Texas, The Lone Star State, has 17.4 million registered drivers but an astonishing 22 million registered cars. That’s 1.25 cars per driver (compare California, which has 0.55 cars per driver). That might mean, by owning a second vehicle, Texas drivers have an advantage. If they happen to get in a car accident, they have a spare. But this is hardly a good enough reason not to carry car insurance.
Car insurance is a requirement in the state of Texas. Before you get in the car and on the road, do your research. Check out the levels of general car insurance and the major types of car insurance. The following information will provide you with the basics of what you need to know to make an educated decision about buying affordable car insurance in Texas.
Get Low-Cost Texas Auto Insurance
- Average premiums for full coverage in Texas: $1,373
- Average premiums for the legal minimum in Texas: $782
- Insurance providers are allowed to offer discounts for good driving behaviors.
- The legal minimum coverage is liability coverage with limits of 30/60/25.
- Policies must include personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured motorist protection (UM/UIM) unless rejected in writing by the policyholder.
- Texas is an at-fault state with a modified comparative negligence system.
- Texas roads are not the safest. In 2019 there was one reportable accident every minute and no deathless days the whole year.
- 20% of its drivers are on the road without insurance.
How Much Is Car Insurance in Texas?
What is the Average Premium in Texas for Full Coverage Car Insurance?
In Texas, the average full coverage car insurance will cost you about $1373 annually, which is lower than the national average. Across the country, car insurance premiums average $1,738, which is considerably higher than Texas. Michigan and Louisiana are at the top of the list. Drivers in these states may pay more than $2,700 per year for their premiums.
How Much is it for Just the Minimum Required Car Insurance in Texas?
In Texas, the minimum car insurance premiums average $782 annually. This is approximately half of the average $1,738 cost for full coverage.
Half of the cost means you are not fully insured. Texas is an at-fault state, so don’t jump into the cheapest car insurance coverage available. At-fault drivers are responsible for reimbursing other drivers for their losses. Does it still sound like a good deal? Full coverage car insurance guarantees that you and the other driver are insured. Having the security of full coverage, which protects you should losses happen with both you and another driver, means you won’t be draining your savings to pay out-of-pocket expenses.
How do Rates Compare Across Major Cities in Texas?
Houston, Dallas, and Austin are heavily populated cities located in Texas, the second-largest state in the U.S.
Listed below is a snapshot of the average car insurance premium cost for these major locations, as well as other metropolitan areas in Texas.
Is There a Good Driver Discount for Car Insurance in Texas?
Although not mandated by law, Texas insurance providers do offer Good Driver Discounts. Drivers can earn these discounts based on their policies, the drivers themselves, and the type of vehicles they drive.
Since there is no standard discount and no legal requirements, you will need to contact your insurance provider to learn about their Good Driver Discount details. Discounts can range from as low as 2% up to 30% by achieving a certain status, some as easy as just paying your premiums on time. With a clean driving record, you could see discounts as high as 30%, higher than many other states.
Some possible qualifying requirements are:
- Long-term customer loyalty
- Clean driving record
- Drivers over 50 who complete an approved defensive driving course. (Texas law requires insurers to provide this discount if the driving course is completed successfully.)
- By being continuously insured
- Paying premiums on time
- Student drivers with “B” average grades or better
- Driving a vehicle with safety features like airbags, anti-locking brakes, and daytime running lights.
- Driving a vehicle with an anti-theft system, like LoJack or steering wheel locks.
Texas Car Insurance Laws
Texas car insurance laws were put into place to protect drivers and their vehicles. Additionally, the laws provide for fair pricing between the car insurance providers and you, the policyholder.
Mandating car insurance for all Texans protects drivers should an unexpected accident occur and promotes safe driving behavior. Some insurance companies provide significant discounts for safe driving, which is an excellent way to reduce the cost of your car insurance premiums.
It is important to follow the laws and keep your vehicles covered. There are drivers who violate Texas law and do not purchase insurance. By keeping yourself and other drivers in your household covered, you are protected against those who do not follow the insurance mandate. If an accident does happen, you are well equipped to cover yourself and others.
What are the Mandatory Car Insurance Requirements in Texas?
According to Texas’s Consumer Bill of Rights for auto insurance, the minimum required insurance for the State of Texas is proof that you can pay for the accident. However, most drivers choose to purchase liability insurance.
Liability insurance ensures that others who may be injured or property damage that may occur due to an accident are covered by the policy holder. Comprehensive or collision insurance alone does not provide this same compensation.
Minimum Liability Insurance Requirements for Private Passenger Vehicles
- $30,000 for injury/death to one person
- $60,000 for injury/death for all bodily injury claims
- $25,000 for damage to property
- Policies must include personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured motorist protection (UM/UIM) unless you reject these coverages in writing.
What Factors Does Texas Law Allow in Determining Your Premiums?
To have control over how much you pay for your car insurance, it’s good practice to know the criteria that drive how car insurance rates are calculated.
Insurance providers use the same data points to determine the appropriate premium rate for you. Some of the most significant criteria are listed below. Texas insurance providers are allowed to base their calculations on the following factors.
- Education & occupation
- Marital status
- Zip code
- Car type
- Driving history
- Credit score
What is Driving Like in Texas?
How Many Car Accidents Happen in Texas?
Regrettably, according to TxDOT, “there were no deathless days on Texas roadways in 2019.” Current statistics show 3,294 fatal accidents reported in 2019 (3,610 deaths occurred from those deadly accidents). However, there has been a reduction in these numbers. Fatalities have dropped from 3,727 in 2017 to where it is now, a 3% decrease. However, 2019 also saw around 563,000 car accidents, about one reportable accident per minute. Of that total, 256,338 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes.
Accidents by county:
Sadly, these accidents might have been prevented. 2019 statistics show that 42.42% of the occupants did not have their seatbelts fastened. 50% of the drivers involved in accidents this same year had blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) above the legal driving limit. You and other drivers across Texas can help keep our roads safe by not driving under the influence and by wearing seatbelts. Save a life; it could be yours.
What the numbers also prove is that if you are the victim of a car accident, it’s very possible you will survive, but you’ll survive with injuries. How does that look? What is the quality of life? You’re alive, but you could be living with chronic pain or disabilities. What does recovery look like? How is your work-life impacted? Your financial situation? And are you able to gain back what you’ve lost?
How Many Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists are in Texas?
Reports show that 20% of Texans are driving without car insurance. That means that out of the five people on the road around you, one of them does not have coverage. Purchasing Uninsured Motorist Insurance will protect you in the event that you are involved in an accident with that one driver who has no insurance.
FAQs About Texas Car Insurance
In Texas, if you’ve been rejected by two insurance providers within the last 60 days, you can apply for a policy with the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association (TAIPA). TAIPA liability policies cover only the minimum limits, which are currently 30/60/25 ($30,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage per accident). Physical damage coverage is not available.
Not yet. Few states grant the ability to obtain a license without proof of legal status. Texas, as of 2020, does not give licenses to people without evidence of legal status. However, there has been legislation that, when passed, will allow driving privileges for residents without legal status.
Yes. However, now having a DUI on your record, you are considered a high-risk driver and will need to do the research to find an insurer that carries high-risk policies. Your insurer will also need to file an SR-22 Proof of Insurance Certification with TxDOT on your behalf. If you should lapse on your premiums, the insurer will then be required to inform TxDOT, your insurance policy will be canceled, and your license and vehicle registration will be suspended.