First, all hail broke loose. Then, Hurricane Harvey came along. It’s been a rough couple of years in Texas — and insurers are trying to compensate by raising premiums. But it’s still possible to find affordable Texas auto insurance! We’ll show you how.
Don’t have time to read all this? No problem. You can take a shortcut and just start getting quotes for cheap car insurance on Compare.com.
What Are the Texas Auto Insurance Requirements?
If you want to drive in Texas, you have to have insurance. The minimum requirements are:
- $30,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $60,000 per accident: Bodily injury liability pays for injuries suffered by other people in an accident you’re legally responsible for
- $25,000 in property damage liability: This pays for damage to other people’s property — like their cars — in an accident you’re responsible for
You’ll often see these limits abbreviated as “30/60/25 coverage.”
Cheap Liability Coverage in Texas
Looking for basic liability car insurance so you can drive legally in Texas? You’ll need a 30/60/25 policy: that means $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident in bodily injury liability, plus $25,000 in property damage liability.
To get cheap liability car insurance, choose state minimum coverage when you’re shopping for plans on Compare.com. We’ll show you quotes from multiple companies, and then you can choose the lowest one. Our sample driver, a 27-year-old woman in Arlington with a good driving record, was able to find cheap liability coverage for $65 per month. Your cost may be higher or lower — liability insurance rates fluctuate all the time and may be affected by your age, gender, driving record, address and more.
Why is Texas Auto Insurance Getting So Expensive?
Texans hate paying so much for car insurance. And who can blame them? In 2015, Texas had the 13th highest average annual expenditure on auto insurance — and rates have only gone up since then. A J.D. Power survey found that of all 50 states, Texas saw the biggest drop in price satisfaction in 2017.
Why is Texas auto insurance expensive? For one thing, people drive a lot of pickup trucks and SUVs, which are pricier to insure. Also, insurance rates have been going up nationwide because people are driving more and high-tech cars are getting more expensive to fix. But that’s not the whole story.
Texas saw two big disasters in recent years that cost insurers a lot of money. In 2016, record hailstorms pelted several big urban areas, including Fort Worth, Arlington, El Paso and San Antonio. The damage to cars from hail and floods in Texas totaled around $2 billion that year. Then in 2017, Hurricane Harvey destroyed half a million cars in Southeast Texas. Considering the high cost of repairing hail damage and hurricane damage, you can see why insurance companies are jacking up their rates.
How Do I Find Cheap Auto Insurance in Texas?
Car insurance is an extremely personalized product. The amount you pay depends on factors like where you live, your age, your driving record and the type of vehicle you drive. That’s why the best way to find a policy you can afford is to compare auto insurance quotes for Texas side by side.
Compare.com makes it really easy. Begin by entering some basic information, such as your address, your occupation, and your vehicle. Then, select the level of coverage you want: state minimum, Basic, Plus or Premium.
To get the absolute cheapest Texas car insurance quotes, choose state minimum coverage. We’ll show you quotes from multiple companies for a 30/60/25 policy with no extra frills. Then, you can pick the lowest one.
Is the State Minimum Coverage Enough or Should I Carry More?
If you have few assets to protect from lawsuits, and if you drive an old car that doesn’t need collision/comprehensive coverage, you might be able to get away with minimum coverage. However, it’s always a good idea to buy more, if you can afford it.
Think of all the possible (and very common) scenarios. What if you cause an accident with serious injuries, and you get sued by the other driver because you don’t have enough insurance to cover their hospital bills? What if your car gets smashed by a tree, and you can’t afford to replace it? What if you get hurt in a hit-and-run accident? Carrying better insurance can protect you in situations like these.
How Do I find Reliable Auto Insurance Coverage That is Also Affordable?
We can help you find the perfect policy — one that’s affordable but also does a good job of protecting your car and your other assets. The secret is to start with the 30/60/25 minimum as a baseline and then compare quotes for higher levels of coverage. We’ll show you how!
Let’s look at an example: a 27-year-old woman in Arlington, Texas. She drives a 2016 Honda Fit that she owns outright, and she has a good driving record, with no recent tickets or collisions. When she compares quotes for state minimum Texas auto insurance, the best deal she can find is $65 per month when paid upfront (pay-as-you-go policies can be a little more expensive).
That’s pretty good! But she needs comprehensive and collision coverage too because she drives a newer car (If you have a car loan, these coverages are required). So she tries upgrading to the Basic level, which adds both comprehensive and collision with a $1,000 deductible. She also gets 30/60/25 in uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury and property damage. Now, her best quote is $120 per month.
That might be enough. But it’s worth comparing quotes for Plus coverage too because she’ll get a lot more protection:
- Bodily injury/property damage liability limits of 50/100/50
- Uninsured motorist coverage limits of 50/100/50
- $5,000 in personal injury protection, which pays for medical bills, the cost of hiring a caregiver for an injured person, and 80 percent of lost income if a covered person is hurt in a car accident
- Comprehensive/collision deductible of $500, plus towing and rental car reimbursement
You’d think that all this coverage would be a lot more expensive. But her best quote for Plus coverage is just $156 per month.
Of course, your quotes could be higher or lower. You can also click “Customize coverage” to create a personalized insurance plan by adjusting different aspects of your coverage. Or, click “Contact me” to receive even more competing quotes from insurance companies.
Will Texas Car Insurance Cover Me in Mexico?
We’re glad you asked because the answer is probably not. Mexico does not recognize U.S. auto liability policies. If you’re involved in an accident south of the border, police will require you to prove you have insurance that can cover any injuries or judgments against you.
If you frequently travel to Mexico for work, pleasure or visiting family, call your insurance company. You may be able to purchase an endorsement (or get one for free) that covers shorter or infrequent trips across the border. You also may be able to purchase a separate Mexican liability insurance policy from an authorized agent in Texas.
What Happens if I Drive Without Car Insurance in Texas?
First of all, you’ll probably get caught — even if police don’t pull you over. Texas uses a car insurance verification system called TexasSure that identifies uninsured drivers. If the system can’t match your registered vehicle to an active insurance policy, the state will notify you.
A conviction for driving without insurance means a fine of up to $350, plus court costs. Subsequent offenses carry fines of up to $1,000 plus a two-year driver license suspension. Texas also has a system of surcharges: if you’re convicted of certain offenses, you’ll have to pay the state a penalty every year. The surcharge for driving without insurance is $250 each year for three years.
Read More about Driving Uninsured.
What Fees Can I Expect When Buying a Car in Texas?
If you’re in the market for a new or used car, you’ll need to budget for more than just the vehicle’s sticker price. You’ll be on the hook for basic DMV fees like title, license plate, and registration fees no matter where and how you purchase your new car, truck or SUV, as well as buying a new car insurance policy for your car. But some buyers will find themselves with additional fees such as sales tax, documentation fees, personal property tax, emissions and inspection fees, hybrid and electric vehicle fees, lien recording fees and a slew of other costs.
Check out Compare.com’s comprehensive vehicle costs breakdown to make sure you account for all the added fees you might be on the hook for when buying a car in Texas.