If you’re looking for all the info on Texas car insurance, then you’ve come to the right place.
Whether you live in San Antonio or Dallas, Texas requires insurance for all drivers. But what coverage do you need, and where can you get cheap auto insurance in Texas? We researched the ins and outs of Texas car insurance to help you make an informed decision about coverage and which insurance company to select.
In this article:
- Minimum Insurance Coverages: Why Do They Vary By State?
- An Overview Of Texas Car Insurance
- The Best Car Insurance Options In Texas
- Insurance Rates In Texas
- Is Minimum Coverage Enough?
- Considerations For Pricing Texas Car Insurance
Minimum Insurance Coverages: Why Do They Vary By State?
Before we dive into minimum requirements, it’s important to know all the insurance lingo. Essentially, there are five types of car insurance coverage that most car insurance companies include in their policies. Each one also comes with price ranges that vary by state. Here’s a basic summary of these types of insurance:
|Insurance Type||Range of Mandatory Limits||Who and What It Benefits|
|Bodily Injury Liability (BI)||$15,000–$50,000/person
|Another driver's injuries|
|Property Damage Liability (PD)||$5,000–$25,000/accident||Another driver's car or other property damages|
|Uninsured Motorist BI||
|Your injuries (if other driver is uninsured)|
|Uninsured Motorist PD||$5,000–$25,000/accident||Your car/property (if other driver is uninsured)|
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Medical Benefits||$1,000–$50,000||Your injuries and your passengers’ injuries|
Each state has individual laws that govern the minimum requirements for car insurance coverage. A multitude of factors determine why each state sets specific minimum requirements, but often these rules are impacted by accident report history and the demographics of each state’s citizens.
With that being said, every state requires property damage liability, and all states except for Florida require bodily injury liability. You’ll often hear people refer to these required policies as PLPD (personal liability and property damage).
An Overview Of Texas Car Insurance
To legally drive a vehicle in Texas, you must carry auto insurance. In fact, the minimum requirements in Texas are actually more intensive than in many other states, however some types of coverage are optional.
|Insurance Type||Required Coverage Amount in Texas|
|Bodily Injury Liability||$30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident|
|Property Damage Liability||$25,000 per accident|
|Personal Injury Protection||Optional; state requires that providers offer at least $2,500|
|Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury||Optional; state requires that providers offer at least $30,000/person and $60,000/accident|
|Uninsured Motorist Property Damage||Optional; state requires that providers offer at least $25,000 with a $250 deductible|
|Collision and Comprehensive||Optional|
When Do I Need To Provide Proof Of Insurance In Texas?
Texas drivers are required to provide proof of insurance at the following times:
- When registering a car or renewing vehicle registration
- When completing a required vehicle inspection
- When completing certain transactions related to your driver’s license
- When pulled over by law enforcement
Non-Insured Motorist Penalties In Texas
Drivers in Texas can face some serious fees and penalties if caught driving without adequate insurance coverage. If law enforcement officials pull you over for any reason and you cannot show proof of insurance, you will face a fine of $175–$350. Furthermore, you’ll be required to pay an uninsured motorist surcharge of $250 for three years upon license renewal.
Even first-time offenders face rate increases on their insurance coverage as a result of this one infraction. Repeat offenders can face fines up to $1,000, potential vehicle impounding, and other legal fees.
The Best Car Insurance Options In Texas
With over 15 million licensed drivers on Texas roads and over 25 options for car insurance in Texas, it’s important to arm yourself with quality information so you can choose the best possible coverage and stay safe on the road. We researched providers based on price, overall customer satisfaction, and coverage options available in Texas, and the following companies came out on top.
Texas Farm Bureau
Based in Waco, Texas Farm Bureau has provided insurance to Texans since 1952. Today the company handles auto, home, property, farm, life, and health insurance for over 300,000 Texas customers and their families. Texas Farm Bureau has 250 offices statewide and employs over 750 multi-line agents.
Texas Farm Bureau holds an amazing reputation. In fact, the company is fully accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and maintains an A+ rating. It also holds an Excellent rating from AM Best and has been recognized as best in customer satisfaction in Texas by J.D. Power for eight consecutive years.
Texas Farm Bureau offers the following standard Texas auto insurance coverages:
- Bodily injury and property liability coverage
- Collision and comprehensive damage coverage
- Personal injury protection and medical payments
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage
Additionally, Texas Farm Bureau offers:
- Roadside assistance and towing coverage
- Auto death indemnity coverage
- Rental car reimbursement
Regarding pricing, the provider comes in as the cheapest auto insurance in Texas, according to J.D. Power. The 2019 U.S. Auto Insurance Study found that Texas Farm Bureau had an average annual premium of $926. Texas Farm Bureau also offers discounts for multiple policies or cars, safe driving, and more.
Although Texas Farm Bureau doesn’t offer online quotes, you can obtain a quote over the phone at 1-800-772-6535 or from the nearest Texas Farm Bureau agent. To file claims, you can reach out online, call the 24/7 claims line, or contact your agent.
With nearly a century of experience, State Farm is the largest provider of Texas car insurance. It has over 380 local agents available throughout the state.
The company started with founder George J. Mecherle, who sold his first auto insurance policy in 1922. Today, State Farm is a national name that not only sells car insurance, but also homeowners insurance, renters insurance, and life and health insurance, plus many other products. Although State Farm’s national headquarters stands in Bloomington, Illinois, the company employs local agents across the United States and provides coverage in all 50 states.
State Farm holds an A+ BBB rating and numerous awards and accolades. It has a superior financial strength rating from AM Best, and according to complaints filed with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), State Farm receives "fewer than the median number of complaints to state regulators relative to its size for auto, home, and life insurance."
State Farm offers the same basic coverage options as Texas Farm Bureau, and it has a number of discounts available for customers that can help offset the cost difference in comparison to other insurance companies. The provider also has great perks, including:
- Online quotes and purchase options for most coverage policies
- A mobile app that provides policy info, roadside assistance, and a place to submit claims
- Rideshare insurance policies in most states
Most Popular Car Insurer in the U.S.
Our 4th pick: Most popular auto insurance company that services over 83 million policies.
Geico is one of the largest car insurance companies on the market. It offers extensive online resources for its customers as well as an amazing smartphone app.
In addition to all of the standard car insurance coverages, Geico has several add-on policies, including mechanical breakdown insurance and rideshare coverage. Additionally, Geico offers accident forgiveness and substantial discounts, making its already industry-low rates even more impressive.
One of the largest appeals of Geico is its state-of-the-art online tools and mobile app. Although many companies offer these now, Geico continues to prove itself as top-of-the-line when it comes to ease of service with both.
Best Company Overall
Our 2nd favorite and best for those ineligible for USAA: Offers competitive pricing and great coverage.
Insurance Rates In Texas
Compared to the national average, car insurance in Texas can seem expensive. According to the NAIC, the cost of Texas car insurance was approximately $1,009 in 2016, while the national average was $936. Here’s a breakdown of the coverage costs that year:
|Type of Coverage||Average Annual Expenditure in 2016|
*To calculate average expenditures, NAIC assumed that all insured vehicles would carry liability coverage but not necessarily collision or comprehensive. Total cost per year measures what consumers actually spent.
Factors That Impact Texas Car Insurance Rates
The general population of Texas is just one of the reasons why Texas car insurance is more than the national average. Here are a few more factors that affect the state’s rates:
- More than 14 percent of Texas car owners drive without insurance.
- The rural landscape of Texas means that drivers spend an average of 26 minutes per day commuting, with less than 3 percent of Texans using public transportation for commuting purposes.
- Texas has the 11th worst DUI rate in the country.
- Texas reports the 6th highest number of car crashes in the country.
If you receive a DUI conviction in Texas, state law requires that you provide proof of Texas car insurance with a form known as an SR-22. Your insurance company sends this form directly to the Texas Department of Public Safety so your license can be reinstated. Expect to pay more for Texas car insurance after a DUI conviction.
Is Minimum Coverage Enough?
Many drivers choose minimum coverage because it seems like the most affordable option. However, it’s important to consider all the factors before settling on minimum coverage.
Accident Rates in Texas
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 12,161 serious injury crashes in Texas in 2018, with 14,908 people total sustaining serious injuries. Drivers in Texas report accidents every 58 seconds, and the Department of Transportation claims that there were no deathless days on Texas roadways in 2018.
With 14 percent of Texas drivers not carrying insurance, there’s a chance that you could be the victim in an auto accident and not have the coverage you need if you only carry the state’s minimum coverage.
Repair Costs In Texas
Texas car insurance laws only require drivers to carry a minimum of $25,000 in property damage coverage. In a multi-vehicle wreck where you are at fault, you can easily exceed this maximum payout. Common body repairs, even cosmetic ones, can quickly add up.
- Bumper Damage: As much as $1,500
- Door Damage: As much as $1,000
- Paint Damage: As much as $7,500
Considerations For Pricing Texas Car Insurance
1. How Much Coverage Do You Need?
As we mentioned above, the Texas car insurance minimum requirements may not fit your needs. For example, if you’re driving a vehicle under loan or lease, you will probably need full coverage. Also, if you own a luxury vehicle, the minimum Texas auto insurance might not include enough coverage for more costly repairs.
Keep in mind that no car insurance company covers repairs caused by manufacturer defects. If you want protection against breakdowns, you might be looking for an extended auto warranty.
2. What’s Your Driving Record Like?
Your driving history will definitely impact your insurance rates, and Texas has a fairly harsh drivers license points system. In fact, it can take years to clear your record of a major violation. If you have an extensive record, do your homework on which insurance companies are best for people with poor driving records.
3. What Discounts Can You Get?
Most car insurance companies offer discounts to drivers for a multitude of reasons. See where you can stack them to maximize your savings. Also, if you need multiple types of insurance, consider choosing companies that offer a variety of services so you can get a multi-policy discount.
You will need at least bodily injury and property damage liability with your Texas car insurance policy. Due to the excessive DUI rates in the state, high average time spent on the road, and high number of uninsured motorists, expect to pay more than the national average. However, if you shop around and collect car insurance quotes from a few highly rated providers, you can still get some of the cheapest car insurance in Texas with great coverage.