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Auto Insurance in Texas | What to know

When buying auto insurance, you’ll have several decisions to make concerning rates, coverage, state requirements and financial considerations. These tips can help everyone learn about auto insurance requirements in Texas while providing recommendations for finding auto insurance quotes.

Texas Information

If you’re a resident of Texas and a driver, you should know Texas is an at fault state. For drivers, this means if you’re at fault for causing any automobile accidents, you are the person who will be paying for the cost of injuries and damages.

To assure that these financial obligations are covered, people in Texas must carry liability auto insurance or cover the expenses through other methods such as deposits filed with the comptroller or county judge. Drivers can also purchasing a surety bond instead of liability insurance.

If you opt for the insurance route, you must have your identification card from the insurer to prove you’re carrying the required amounts of liability. The minimum insurance requirements for complying with Texas state laws are:

  • $25,000-property damage
  • $60,000-injuries per accident
  • $30,000-injuries per person

Of course, these are only minimums, and it’s up to you if you wish to carry higher amounts of liability. In addition, depending upon your circumstances, you might wish to carry additional insurance such as:

  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Towing
  • Uninsured drivers
  • Underinsured drivers

Texas also has a program called TexasSure used by police for verifying insurance coverage.

The state also promotes a program called Drug and Alcohol Driving Awareness. This program encourages safe driving. In addition, insurance companies in Texas must offer drivers who complete a voluntary alcohol and drug awareness class a discount of five percent on auto insurance premiums.

Texas also offers a unique program to drivers that cannot find a company to insure them. It’s called the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association or TAIPA. You might look into this coverage if you’re having difficulty finding insurance.

What are Auto Insurance Quotes?

Auto insurance quotes are insurance rates or estimates provided by insurance agents or auto insurance websites. Of course, quotes can change depending upon the accuracy of information supplied by drivers when they request the quote.

Understanding Auto Insurance Terms

It’s very important that new drivers and people that are considering insurance changes understand auto insurance terms when requesting auto insurance quotes. Unfortunately, if you’re unfamiliar with insurance terms, it’s possible you won’t be getting the most accurate auto insurance quotes. If you don’t understand the legal jargon surrounding insurance, you might buy too much insurance or too little for the age of your vehicle, your driving history and financial considerations.

You should either research auto insurance terms online, or contact a qualified insurance agent to talk about coverage requirements and provide you with a better understanding of insurance coverages.

Insurance Decisions

Before shopping for insurance and investigating auto insurance quotes, research and think about each type of insurance that you need so that your quote includes adequate coverage. Each driver may have different needs, so policies tend to vary. Besides carrying the required liability, residents of Texas may want to consider these factors:

  • Collision insurance is good coverage to have if you’re prone to car accidents, which damage your car. In addition, collision pays for vehicle repairs if your truck, car or van is damaged or totaled by other insured drivers.
  • Comprehensive insurance should be considered when requesting auto insurance quotes, if you’re living or working in a bad area where your care is likely to be stolen or vandalized. It also covers a number of unusual circumstances such as damage from animals, shattered windshields and natural disasters such as hail storms, hurricanes or tornadoes.
  • Both collision insurance and comprehensive are required if you lease or obtain an auto loan. Make sure these two are always included when carrying a loan.
  • It’s often not worth the extra cost of insuring older cars with full coverage. Research the car’s value before choosing coverage. When there is no bank loan on a vehicle and it’s worth very little, you might reconsider collision or comprehensive.

Required Information for Auto Insurance Quotes

It’s much easier and quicker to fill out auto insurance quotes if you make notes or gather together the necessary information to fill out forms ahead of time.

  • Locate your declarations page in your insurance packet. It shows each type of coverage you’re currently paying for, which makes it much easier to fill out forms if you’re not making any changes.
  • You’ll need the Vehicle Identification Number or VIN for the auto you’re insuring along with the model, make and year.
  • Check your odometer reading in the car to determine a reasonable estimate for mileage to and from work.
  • Gather notes about previous violations, tickets and accidents. These should include who caused the accident, dates and whether there were injuries.
  • All forms require your gender, occupation and name. In addition, you need to supply a list of all drivers’ license numbers for any drivers that will be driving the vehicle.
  • Make a note of any security and safety features on the vehicle that may result in a discount such as a Lojack, anti-theft systems, and monitoring systems for tires, rear view cameras, anti-lock brakes, airbags and automatic restraining devices.

Auto Insurance Quotes and Considerations

Drivers researching quotes need to be aware that many insurance websites will provide fast quotes in just an instant, which is very helpful. However, some sites only take down your personal information. Then, you may receive a call back or they email you with auto insurance quotes.

When applying for new auto insurance quotes, it’s important that you enter identical information at each website. For instance, when you request auto insurance quotes for underinsured motorist and comprehensive at one website, you request a quote for the very same coverage at all sites supplying auto insurance quotes. This is the only way to make a true comparison on rates.

If you receive favorable auto insurance quotes from several companies, you should take down some notes for handy reference and further research. For each insurance company make a note of their business name, contact number and email address.

Note applicable discounts you qualify for. Research favorable companies with the Better Business Bureau and check company ratings to determine if they have an acceptable reputation.

Online Auto Insurance Quotes Versus a Live Agent

Thanks to Internet access, you have your choice of utilizing auto insurance quotes online, by phone or in person from a live agent. Each method may have advantages or disadvantages.

Online auto insurance quotes require you to fill out a simple form at your leisure whenever you have time. You’ll often get the rate information from online forms much faster than you would from a busy insurance agent. Some people may be intimidated by an agent and prefer receiving quotes from their computer.

Speaking with a real person allows you the chance to ask questions and get answers. After speaking to an agent, you may discover additional discounts that were not listed on a website.

When researching auto insurance quotes, take your time to fill out the forms properly and get answers to questions. Always get at least three or more auto insurance quotes to compare rates before making decisions. Look for companies that offer adequate coverage, good rates, excellent customer service and reliability.

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