Whether you’re searching for your first policy or looking for a new provider, there are several factors to consider before buying car insurance in Texas. Having a thorough understanding of how your rates are calculated, the types of insurance available, and potential discounts will allow you to save money and find the best policy for your needs and budget.
Read on to learn about five important questions to ask your insurance provider before you purchase car insurance in Texas:
1. What Types Of Auto Insurance Coverage Are Available In Texas?
Drivers in Texas are required to purchase car insurance that meets the 30/60/25 minimum liability coverage limits. But purchasing extra coverage could help you avoid overwhelming debt if you cause a crash that involves significant damage. You should also consider add-on coverage such as:
- Collision insurance, which pays for repairs to your car after an accident, no matter which driver was at fault;
- Comprehensive insurance, which covers damage caused in non-collision events such as vandalism and acts of nature;
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which covers your losses after an accident caused by a driver who doesn’t have auto insurance or who has insufficient coverage; and
- Personal injury protection, which covers a portion of your medical bills and lost wages after an accident.
2. How Will My Driving History Affect My Premiums?
Your insurance rates are ultimately based on the likelihood that you will file a claim. Each car insurance company uses its own formula to calculate premiums, but there are some common factors that influence most of these calculations such as age, years of driving experience, credit score, annual mileage, zip code, accident history, and traffic infraction history.
Different car insurance providers cater to different driver types. For instance, having one accident on your record might have a profound impact on rates from Company A but less of an impact from Company B. This is why it’s so important to compare rates from multiple providers.
3. What Will My Deductible Be?
Your deductible is the amount of money you will need to pay before your insurance pays out. Some car insurance policies have deductibles of $0 while others cost several thousand dollars. Lower deductibles typically translate into higher monthly premiums and vice versa.
4. What Are The Payment Options?
Some insurance companies let you choose whether to pay your insurance premium annually, biannually, quarterly, or monthly. Committing to a longer-term policy and paying more upfront typically translate into lower premiums.
5. What Car Insurance Discounts Are Available?
In an effort to attract more low-risk drivers and sell more policies, many auto insurance companies offer discounts. Common examples include safe-driver discounts, student discounts, discounts for good grades, multi-car discounts, and multi-line discounts.
Penalties For Driving Without Car Insurance In Texas
If you’re caught driving without car insurance in Texas, you could face a fine of $175 to $1,000 (depending on whether it is your first or subsequent offense) and a $250 annual surcharge each year for three years. Of course, you may also face a lawsuit and potential financial ruin if you were uninsured and caused an accident that resulted in significant injury, death, or property damage.
Did we miss any important questions to ask before buying auto insurance in Texas? If so, feel free to leave a comment below.