Everything’s bigger in the Lone Star State. If you want to see for yourself or are thinking of relocating, you’ll need to be sure you can legally drive around its almost 270,000 square miles.
In this guide to Texas car insurance, we’ll cover how to register and drive your car or truck to avoid penalties and fines in the state of Texas.
Texas Car Insurance Minimum Coverage
Texas, like most other states, requires that you carry a minimum amount of coverage on your vehicle before registering it. Anyone who wishes to drive a car in Texas must be able to prove that they have:
- Bodily injury liability coverage in the amount of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident.
- Property damage liability insurance in the amount of $25,000.
- Personal injury protection coverage for $2,500–this coverage may be declined.
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage in the amount of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident–this coverage may be declined.
- Uninsured motorist property damage coverage in the amount of $25,000–this coverage may be declined
Insurance needs vary by person. For instance, if you live in Texas but frequently travel to Mexico, you may choose to add a rider to your policy. Comprehensive, collision, towing, and rental reimbursement are other types of coverage you may choose to add to your policy.
What is the Average Cost of Car Insurance in Texas?
On average, Texan drivers can expect to pay around $77 per month for the minimum auto insurance coverage. Do you need full coverage? Your average rate will fall around $1,810 per year, which is almost 27% higher than the national average!
Remember, no two drivers are alike, and you may be eligible for a number of discounts. Perhaps you belong to AAA or AARP. Maybe your employer or your alma mater offers auto insurance discounts. Always speak with your insurance agent to determine the best way to get the cost of your premiums down.
Why is Car Insurance So Expensive in Texas?
As we said, everything is bigger in Texas, including the insurance premiums. Why are insurance rates so high in Texas? Well, despite its vast size, Texas has densely populated areas. Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio are huge–the three cities are home to over 5 million people–and you’re more likely to experience an accident or other insurance event in the state.
Texas also has crime rates that are higher than the national average. The possibility that your vehicle will be vandalized or stolen in Texas is higher than in many other states. About 23.9 people of every 1,000 in Texas will experience property crime this year.
Lapses in Texas Car Insurance
If you’re driving around from rodeo to rodeo and are stopped by law enforcement, you’d better have proof of your Texas car insurance. If you’re caught driving uninsured, you will face a fine of up to $350. Furthermore, your driver’s license can be assessed a surcharge of $250 each year for three years.
That, of course, equates to over $1,000 in fines. Worse yet, if you get into an accident and you’re at fault, you’re responsible for paying for damages. Failure to do so can lead to civil suits. It’s best just to keep your insurance current!
Best Auto Insurance in Texas
Now that you’ve decided to register and insure your car in Texas, you’ll need to know from which company you’ll purchase your policy. Texans love to brag, but we believe them when they said these were the five best insurers in the state.
- State Farm
Note that USAA is only available to military members and their families.
No one policy or insurer is right for every driver. Shop around and speak to various agents to determine the coverage and the carrier that’s best for you.
Driving in Texas
Are you ready to remember the Alamo or wave to Big Tex in Dallas? Here are some fun facts about driving in Texas you may find interesting.
- The fastest known speeding ticket ever was issued to a Houston driver who opted to go 242 in a 75 mile per hour zone.
- It’s illegal in Texas to drive without windshield wipers, but legal to drive without a windshield.
- In Texarkana, horses must have taillights.
- If you have a bad driving record, you can still get insurance through the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association, but only the minimum insurance coverage is offered.
Conclusion: Texas Car Insurance
Texas is a massive state and there is tons to explore. Be sure you’re driving around the Lone Star State legally. Keep your Texas car insurance policy paid up and current. It may be a good idea to periodically check that those minimums haven’t changed so that you avoid fines and penalties.