Car insurance places in houston texas
- Cheap Car Insurance Companies in Texas
- Cheap Car Insurance in Texas: by City
- Best Auto Insurance Companies in Texas
- Average Cost of Car Insurance in Texas
- Methodology & Assumptions
- Cheap car insurance in Texas
- Recommended car insurance coverage
- Car insurance companies in Texas
- Best car insurance companies in Texas
- Largest car insurance companies in Texas
- Car insurance in Texas cities
- Texas car insurance laws and resources
ValuePenguin analyzed car insurance quotes in 78 cities in Texas from 11 companies to identify the cheapest insurers and rates in the state. Our analysis showed a wide range in costs from company to company.
For example, in Houston, the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive company was $696 a year. This is why to get the right rates, consumers should shop around. Enter your zip code above now to start shopping for great auto rates in your area among the top U.S. insurers, or read more by clicking directly on each section below.
- Cheap Car Insurance in Texas
- Cheapest Car Insurance in Texas: by City
- Best Auto Insurance Companies in Texas
- What's the Average Cost of Car Insurance in Texas?
Cheap Car Insurance Companies in Texas
To identify the cheapest companies, we reviewed auto insurance quotes for a sample driver in Texas and then ranked them based on their average across 78 cities. Here are the five companies with the best auto insurance rates in Texas:
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The cheapest car insurance companies in Texas include Texas Farm Bureau, GEICO, Progressive, State Farm, and Mercury. Overall, Texas Farm Bureau had the best rates, but it does require a membership fee.
Here are the average rates across 78 cities for our sample driver, a thirty year old single male with a clean driving record. While your actual quotes will depend on where you live and park your car, as well as how you've driven, these companies are a good place to start finding low cost insurance. The same driver will get different quotes from different companies. Comparing quotes from at least three companies is the best way to get good rates. Start by entering your zip code below to see what top US insurers are covering your area.
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,210|
Cheap Car Insurance in Texas: by City
We analyzed auto insurance rates in each city to identify the top three insurers with the lowest rates. In the table below, we've prepared a list of 78 largest cities in Texas along with the city's three lowest cost insurers and average annual premiums to give drivers a sense of costs. Rates are averaged for a single 30 year old with a good credit score and driving history.
Note that USAA ranked in the first or second spot in almost all cities, but we've excluded them from this table because the company only serves military and affiliated members. Below is also a deeper dive by the largest cities of the most affordable insurers by age and marital status to give drivers a further idea of the going rates for auto insurance. We've excluded USAA from the city specific tables as well.
|Allen||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,032|
|Alvin||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,200|
|Amarillo||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,320|
|Arlington||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,248|
|Austin||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,044|
|Baytown||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,284|
|Bedford||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,020|
|Burleson||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,128|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,524|
|Cedar Hill||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,224|
|Cedar Park||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,068|
|College Station||Texas Farm Bureau||$960|
|Converse||Texas Farm Bureau||$924|
|Coppell||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,032|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,164|
|Cypress||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,236|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,464|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,176|
|Denton||Texas Farm Bureau||$984|
|Desoto||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,200|
|Dickinson||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,140|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,260|
|El Paso||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,248|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,308|
|Flower Mound||Texas Farm Bureau||$924|
|Fort Worth||Texas Farm Bureau||$960|
|Friendswood||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,104|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,440|
|Garland||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,140|
|Grand Prairie||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,308|
|Grapevine||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,020|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,224|
|Houston||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,284|
|Humble||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,104|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,464|
|Katy||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,284|
|Keller||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,188|
|Kerrville||Texas Farm Bureau||$948|
|Killeen||Texas Farm Bureau||$984|
|Kingwood||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,284|
|Kyle||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,140|
|La Porte||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,176|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,536|
|League City||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,080|
|Leander||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,068|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,368|
|Lubbock||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,116|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,296|
|Mckinney||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,212|
|Mesquite||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,332|
|Missouri City||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,092|
|New Braunfels||Texas Farm Bureau||$864|
|North Richland Hills||Texas Farm Bureau||$960|
|Odessa||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,212|
|Pearland||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,056|
|Pflugerville||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,104|
|Plano||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,032|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,392|
|Richardson||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,200|
|Richmond||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,092|
|Round Rock||Texas Farm Bureau||$984|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,368|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,428|
|San Marcos||Texas Farm Bureau||$960|
|Seguin||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,008|
|Spring||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,176|
|Sugar Land||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,092|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,368|
|Tomball||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,236|
|Tyler||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,080|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,080|
|Waxahachie||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,116|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,368|
|Texas Farm Bureau||$1,320|
Policies in the Big D cost on average $2,457, but you can still save with cheap car insurance in Dallas if you know where to look. Start with Progressive, Texas Farm Bureau, and State Farm - the three cheapest insurers in Dallas based on our study. Quotes from these three companies are about 39% less than the Dallas composite.
Paying for car insurance in Houston can cost an annual premium of $2,881, making it the most expensive in our study of Texas auto insurance. You can save money though by going with quotes from Texas Farm Bureau, Progressive, and State Farm. The three companies' yearly average are about can save you 34 - 51% off of the average auto insurance rate in Houston.
Which companies have the cheapest auto insurance rates in Austin, TX? We suggest 30 year old drivers in Austin compare quotes starting at Texas Farm Bureau, Progressive, and GEICO based on our graph below. Auto insurance in Austin can cost drivers about $2,191 a year, which is about 6% less than elsewhere in the Lone Star state. At these three companies, however, drivers can save on average 44% versus the average city cost.
San Antonio, TX
In San Antonio, we have Progressive and Texas Farm Bureau sweeping the boards with the lowest rates, with State not far behind. It costs about $2,348 to insure your car in the Alamo City, Texas's second largest city - about 7% more than the the state average.
El Paso, TX
Despite being the sixth largest city in Texas, El Paso has a car insurance cost just lower than the average city in Texas. It costs just $2,239 a year to insure a car in a town that has been named one of the Happiest Cities to Work In, or one of America's Safest Cities. Annual premiums are already 8% cheaper than the state average. Keep Texas Farm Bureau and Progressive in mind if you're looking for cheap auto insurance in El Paso.
Best Auto Insurance Companies in Texas
To find the best insurers in Texas, we'll be looking at the companies with the fewest complaints compared to their competitors. These are thirty of Texas's largest auto insurance companies, and are ranked based on their complaint index, which measures how many valid complaints the company gets compared to the average insurer. An index of 1.00 is average, and a number below 1, such as State Farm County's index, is better (gets fewer complaints than the average company).
The best car insurance companies in Texas with the fewest complaints are the Hartford, State Farm, and Germania Insurance. The cheapest companies in our study, Foremost County Mutual, Allstate, and USAA, had lower than average complaints as well.
|1||Hartford Fire Insurance Company||0.00|
|2||State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company Of Texas||0.24|
|3||Germania Select Insurance Company||0.29|
|4||Dairyland County Mutual Insurance Company Of Texas||0.31|
|5||Foremost County Mutual Insurance Company||0.32|
|6||State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company||0.33|
|7||21st Century Centennial Insurance Company||0.36|
|8||USAA Casualty Insurance Company||0.46|
|9||Allstate Property And Casualty Insurance Company||0.65|
|10||Consumers County Mutual Insurance Company||0.68|
|11||Texas Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company||0.70|
|12||Garrison Property And Casualty Insurance Company||0.76|
|13||Allstate County Mutual Insurance Company||0.77|
|14||Farmers Texas County Mutual Insurance Company||0.79|
|15||Colonial County Mutual Insurance Company||0.85|
|16||Texas Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company||0.85|
|17||United Services Automobile Association||0.86|
|18||Progressive County Mutual Insurance Company||0.91|
|19||Liberty County Mutual Insurance Company||0.91|
|20||Allstate Fire And Casualty Insurance Company||0.92|
|21||Allstate Indemnity Company||0.93|
|22||Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO)||0.94|
|23||USAA General Indemnity Company||0.94|
|24||Southern County Mutual Insurance Company||1.23|
|25||AAA Texas County Mutual Insurance Company||1.37|
|26||Home State County Mutual Insurance Company||1.46|
|27||ACCC Insurance Company||1.70|
|28||GEICO Indemnity Company||1.80|
|29||Loya Insurance Company||2.27|
|30||Old American County Mutual Fire Insurance Company||2.69|
Average Cost of Car Insurance in Texas
How much do people pay on average for car insurance in the state of Texas? $2,330, according to our data. Going into this number are rates for 78 cities in the Lone Star State for a thirty year old single male driver with a good driving history and credit score.
Methodology & Assumptions
Average rates are for illustrative purposes, as individual quotes will differ based on driving history, coverage sought, vehicle type, and other factors.
Data was obtained from the Texas Department of Insurance for a thirty year old single male driver across 78 cities. He owns his car and uses it primarily for work purposes, averaging about 12,000 miles annually. Insurance policies include Texas’s minimum auto insurance liability requirements: $30,000 for bodily injury liability per person (up to $60,000 per accident), and $25,000 of property damage (30/60/25 coverage), 50/100/50, as well as 100/300/100. Car insurance costs are based on a 2011 Toyota Camry four-door sedan, with 2.5 liter/4 cylinder engine.
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. You’ll also learn how much car insurance you need for your particular situation. That means you’ll know what to expect when shopping for auto insurance in Texas – and you won’t overpay for it.
The average car insurance rate in Texas is $1,510 a year. Your age, your driving record, the model of car you have, the severity and frequency of claims in your neighborhood and other variables are used by insurance companies to figure out the cost of your policy. That’s why the price for the same coverage can vary significantly among insurance companies — and why you should compare rates. For example, in Houston ZIP code 77091, the highest rate among six carriers is ($2,934) is twice as much as the lowest ($1,241). 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.
Cheap car insurance in Texas
Texas car insurance requirements
|State law requires the following coverages:|
|Minimum bodily injury liability||$30,000/$60,000|
|Minimum property damage liability||$25,000|
|Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury||$30,000/$60,000|
|Uninsured motorist property damage||$25,000 ($100 deductible)|
Texas car insurance laws mandate that drivers carry minimum liability coverage limits of 30/60/25 on their vehicle. Buying the state required limits to drive is definitely the cheapest way to go. But if you opt for the cheapest car insurance in Texas, you are only covered for damage you do to other drivers’ cars and for others’ injuries. That means your insurer won’t pay for damage to your car or for your injuries if you cause an accident. Still, buying just the minimum coverage required is a good idea if you have an old car or don’t drive much.
It does cost more to buy more protection, but as you’ll see in the chart below, additional coverage is typically affordable. Increasing your insurance from the state minimum to full coverage with a $1,000 deductible costs, on average, $1,200 more, or $100 a month.
|Coverage limits||Average annual rate|
|Liability Only – state minimum||$783|
|Liability Only - 50/100/50 BI/PD||$818|
|Full Coverage - 100/300/100 BI/PD |
$1,000 Comp/Collision deductible
|Full Coverage - 100/300/100 BI/PD |
$500 Comp/Collision deductible
|Full Coverage - 100/300/100 BI/PD |
$250 Comp/Collision deductible
*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.
Recommended car insurance coverage
The best car insurance in Texas may not be the cheapest, so how much insurance should you buy? Bare-bones coverage may be a good choice if you have few assets or have an old car and don’t drive much. 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. If you financed your car you will be required to get additional comprehensive and collision coverage.
Use our How Much Car Insurance Do You Need? tool to get a recommendation.AGE STATE VEHICLE MODEL YEAR PRIMARY RESIDENCE OWN RENT VEHICLE FINANCING OWNED FINANCED LEASED
We recommend you buy more insurance than is required to legally drive a car in your state, especially if you have savings and assets. The more money you have, the more likely you are to be sued following a car accident should your insurance be insufficient to cover all the expenses. If your net worth is:
- less than $50,000, choose at least 50/100/50
- between $50,000 and $100,000, choose at least 100/300/100
- more than $100,000, choose at least 250/500/100
If you're leasing or financing your car, you must get coverage of 100/300/100 or higher.
Collision and comprehensive
Collision coverage pays for damage to your car after an accident that you cause. Comprehensive insurance pays to replace stolen cars and for damages from vandalism, flooding, hail, fire and animal strikes. If your car is:
- less than 10 years old, you should strongly consider buying collision and comprehensive.
- more than 10 years old, only buy collision and comprehensive if your car is worth $3,000 or more, if you couldn’t afford to replace your car if it’s wrecked, or if you just want more protection on your policy.
If you buy comp and collision, check our guide to choosing a deductible amount.
These are both optional coverages and should match the liability limits you choose. Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage pays for damages if you’re hit by a driver with no insurance or a driver with coverage that’s insufficient to pay for your repairs and medical expenses.
Medical coverage (MedPay)
Medical payments coverage can help pay for the medical or funeral expenses of covered drivers and passengers after an accident, regardless of fault, up to $25,000. In most states, including Texas, it's an optional addition to your car insurance policy. MedPay does the following:
- Covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses
- Pays for expenses after health insurance limits are exceeded
- Offers additional protection to insured drivers who are hit by a car while walking or biking
If you and your passengers:
- Don’t have health insurance, or have a plan that doesn’t cover car accidents or has low limits, we recommend that you add medical coverage of at least $5,000 to your car insurance policy.
- Do have health insurance, it’s still a good idea to have medical coverage if you want the best protection in your policy, as it can pay out after your health benefits are maxed out.
If you don’t own your car outright and have an accident, gap insurance pays the difference between the cash value of your car and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease.
- If you’re financing your car, your car is less than one year old and you’ve put less than 20 percent down on it, you should buy gap insurance. If not, you don’t need gap insurance.
- If you’re leasing your car, it’s a good idea to buy gap insurance if you aren’t already required to in your lease agreement.
- If you own your car outright, you don’t need gap insurance.
Car insurance companies in Texas
Scores are based on Insure.com’s “Best Insurance Companies” customer review survey of 3,700 customers. Companies not in the top 10 of market share do not qualify. All scores are out of 100.
Best car insurance companies in Texas
Best customer service:
- USAA – 100
- State Farm – 92
- Allstate – 91.8
- Nationwide – 90.4
- Geico – 88.7
Best claims service:
- USAA – 100
- Liberty Mutual – 96
- Geico –93.9
- Progressive – 92.5
- State Farm – 91.8
Best value for the price:
- USAA – 91.3
- Progressive – 86.3
- State Farm – 84.6
- Nationwide – 83.2
- Geico – 81.1
Get Personalized Car Insurance Quotes Age Currently Insured I am married I own my home I've served in the military
Largest car insurance companies in Texas
|Rank||Company Name||Direct premiums written||Market share %||Overall Customer Review Ranking|
|1||State Farm Group||3,168,382||18.7%||90.4|
|2||Allstate Insurance Group||2,039,446||11.7%||87|
|4||Farmers Insurance Group||1,719,971||9.86%||81.1|
|7||Home State Insurance Group||705,717||4.05%||n/a|
|8||Texas Farm Bureau Group||631,629||4.8%||n/a|
|9||Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies||510,297||2.93%||86.4|
Source: A.M. Best market share rankings are based on direct premiums written in 2015.
Customer review rankings based on Insure.com's 2016 "Best Insurance Companies" survey of 3,700 customers. Scores out of 100.
Car insurance in Texas cities
Find out what the most expensive and the cheapest car insurance rates are by ZIP code, as well as how they compare statewide.
Houston car insurance
San Antonio car insurance
Texas car insurance laws and resources
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.
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 48 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.
To mitigate the risk of loss, people purchase insurance policies from a company. When buying a policy, the person agrees to pay a premium, which is small, regular payment based on the losses that may occur. If the insurance provider determines there is a greater chance of risk as compared to the average policy, the premium is usually higher. Premiums are often paid monthly, and can add up over time up to be greater than the expense of replacing the insured item.
Many types of insurance only cover a certain amount of risk on an item. The amount the policyholder must pay before an insurance policy begins covering an expense is called the deductible. In the event of damage or loss to whatever the policy covers, the policyholder is responsible for the deductible no matter what. If the cost of damage or loss is less than the deductible amount, the insurance company does not pay anything. If the cost is greater than the deductible, the policyholder only pays the deductible, while the insurance pays the rest. Generally, the deductible amount is related to your premium, with a higher deductible usually requiring a lower premium, and vice-versa.
Selecting the right insurance involves careful research and evaluating many different options for coverage. This is why many people use an insurance agent to assist with making the right choice depending on their needs and financial situation. Agents often interview potential or current clients to get an idea of which insurance policies would benefit them the most. Based on their needs and individual risk, agents can often give potential customers a quote, which serves as a cost estimate for a specific policy. This is only a rough idea of what the policy will cost, because evaluating the risk associated with a given customer can take time. Insurance companies often compile an insurance score to quantify the risk an individual poses and calculate premiums accordingly. Credit scores play a major role in insurance scores, but past insurance-claim history is also taken into account.
While agents often specialize in a particular category of insurance, some sell several different types of insurance. Agents can work for a larger insurance company or operate independently, selling policies from several different insurers.
Almost anything of value can be insured to protect against loss due to a variety of circumstances. Insurance policies are very specific in the items they protect and in what event the policy holders will be reimbursed. Some of the most common insurance policies cover things we all use.
Millions of Americans drive a car to get from place to place each day, so it makes sense that auto insurance is one of the most commonly used types. In most states, the law requires drivers to maintain an active insurance policy on any car, up to a certain amount. Most car owners are required at minimum to purchase liability insurance, which protects against damage for which the policyholder is at fault. Liability insurance covers damage to property as well as any injuries sustained in an accident. It's important to note liability insurance only covers damage or injuries of others, not the policyholder themselves. In addition to liability insurance, car owners can also purchase coverage for their own vehicle and medical expenses in the event of an accident. For this purpose, liability, vehicle and medical coverage are often packaged together in a single policy.
Insurance can also be purchased for other vehicles, like motorcycles, ATVs, boats or RVs, and generally functions similarly to car insurance. Policies for alternative vehicles may have higher premiums if they are considered more dangerous, or might include other coverage options specific to the vehicle. Many companies that provide auto insurance will also offer coverage for motorcycles, ATVs, boats and RVs.
Your home, condo or apartment is probably the most valuable thing you own or otherwise pay for, so it makes sense to get it insured. Homeowners insurance is important not just for the security of the house itself, but for its ability to cover possessions inside the home as well. Many mortgage lenders also require an active home insurance policy.
Like auto insurance, homeowners insurance is typically bundled together with policies covering many different items or categories of items. The primary coverage type is for the dwelling, insuring the house itself and all structures attached to it. Policies may also cover property within the home, with premiums varying depending on the value of all assets. Personal liability may also be included for damage or injuries sustained on your property that you are responsible for, much like auto insurance.
Property insurance also may cover certain major events outside of your control. These are known as perils, and may include fire, flooding, natural disasters and other catastrophic events. You may want to purchase insurance against one or more of these perils if you live in a high-risk area. Flood insurance is an exception, however, and can be purchased through the government-sponsored National Flood Insurance Program. Your lender may require this if you live in a flood-prone area.
To help pay for medical expenses, many people rely on their health insurance. With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, almost every American is required to enroll in a health care plan, or they face a penalty. Health insurance works similarly to other forms of insurance, although it is probably used to cover expenses more often, since car accidents and home damage are relatively rare compared to doctor visits and the need for medicine. Health insurance also operates on a premium-deductible model, and policyholders can choose what level of coverage works best for their lifestyle. For example, if you visit doctors very infrequently, you may consider a plan with a low premium and a higher deductible. On the other hand, people who require regular medical care may wish to pay a higher premium in exchange for more coverage from their deductible. Dental and vision care are sold as separate plans and are not required by law.
When someone dies unexpectedly or is injured severely enough to be unable to work, it can be a financial disaster for their family or loved ones. Many people choose to purchase a life insurance policy to support their family in the event their regular income is suddenly lost. Life insurance comes in two basic types: term and universal. With a term life insurance plan, you pay a premium for a predetermined amount of time, usually 10 years or more. If you die at any point in that timeframe, your family receives a death benefit. If you're still around when the term is over, the coverage is canceled and you receive nothing. Universal life covers your entire life, and usually delivers a minimum benefit at death.
Travel insurance is available for individuals who want to protect against unexpected setbacks in the course of travel, whether it's losing luggage or medical treatment abroad. Travel insurance may prove particularly useful for people who travel a lot for work or often visit remote locations. Travel insurance can take the form of either specific or blanket coverage. Specific coverage is useful for covering only certain risks, like medical emergencies or unexpected trip cancelation. Blanket coverage may cover some or all of your expenses for your entire trip.
Pet insurance is a relatively new product that may help cover the costs of medical care for a dog, cat or other domestic animal. Medical care for animals can be very costly, particularly because insurance for them is rare. By paying into a premium, you can help offset the cost of unexpected emergencies as well as routine checkups and medication. While virtually unheard of a few years ago, pet insurance has become more popular as the cost of veterinarian care has continued to rise.
Umbrella insurance is extra coverage from liability for other insurance policies, usually home or auto insurance. Consumers may choose to purchase an umbrella policy if their home or car is more expensive than a typical policy would be able to cover. For example, most car insurance liability policies cover at least $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident. But if the accident involves a very valuable car, or the victim is willing to pursue legal action, insurance may not even begin to cover the full cost. You may want to hedge your risk by purchasing umbrella insurance to add extra protection to your existing policy.
Insurance Claims Basics
To receive a payout for an insurance policy, the policyholder must file a claim with the insurance company. The basics of the process are straightforward, but can vary depending on the type of insurance.
Claims Adjusters and Examiners
A claims adjuster or claims examiner is an employee of an insurance company, and the person responsible for evaluating claims and determining if the company will reimburse the policyholder at the amount provided. An adjuster inspects claims related to property damage, as in the case of auto or home insurance policies. Claims examiners are typically involved in health and life insurance, and review medical records to determine the proper payout for major medical procedures.
How To Make a Claim
Filing an insurance claim can be stressful and confusing, but you need to begin the process as soon as possible to make certain you can recover your losses. It's important to note that in the case of emergencies, you should always call 911 first. The safety and health of yourself and others takes precedent over insurance.
Auto Insurance Claim: If you're involved in an accident, you need to call the police right away and have them document the situation. You can file a claim upon obtaining the police report. It's also a good idea, if possible, to take your own notes at the scene. The most important things to record are what happened before the accident, the date and time, traffic signs in the area and road conditions. Also be sure to get the other driver's name, address, license plate number and insurance information. Even photos taken with a cell phone camera can help the claims process. Once you have this documentation, call your insurance company right away.
Homeowners Insurance Claim: In the case of damage, take pictures of the affected area as soon as any safety or health emergencies are resolved. Take note of what happened and all the relevant circumstances and report to your insurer as soon as possible. If any of your possessions were damaged, use an inventory of your important assets and make note of this in the claim. Once an adjuster has made their own report, review it for accuracy.
Life Insurance Claim: Send your insurer a claim form for each beneficiary in the plan, as well as a certified copy of the policyholder's death certificate. With the proper information, life insurance claims are generally straightforward. Problems may arise if the policyholder has died within two years of opening the policy. In this case, an attorney may be needed to settle the claim.
Finding Discounts on Insurance
Insurance is a wise investment, but it can make a dent in your monthly budget. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to trim the fat off your premiums and make certain you are paying only as much as you need.
Shop and Compare
Perhaps the best way to save on any insurance policy is to take the time to compare prices between as many companies and plans as possible. Even after you've chosen a plan and started paying into it, consider looking around again when it comes time to renew the policy. Consider using an independent agent when searching for a new insurance policy. While traditional agents can still find a good deal, independent agents can choose from a variety of providers and tailor your coverage to your specific needs. The Internet has also made comparison shopping easier than ever before. Potential customers can often get free quotes online very quickly.
Buy Only What You Need
Insurance agents will often try to "upsell" on various extra products that may be useful for certain people, but are generally excessive for the average consumer. Stick with basic plans that cover as much as you need without any additional costs. For example, if the annual cost of your auto insurance is 10 percent or more of the total value of your car, drop all but the most essential coverage. This is especially applicable if the car you drive is older and could be replaced with savings. Otherwise, you are paying for insurance that will never actually benefit you in the event of a serious crash. It can help to create a budget and know exactly how much income you have to work with before making a decision on a new policy.
Take Advantage of Discounts
Insurance providers offer a wide variety of discounts for all kinds of special customers or circumstances. In one of the most basic discounts, many companies will offer lower rates for customers who purchase home, auto and life insurance policies from the same provider. Car owners may get a rebate from taking a safe driving course. For those with teenagers on their plan, good grades can earn a small discount as well. Insuring multiple cars with the same provider may also lower premiums. Some providers will offer lower rates for military personnel, federal employees, teachers, first responders and their families.