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Finding the right car insurance policy in Texas (and any other state for that matter) can be a daunting task since there are so many providers, discounts, and policy terms to consider. Whether you’re looking for your first policy or you feel it’s time to switch, it’s important that you do your research and understand the factors that will affect your rates so you can find the best fit for your needs and budget.
You may already know that each state has its own minimum auto insurance requirements, and purchasing the minimum coverage is inherently risky since your policy might not cover all of the damages incurred in an accident. What you may not know, though, is that there are several types of discounts that can make higher-end coverage much more affordable.
Beyond the minimum coverage limits and the various discounts available, there are other factors to consider before buying auto insurance. We’ll discuss a few of those in this blog.
Read on to learn four important facts you should know before purchasing car insurance in Texas:
1. Auto Insurance Companies Consider Dozens Of Factors When Calculating Your Premiums
Your insurance rates will ultimately depend on how likely you are to file a claim. The lower the risk, the lower your premiums will be. Some of the main factors that will influence your rates include age, driving record, claims history, vehicle type, credit score, location, and annual mileage.
2. The Minimum Liability Coverage In Texas Is 30/60/25
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, the minimum required coverage in Texas is $30,000 for bodily injury to one person, $60,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. However, these minimum limits are often not sufficient to cover all of the damages incurred in a collision.
Texas is a “fault” state, which means that the not-at-fault party in an accident can pursue a claim against the at-fault party. If you are injured in a crash that was caused by a driver whose insurance limits were not enough to cover your losses, you can file an injury claim against that driver. You may also be able to recover compensation from your own insurance policies depending on the types of coverage you purchased. That brings us to our next point:
3. It May Be In Your Best Interest To Buy More Than The Minimum Required Coverage
Although you are only required by law to purchase liability coverage in Texas, it’s a good idea to purchase add-on coverage:
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can help cover your losses if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance or whose coverage limits are too low to pay for your losses;
- Collision coverage will help pay for repairs to your vehicle no matter who caused the accident;
- Comprehensive coverage will pay for repairs to your vehicle if damage is sustained in a non-collision event such as a fire or vandalism; and
- Personal injury protection (PIP) will help cover a portion of your medical expenses, lost wages, and essential services no matter who was at-fault for the collision.
4. Insurance Companies In Texas Offer A Wide Range Of Discounts (But You Have To Ask For Them)
Many insurance companies reward policyholders for safe driving, good grades, and other indicators of responsible behavior. Common ways to earn discounts include taking defensive driving courses and driver’s education, as well as avoiding accidents and traffic infractions for several consecutive years.
Your insurance company may also lower your premiums if you add multiple cars to the policy (multicar discount) or add other types of insurance (multiline discount). Further, having safety features like airbags, automatic seatbelts, antitheft devices, and antilock brakes may lead to reduced premiums.
One of the best ways to ensure that your auto insurance company and rates are a good fit is to compare your options. Each insurance provider takes a different approach to calculating premiums, so it’s important that you search for a carrier who caters to your particular driver profile.
Are there any other important facts that we missed? Feel free to add them in the “Comments” section below.