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
When should I shop around for cheaper rates?
Comparing car insurance rates can help you save hundreds of dollars. That’s because each car insurance company uses its own formula to calculate rates. This means the same policy can have prices that vary significantly among insurers. Gusner suggests comparing car insurance quotes to find the lowest rates at least once a year -- but certainly at these times, when your rates are most likely to change dramatically:
- Purchasing a car
- Putting cars on a multi-car insurance policy
- Adding or removing a driver from a policy
- Marriage or divorce
- Adding a teen driver
- Buying a house
- DUI or major violation
- Change in credit score
How do I know if I should buy comprehensive and collision?
Skip collision and comprehensive coverage and go for just liability if the cost for both, plus your deductible, is close to the actual cash value of your car.
For example, if you have a $500 deductible and your car's value is $2,500, then the most you can recover in a total loss is $2,000. At this point, you need to decide if it is worth it for you to pay for collision and comprehensive coverage.
The annual average cost for comprehensive and collision combined is $440, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). You can find the actual cash value of your car by looking it up at Kelley Blue Book or the National Auto Dealers Association.
Penny Gusner, the consumer analyst for Insure.com, says the “10 percent rule” may also apply. Consider skipping the optional coverage if it costs more than 10 percent of what you'd get from your insurer following an accident that totals your car. The pay out after a claim would be the value of your vehicle minus your deductible.
Let’s say your car is worth $3,000 and you have a $500 deductible. Your potential payout would only be $2,500 if your car was totaled and you placed a collision claim. Using the 10 percent rule, if your collision and comprehensive premiums cost $250 or more a year, it's time to consider dropping the coverage.
En Español: Las tarifas de seguro automotor por estado
Michigan comes out on top for the third year in a row in a contest that no state wants to win: the most expensive car insurance rates in the nation. Insure.com’s 2016 state-by-state comparison of auto insurance premiums found that the Great Lakes State is still the most expensive state in the country to insure a car.
Michigan has been in the No. 1 or No. 2 spot for the six years that Insure.com has commissioned the annual report. Montana captured the No. 2 spot for the second year in a row. New Jersey broke into the top five for the first time ever, Louisiana was No. 4, and Oklahoma rounded out the top five.
On the flipside of the cost coin, Maine grabbed the No. 1 spot for the cheapest car insurance in the country. Maine has been in the top three for the least expensive car insurance for all six years of the study. This year, Ohio came in No. 2, Wisconsin was three, Idaho took fourth, and New Hampshire earned No. 5.
Use the interactive map below and hover over any state to display the average annual rate, comparison to national average, and the percent of change from last year.
This year’s best-selling vehicles
The annual study compiles rates from six large insurance carriers in 10 ZIP codes in every state. Rates were for the same full-coverage policy for the same driver -- a 40-year-old man with a clean driving record and good credit.
The rates are an average for the 20 best-selling vehicles in the U.S. in order to present more accurate rates for the average driver – without high-end sports or luxury cars skewing the data. Each model was rated on its cheapest-to-insure trim level. This year’s 20 best-selling vehicles list included:
- Ford F-150 XL SFE
- Ford Fusion S
- Ford Escape S
- Ford Explorer XLT
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT
- Chevrolet Malibu LS
- Dodge Ram 1500 Tradesman
- Toyota Camry LE
- Toyota Corolla L
- Toyota RAV4 LE
- Honda Civic LX
- Honda Accord LX
- Honda CR-V LX
- Chevrolet Equinox LS
- Nissan Altima 2.5 S
- Nissan Rogue S
- Nissan Sentra S
- Hyundai Sonata SE
- GMC Sierra 1500
- Jeep Cherokee Sport
The national average for a full-coverage policy as featured in the Insure.com report came in at $1,325 this year – a slight increase from last year’s average of $1,311. Rates varied from a low of $808 a year in Maine to a budget-busting $2,738 in Michigan. Insurance rates in Michigan are more than double (107 percent) the national average.
Insurance rates are influenced by a number of different factors. Everything from traffic, crime rates, state and local laws, the percentage of uninsured drivers, as well as the number of car insurance companies competing in a market can all result in higher, or if you’re lucky, lower insurance premiums in your state.
States with highest car insurance
The reasons behind the highest state rates include everything from Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage (a big factor in two of the states) to high fatality rates and litigious-minded drivers.
Here are the top three most expensive states for car insurance and why they are so expensive:
#1 Michigan -- Michigan’s no-fault insurance structure is largely responsible for the high cost of car insurance in the state.
“Michigan auto consumers pay more than most states for car insurance due to the state’s high medical mandate. Michigan is the only state in the country that requires auto consumers to purchase unlimited, lifetime medical benefits as part of the auto insurance policy,” explains Lori Conarton with the Insurance Institute of Michigan.
“Unfortunately, it’s Michigan’s auto insurance consumers who pay the price for this unique auto insurance law,” continues Conarton.
Michigan, like most other no-fault states, requires its drivers to buy personal PIP insurance. PIP coverage will pay the medical bills of the policyholder as well as any passengers and family members that are in the vehicle at the time of the accident.
The big difference is in the amount of PIP coverage that Michigan requires of its drivers. Florida, for example, only requires drivers to carry $10,000 in PIP coverage, while Michigan’s no-fault policies must offer unlimited medical benefits, which pushes the price up dramatically.
Michigan requires insurers to cover medical claims up to $530,000. The nonprofit Michigan Catastrophic Claim Association (MCCA) covers damages above that amount. In addition to high insurance premiums, Michigan drivers must pay an annual assessment to the MCCA, which in 2016 is $150.
The high cost of car insurance pushes many drivers out of the market. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), an estimated 21 percent of Michigan drivers were uninsured in 2012. High numbers of uninsured drivers raise rates because there are fewer drivers (and their premiums) to share the risk pool.
The high cost also leads to – while technically legal – unscrupulous behavior. Some Michigan drivers will purchase a seven-day policy (which insurers in Michigan sell) so they have proof of insurance when registering their vehicle and then let the policy expire after a week, leaving them uninsured.
Unfortunately, rates are probably not coming down anytime soon. Until the PIP requirement is changed or ditched altogether, insurance rates will remain high in Michigan.
#2 Montana -- Montana stayed in the No. 2 spot for the second year in a row with an average premium of $2,297, which is 73 percent higher than the national average and a whopping $411 increase over last year’s Insure.com Montana average.
There are a number of factors that increase rates in Big Sky country, but one of the biggest is the accident rate. Wide-open spaces and lonely roads lead to a lot of car accidents and fatalities. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Montana has the highest vehicle accident fatality rate in the country with 22.6 deaths per 100,000 people – twice the national average.
#3 New Jersey --The Garden State makes the top five for the first time. The average premium in New Jersey came in at $1,905, which is 44 percent higher than the national average.
According to Kacy Campion Renna, vice president of the Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey, high accident rates may have something to do with New Jersey’s costly insurance. “New Jersey ranks No. 1 when it comes to population density, which means there’s a greater chance of having an auto incident here.”
Renna also cites other factors that can impact rates in New Jersey. “Other factors to consider are high medical costs, high rates of auto and medical fraud combined with the fact that the New Jersey residents tend to be pretty litigious.”
Fraud has become a fact in New Jersey’s PIP coverage. New Jersey allows PIP coverage levels up to $250,000, which is the second highest in the country, behind Michigan. Unfortunately, PIP fraud has shot up which raises the cost of insurance for everyone in the state.
States with the cheapest car insurance
The low cost of car insurance in the least expensive insurance premium states can be attributed to a number of factors, including fierce insurer competition and low numbers of uninsured drivers.
#49 Wisconsin – The Badger State is No. 3 when it comes to inexpensive insurance. A yearly premium of $912 makes car insurance a bargain in Wisconsin. Wisconsin benefits from a pretty rural environment and a very competitive insurance market. A lack of major cities helps keep accident rates down.
According to numbers from Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), Wisconsin has 1 death per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2013. Montana, the second-most expensive state on the list, recorded 1.96, which was the highest on the list in the same year.
In addition, Wisconsin residents are not particularly litigious, which makes insurance companies happy and leads to lower rates across the state.
#50 Ohio – With an average annual premium of $899, Ohio is No. 2 for affordable car insurance for the second year in a row, and the state has spent quite a bit of time in the top five over the last six years.
“Ohio is home to many national and regional insurers because of its stable legal and regulatory environment. This creates a competitive marketplace for consumers, leading to great rates and a variety of products and services from which to choose,” explains Perk Reichley, President of Reichley Insurance Agency.
According to the Ohio Insurance Institute, there are currently more than 650 insurance carriers writing policies in the state. Compare that number to the approximately 134 in California and just over 40 in New Jersey, and it’s plain to see how competition has positively affected the rates.
#51 Maine – Maine has hit the No. 1 spot for two years running, and it’s finished in the top three every year of the Insure.com study. The average premium came in at $807 per year, which was a tiny $2 increase over last year.
Maine is a convergence of favorable factors; they have very few large urban areas so traffic is usually not a problem, which in turn keeps down accident rates. In addition, though Maine gets a lot of snow, the state doesn’t usually suffer from major weather incidents like tornadoes and hailstorms, which can do serious and expensive damage to a car.
Maine drivers take their insurance responsibility seriously with a mere 4.7 percent of uninsured drivers, according to the Insurance Information Institute. This makes them No. 2 in the country for uninsured drivers with only Massachusetts beating them out. When everyone is insured, prices go down.
Providing real cost estimates
The Insure.com study differs from other studies, such as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) rankings, in that it compares how much it would cost a driver to buy the same coverage in each state. The NAIC rankings calculate the average amount drivers spend on auto insurance -- regardless of what coverages and levels of coverage are purchased.
How much does car insurance cost?
It’s important to remember that these numbers are averages and will not reflect your actual policy price. Insurance prices are highly personalized, and many factors will affect your rates, including the type of vehicle you drive, the coverages you choose to carry, your specific neighborhood and, in certain states, even your credit rating.
Insure.com’s study of the most and least expensive vehicles for 2016 includes easy-to use tool for viewing nationwide car insurance rates for 2016 vehicles or looking at state specific average rates, and allows you to compare up to 10 vehicles at once.
Shop your coverage annually to make sure you are getting the best car insurance rates available, ask for discounts and consider bundling your coverages to save money.
Average cost of car insurance by state
AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DC DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY More than $100 below national averageWithin $100 of national averageMore than $100 above national average
See Insure.com's Best Car Insurance Companies
Insure.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to calculate auto insurance rates from six large carriers (Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm) in 10 ZIP codes per state. Rates were compiled in February 2016.
We averaged rates in each state for the cheapest-to-insure 2016 model-year versions of America’s 20 best-selling vehicles and ranked each state by that average. Rates are for comparative purposes only within the same model year.
Rates are based on full coverage 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. The hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage. Actual rates will depend on individual driver factors.
Texas Car Insurance
Did you know that in Texas you could get a discount on your car insurance just for taking a drug and alcohol awareness course? Learn more about Texas auto insurance laws, rates, and programs.
Car Insurance RequirementsTexas requires you to be able to pay for any damages and injuries from a car accident you caused. Most people buy liability car insurance to fulfill this law.
If you choose to buy liability insurance to comply with the law, your policy must have the following minimum limits:
- $30,000 for each injured person.
- $60,000 for injuries per incident.
- $25,000 for property damage.
Other Car Insurance
Texas only requires you to have liability insurance, but there are other optional types of car insurance coverage available to help protect you financially, which include:
- Collision – This coverage will help cover damages to your vehicle due to accidents with other cars.
- Comprehensive – This coverage will help with damages to your car due to incidents not involving car collisions. For example, if hail dents your car, you may be covered through comprehensive coverage.
- Uninsured/Underinsured drivers – The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) states that about 20% of current drivers in TX are uninsured. This coverage can help protect you from damages caused by these drivers.
- Towing and labor.
NOTE: If your car is being financed, your lending or leasing company will require you to carry both collision and comprehensive coverage for your car.
Car Insurance Alternatives
Buying liability insurance is the most common way to cover your financial responsibility, but you do have other options:
- A surety bond from two individual sureties that own property in Texas, with the same coverage limitations as liability insurance.
- $55,000 cash or securities deposit with the state Comptroller.
- $55,000 cash or cashier's check deposit with the county judge of the county in which the car is registered.
- Certificate of self-insurance – You must own a fleet of more than 25 cars to qualify for a certificate of self-insurance.
Proof of Insurance in Texas
Your car insurance company will give you an insurance card to use as your proof of car insurance. You must show a proof of insurance when you:
- Are asked for it by a police officer.
- Get into a car accident.
- Register or renew your car's registration.
- Apply or renew your driver's license.
- Have your car inspected.
You should get a new car insurance card from your insurance carrier every time you renew your auto insurance. Most insurance companies offer a minimum term of 6 months on a policy.
TexasSure is a program that helps various Texas government agencies electronically verify that you have car insurance.
Among the agencies that use TexasSure are:
- The Texas Department of Public Safety.
- Sherriff and police departments.
- Vehicle registration offices.
If there are issues with your Texas car insurance information, you may receive one of the following notices:
- Unmatched notices – According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), less than 1% of insured driver's cannot be matched with their registered car in the TexasSure system. You will receive this notice if you are on record as having car insurance but the insurance does not match with your car.
- Uninsured Notices – You will receive this notice if you have a registered vehicle with no record of car insurance for that car.
Violation Fines and Penalties
Violating Texas car insurance laws can bring harsh consequences, including the following fines and penalties:
- For your first conviction:
- $175 – $350 in fines.
- For additional convictions:
- $350 – $1,000 in fines.
- Possible suspension of your driver's license.
- Possible impoundment of your car.
Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association
Drivers with poor driving records may have a hard time finding car insurance. If 2 insurance companies have refused to insure you, you can buy your car insurance through the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association (TAIPA).
To be eligible for the TAIPA program, you must:
- Have a valid driver's license or be applying for one.
- Live in Texas or have a car registered in Texas.
- Certify that 2 insurance companies have turned you down within the last 60 days. You do not have to have proof of refusal to insure, but you will need to sign an affidavit stating that 2 insurance companies have rejected your application of insurance.
Through TAIPA, you will be covered for the minimum required liability coverage PLUS:
- $2,500 Personal Injury Protection.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage of:
- $30,000 personal injury.
- $60,000 injuries per incident.
- $25,000 property damage.
TAIPA only allows you to purchase annual policies, but you do have various options for payment, which include:
- Paying your full annual premium up-front.
- 8 Installment payments – You will need to pay a down payment of whichever is greater: 20% of your premium or $40.
If you have been issued car insurance through TAIPA and have gone 3 years without a car accident or traffic ticket, your insurance carrier must take you out of the TAIPA program and offer you standard car insurance at a lower rate.
Help With Your Car Insurance Complaints
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) offers assistance for complaints you might have with insurance companies, including your car insurance carrier.
The most common complaints TDI helps resolve involve:
- Claim and benefit disputes.
- False advertising.
- Suspected insurance fraud.
TDI cannot assist you with the following:
- Determining who was at fault in a car accident.
- Resolving disputes between you and your insurance carrier when your word is your only evidence.
- Forcing insurance companies to pay a disputed claim or make a policy exception when no insurance laws were broken.
- Giving legal advice.
To learn more about how you can get assistance with your car insurance complaints, visit the TDI website.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
The Texas Department of Transportation estimates that someone is hurt or killed in an alcohol-related accident every 20 minutes. Drinking and driving can be costly, not only to your safety but to your wallet. DWI convictions can increase your car insurance rates. The best way to avoid this is not to drink and drive.
To learn more about Texas' DWI laws visit our DUI & DWI in Texas page.
Drug and Alcohol Driving Awareness Discount
To help promote safe driving, Texas car insurance companies are required to offer you a 5% discount off your car insurance premium for voluntarily taking a Texas Education Agency (TEA)-approved drug and alcohol awareness course.
You are not eligible for this discount if you have been convicted of a drug- or alcohol-related charge in the past 7 years. You are eligible for the discount after 7 years has passed since your conviction.
Staying safe can not only keep your car insurance premiums from rising; it can help you find affordable insurance from the start. Get a quote on car insurance today and see how much you can save.
Most Stolen Cars in Texas
If your car is highly targeted for theft, you may have to pay a little more for car insurance.
The following is a list of the most stolen cars in Texas for 2013, according to www.nicb.org:
- 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.