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How to Find the Best Auto Insurance Coverage

How to Find the Best Auto Insurance in Texas

The Basics on Auto Insurance in Texas

 

The laws in Texas require that you have at least $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person, and $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 of coverage for property damage. This is called 30/60/25 coverage.

Texans are only required to maintain basic bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. Drivers who purchase the minimum required insurance  are not covered  for damage to their own automobile , and they have no protection against uninsured or underinsured drivers with whom they might have an accident. It is estimated that about 20% of Texas drivers have no insurance coverage. So, the level of risk insofar as having no uninsured motorist coverage is about a 1-in-5 chance of having an accident which was no fault of your own and having to pay for all of the damages out of your pocket.

Drivers who don’t have at least the minimum amount of automobile insurance coverage, who then cause an accident will receive a citation.

Uninsured drivers could also lose their driver’s license for two years or face other penalties. This does not stop drivers from breaking the law, however.

Texas is one of the states with the highest car insurance rates in the nation so it pays to shop and carefully select the auto insurance that fits your circumstances and offers you the most value.

 

How to Find the Best Auto Insurance in Texas

 

When searching online for an auto insurance provider, you will find several opinions. Some are biased, some are less biased.  They can all prove to be difficult during the claims process at times, but not all of them and not always. Pay attention to what other consumers have to say about them. You will increase your chances of having a good experience if you select an insurer that has fewer complaints and meets all of your other criteria.

We are going to start with some example suggestions from popular sites that cover money and finance. The opinions vary, and this is due to rating methods and sometimes bias from being paid for their opinion by the insurers. Be careful with each site. Read their advertising policies and compare the comparison sites, just as they compare the insurers. You’ll get a clearer picture of the most credible sources.

We don’t suggest that you choose any particular insurer. They all have their pros and cons. It comes down to you. We are  here to help you avoid pitfalls and help you understand the basics when searching for your best options.  Here goes:

The Top 5 Auto Insurers for the State of Texas according to Bankrate.com:

  1. Geico
  2. USAA
  3. State Farm
  4. Nationwide
  5. Allstate

You will commonly find these insurers suggested on comparison sites. They are all large companies. They are available in all states and they all have customer complaints that are better than average as far as the numbers of negative complaints.  These companies either get an average number of complaints or fewer. This will vary based on your location, however. You will need to check for your location.

To access this information about complaints, go to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Consumer Information Source. Use the form to provide the name of the insurance company, the state where you live and the type of insurance.

 

More Suggestions from Comparison Sites

 

PolicyGenius.com suggests that these are the following insurers with the cheapest insurance rate in Texas:

Insurer Average Monthly Cost
Texas Farm Bureau $87
State Farm $90
Germania $112
Redpoint $113
Geico $122

 

Keep in mind that cheaper does not always mean better. Some of the listed companies have subpar customer service ratings and numerous complaints, so pay attention to any details you can find for each auto insurance company. If price is your only criteria, you may end up having a hard time filing or collecting on your auto accident claim.

Another auto insurance resource, Gabi.com, states that these insurance companies offer the lowest overall rates in the United States:

  • USAA
  • Geico
  • State Farm
  • Travelers
  • Progressive
  • American Family
  • Farmers
  • Nationwide
  • AllState

 

NerdWallet.com ranks these as the best auto insurers by category:

Category Insurer
Best insurance company overall Travelers
Best for accident forgiveness Geico
Fewest Complaints American Family
Best for discounts Amica
Best in customer satisfaction State Farm

 

All of the comparisons that were found online differ, as you can see.  There are some consistently present options, however, and these may deserve your attention. We do not advocate that you go with any one insurance provider.  In fact, our clients have had bad experiences with most all of them. Your choice should depend on your research and findings. To get the best possible insurance, you must determine what his right for your needs and budget.

To find the best auto insurance you need to factor several things:

 

  1. Price/Rate
  2. Level of coverage
  3. Customer Service (How easy is the claims process?)
  4. Other benefits and features of an auto policy
  5. Financial strength of the insurer (Will they be able to cover you when needed?)

Check out AM Best to determine the financial strength of an insurance company. It is an organization that rates insurance companies. Am Best ratings help to determine the financial strength of an insurance provider.

Once you weigh out all of the details and options, you will be able to make an informed choice. Don’t go with the first agent that calls you or the first insurer you come across. You could be costing yourself hundreds of dollars you could keep in your pocket.

 

Tate Law Offices has dealt with almost all of the insurance companies suggested by the comparison sites, and there is one thing for sure:  they all have a tendency to be difficult. The more valuable your case is, the more they will have to pay out. The higher the value, the more aggressive they become. So, when you need them the most, they are the most likely to turn their backs on you. You are just a number to them, so they should be a number to you. And, the number should be based largely on the price, level of coverage and the ease of the claims process insofar as you can determine that you will receive cooperation and fairness. Don’t gloss over customer service. When it comes to using the insurance, should you need to, this is where it really counts. Will they make it harder for you than it needs to be? If you have a high-dollar case, you can bet that you are not going to have an easy claims process. There’s too much at stake when you have been seriously injured. Unfortunately, this comes at a very unfortunate time in your life. But, the reality is that you will likely have some issues in these circumstances. And, this is when you need a lawyer the most.  If you are having trouble with an insurance company, call or text Tate Law Offices now to get help: 972.499.4813. Also feel  free to use our contact forms or our chat feature. Someone will be there to answer you 24/7 so don’t hesitate.

For more information on auto insurance customer service, read our Profiles for Auto Insurers.

 

 

How to Find Out What Your Auto Insurance Rights Are

 

An insurance company may not:

  • Deny you auto insurance coverage or charge you more for coverage based on your color, race, national origin, or religion
  • Deny you auto insurance coverage or charge you more for coverage because of your marital status, age, gender, geographic location, or a disability unless the company can show that you are a greater risk for a loss than other people that the auto insurer is willing to insure
  • Deny you auto insurance coverage , charge you more, or treat you differently than other people in your rate or risk class unless the auto insurer can show that you are a greater risk than others that it insures
  • Deny you auto insurance coverage or charge you more for coverage based only on your credit score

 

How to Compare Rates for Car Insurance

 

There are a handful of websites that allow you to compare auto insurance providers online and get quotes for your needs:

  • com
  • com
  • com
  • com
  • com
  • com
  • com

 

According to Gabi.com residents of the state of Texas, overpay $833 on average per year for their auto insurance rate, and while this number may be high, it speaks to the fact that by being smart you can compare and save money. Gabi.com also states that the average rate in Texas is $2076 making it one of the top 15 states in the nation for insurance costs. New York and Louisiana top the list with Louisiana being the highest primarily due to theft and high rates of incidents such as flooding.

You can also call agents in your area. Some agencies may offer several options for the carriers they sell insurance for. The more options you have, the better your chances of getting the best deal and the best auto insurance. You can also visit the sites of most auto insurance companies and get a quote in a few minutes.

Be aware that you will likely have to give these comparison tools and prospective insurers access to your credit information. The same is true when you get a quote from individual auto insurance companies.

 

To find out if an insurer will use your credit score when determining your rate see the following:

 

Some of the comparison sites also make money by way of their affiliations with insurers. Read their policies to find out how objective they are likely to be. This is a business where you may find it difficult to trust any one source, but if you look at them as a whole, you will get a more objective picture of the choices you have.

 

How to Get the Lowest Rate on Auto Insurance

 

We do not suggest using the rate as your only criteria, but if you must, please know that all car insurance companies have pros and cons. The best deal will depend on your needs and specific circumstances, such as location, age, driving history, credit score, deductible amount, coverage amount, types of coverage and several other factors. The top picks may not be the best options for you. So shopping for insurance is essential if you want to find the best deal with good coverage. Some auto insurance companies offer fewer options, which may be a sign that you are better off getting insurance with a company that can offer you flexibility in coverage. Some insurers do no operate in all states, and while this is not always a bad quality, it can signal limitations you may want to investigate more fully.

 

How to Get Discounts on Car Insurance

 

  • Look for companies that provide discounts for bundling home and auto insurance. Many companies offer multipolicy or multidriver discounts.
  • Keep your credit score in good shape to reduce your auto insurance rates substantially. In some cases bad credit scores can raise your insurance rates more than a DUI!
  • Drive safely to maintain a history of no accidents, which will get you a discount with most insurance coverers.
  • Drivers with no moving violations for a period of 3-5 years also tend to get a discount. Many vehicle insurers have good driver discounts for those who go for many years without an accident or have no traffic violations.
  • There are some insurance companies that offer discounts if you keep you policy with them for multiple years.
  • Buy a car with more safety and security (anti theft) features, such as anti-lock brakes and collision avoidance. Some insurers offer discounts for some safety features and devices. Keep in mind, though, that your repair costs will likely be higher if insurance doesn’t cover an accident.
  • You might also check to see if the auto insurance carrier offers discounts based on affiliations with certain groups or organizations such as college honor societies, fraternities, sororities, philanthropies, and other memberships whether academic, civic or other.
  • Look for a policy with rate locking to keep your rates the same year after year.
  • Complete a defensive driving course or a driver education class.

 

Other Potential Discounts to Look for

 

  • Responsible payer discounts
  • Discounts for students with good grades
  • New-car discounts
  • Pay-in-full discounts
  • eStatement discounts (only receiving statements via email or online)
  • Safe driving club discount

Ask the insurance carrier or agency to give you a list of available discounts.

 

How to Avoid High Auto Insurance Rates and Extra Costs

 

  • Don’t speed and don’t get a traffic ticket. When you get a speeding ticket and other recorded traffic violations, it works the opposite way of getting a discount if you have no moving violations, except that it is more extreme as far as cost vs. savings (which are small in comparison to the total increase you’ll get from a ticket). You actually end up paying substantially more. A single traffic ticket can raise your yearly insurance cost $500 or more, and this will likely affect your insurance costs for 3-5 years. This is a large sum of money, when you add it all up and factor in lost interest on the extra cost. It would not be uncommon for a single speeding violation to cost more than $3000. The cost of the ticket is only a fraction of the true cost.
  • Don’t drive drunk because a DUI can cost you substantially more when it comes to what you pay for auto insurance. It might make it very difficult to get any coverage at all.
  • Improve your credit score. In some cases, a bad credit score will raise you insurance rates more than a DUI conviction.
  • Drive fewer miles or find a mileage-based insurance plan, if available in your state.
  • Don’t drive while distracted so that you lower your chance of having an accident.
  • Learn and follow the law without exception.

 

How to Lower Your Rates on Car Insurance

 

  • Increase your deductible, depending on your tolerance for risk or how much cash you may have on hand at any time to pay for your part of a claim.
  • Lower your coverage amounts. We do not suggest doing this, unless it is a last resort. Never go below your states minimum amount of coverage and get all coverage mandated by the law of your state.
  • Don’t buy an expensive automobile. The more the auto costs, the more it costs to insure it.
  • Don’t drive a vehicle with low crash test scores. Check National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash test data before purchasing a vehicle.
  • Don’t buy a vehicle that is popular with auto thieves.

Here are some autos to consider avoiding:

Most stolen cars from 2010-2020

Rank

Most stolen vehicle

Number of thefts

1 Honda Accord 513,025
2 Honda Civic 471,327
3 Ford Pickups * 337,287
4 Chevrolet Pickups * 308,105
5 Toyota Camry 180,722
6 Dodge Pickups * 128,313
7 Nissan Altima 112,776
8 Toyota Corolla 89,864
9 Dodge Caravan 55,257
10 GMC Pickups* 46,753
11 Acura Integra 36,000
12 Chevrolet Impala 28,461
13 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee 28,335
14 Honda CR-V 22,403
15 Nissan Maxima 13,533

 

*All Pickups are full-sized

This data is from theZebra.com. You can find it by clicking the Most Stolen Cars from 2010-2020.

  • Don’t drive an SUV or a vehicle with a high center of gravity.
  • Opt out of roadside assistance, towing or car rental reimbursement options, if you don’t need these.
  • Skip options such as umbrella add-ons, if you are on a budget.
  • Live in a less populated or less-crime-prone area.
  • Live in an area where you can avoid hurricanes and other damaging weather. The same is true for natural-disaster-prone areas, such as regions where earthquakes are common.
  • Keep your car garaged. Some insurers will inquire about where your car stays while parked at your residence.
  • Get an automobile with less power or a smaller engine.
  • Opt for liability-only car insurance, if you live in a state where this is possible. It is not advised, but it may be the only affordable option for some drivers. If you are injured or if your car is damaged, you will get nothing from this coverage. It only covers other drivers, if you are at fault.

 

How to Get More Out of Auto Insurance

 

Some insurance companies offer benefits or features such as:

  • Accident forgiveness
  • Vanishing deductibles
  • New car replacement
  • Mile-based insurance programs where you pay based on how much you drive
  • Discounts based on a low number of miles driven per year

Explore all of your options before you select an insurer as you may find that there are some benefits that add value to any potential claim or make the claims process easier. There are some consumer friendly features provided by various insurers. Read the fine print, and hopefully you will find legitimate options that will be policy upgrades.

 

Other Ways to Potentially Lower Your Car Insurance Costs

 

Several companies now offer programs where you can receive a variable coverage increase or decrease based on in-auto telemetric monitoring technology, where you place an easy-to-install device in your automobile which monitors various aspects of your driving habits such as acceleration, seat-belt usage, sudden stops, how often a car is driven over 80miles per hour, and other measurements and data. There are manufacturers, such as Hyundai which have monitoring devices built into new autos. This option must be turned on by the vehicle owner, and once the reports are generated, the owner has the option to allow auto insurance carriers to see their scores and provide offers for insurance coverage rates.

Insurance companies tend to use the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) to assess your auto accident claims history.  Companies can and will charge your more or refuse to provide a policy based on info contained in your CLUE report. You can get a free copy of this report once a year. To get your report call LexisNexis at 866-312-8076.

For more resources check out the links below from the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) and the Office of Public Insurance Counsel (OPIC):

TDI Auto insurance info and tips

TDI Help with an insurance complaint

OPIC Auto Consumer Bill of Rights

OPIC Policy Comparison Tool

 

Why is Car Insurance So High in 2024?

 

Inflation is a major reason for the increase in auto insurance costs. In addition to this, increased injury settlement amounts and greater cost to repair an automobile that has been damaged in a collision, both add to the increases. The cost of medical care has also risen significantly, so injury accidents have driven up the amount of claims being paid out to injured parties in car accidents.  This means that everyone has to pay more to maintain insurance. It’s unfortunate, but auto insurance  is not likely to ever again cost what it did in the past. The good news is that you can find rates that could even bring your cost below what it was in 2023. Many Texans overpay for their coverage.  This is money lost. The insurance carriers love that you pay more than you should, but you shouldn’t.  If you spend some time doing your research and looking for better options, that time will likely pay for itself, unless you are lucky enough to be getting the best rate already. You won’t know this until you spend some time finding out. Most of the time, insurance shoppers are likely to end up saving themselves enough to buy their time and effort in the process of searching for a better deal.  You may even get an insurer that has better customer service and more beneficial features and coverage on top of savings.  So, unless you have money to waste, you should do this every year.

 

Why You Need a Lawyer if You Have Been Injured In a Car Accident

 

Having a Texas car accident lawyer on your side can increase your chances of getting the full amount you are owed for your injury accident claims. Your chances of getting a fair or reasonable settlement or a jury award are significantly better if you have qualified legal representation. No insurance company is in business to lose money. And, auto insurance providers only profit if they pay out as little for claims as they possibly can. The better they are at keeping the money paid for auto insurance policies, the more profitable they can be. So, never expect an insurance company to be on your side. They are on the side of profit. This means that you need a lawyer if you wish to get the most for your injury claims. Otherwise, the insurance company is not likely to see your claim as a strong one. These companies train their employees to minimize claim values. This often means attempting to get you to make choices or say things that will allow them to reduce the amount paid out to you. This might include convincing you to settle before you have completed medical treatment. This never works in your favor, if you’ve been injured. You may also be lead to stating things about your accident that do not reflect the situation accurately. Insurance adjusters are quite capable of tricking injury victims into making statements that will diminish the value of their claims. If they can get you to admit to any percentage of fault, they will use this against you, so they can get away with paying your less. You are never going to fully recover your losses, if you don’t know how to handle the tactics that will be used against you.

Getting a fair settlement with a flawlessly executed case is possible, and this usually requires the help of a lawyer. The more your case is worth; the more willing insurance companies are to use tactics against you. These tactics are often, unfair, and may not even reflect the reality of your situation. If they can establish any level of fault on your part, you will not receive the compensation you likely deserve. This is why you need to let a lawyer speak for you. The attorneys at Tate Law Offices have over 30 years of experience dealing with insurance companies and maximizing the settlements and judgements of clients for thousands of car accidents in the state of Texas and beyond. We have accident lawyers in Dallas, Fort Worth, Midland, and Houston who will provide you with a free evaluation of your injury case and provide you with direction, whether you were in accident involving cars, trucks, motorcycle, bicycles, pedestrians or vehicle defects. We also handle cases for victims of drunk drivers and cases against bars and restaurants that over serve their customers who then injure others in an accident.  Our accident lawyers handle all motor vehicle accidents and have done so with a 99% success rate for decades. We take all cases on a contingency basis which means you pay nothing to us if we don’t get results for you. Call us now for a free consultation regarding your or a loved one’s injury accident and start exploring your case. You can reach us at 972.499.4813 by calling or texting. You can also reach out to us using the chat or contact forms on this page. We are here 24/7 to answer your questions.