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How to Get an Auto insurance Quote in Texas

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Responsible Drivers get Auto Insurance in Texas

They say everything’s bigger in Texas, including the sheer amount of land to travel across. Throughout the state, there is nearly a million miles of road to travel across, which is easily the most of any state in the country; California is second, sporting only 70 percent of the roads compared to what Texas offers. With such long drives between destinations, it’s all the more important to ensure you’re protected with good auto insurance.

Requirements for Texas Auto Insurance

Naturally, drivers in Texas like to seek the lowest possible auto insurance rates. The best way to get started on finding the best value is to understand exactly what your state requires for financial responsibility.

At the minimum, liability insurance auto insurance coverage must be 30,000/60,000/25,000 to satisfy the law of financial responsibility in Texas. In other words, your auto insurance policy must provide insurance against the following losses in any accident in which you have been ruled at fault:

  • $30,000: The minimum for either bodily injury to or the death of an individual in a single accident
  • $60,000: The minimum for either bodily injury to or the death of at least two individuals in a single accident, which is also subject to the aforementioned limit of $30,000
  • $25,000: The minimum for causing destruction or injury to another’s property during an accident

Under Texas law, it is required that you are able to offer documentary proof of your auto insurance under the following situations:

  • After an accident when a police officer requests to see your auto insurance
  • When an officer requests documents at a traffic stop
  • Upon registering a vehicle
  • When you acquire a driver’s license

In order to ensure a driver always meets the requirements for financial responsibility, the state of Texas also requires an auto insurance company to give a report weekly to an identification system that lists a vehicle identification number (VIN) for all vehicles that are insured under a policy.

If proper auto insurance isn’t acquired under Financial Responsibility law, you could incur fines or have your licensed revoked. If a driver has been convicted with failing to acquire the proper insurance, he or she must pay a surcharge fee of $250 every year under the Texas Driver Responsibility Program. The fee is an additional one on top of any other costs due to the driving offense; he or she must also pay this surcharge for three years, no less.

Certificate of Financial Responsibility

In some cases, he or she may also need to file an SR-22A or SR-22. This is known as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility and is sent by an auto insurance company to the Texas Department of Public Safety upon acquiring liability insurance. The certificate proves that the auto insurance was purchased. Sometimes, a driver will need to purchase this form in order to get back their license, especially after being convicted of one or more of these offenses:

  • Driving without a license
  • Driving with a suspended or invalid license
  • Drug offense
  • Driving under the influence
  • Multiple tickets for lacking liability insurance

Texas Auto Insurance Requirements and Common Coverage

Bodily Injury Liability

This covers expenses due to injury or death of a pedestrian or driver when you are at fault. Minimum is $30,000 a person/$60,000 per accident, and the average Texas auto insurance coverage is the same.
Property Damage Liability: This covers expenses for having damaged someone else’s property in an accident that is your fault. Minimum and common coverage is a $25,000 limit.

Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist

This covers any medical expenses when the other driver is at fault but lacks insurance. It is grouped together with underinsured motorist auto insurance, which covers your expenses if the at-fault driver has auto insurance but is inadequate. This is not required, but it’s common to acquire a $25,000/$50,000 policy.

Medical Payments

In the event that you or a passenger has been injured in accident, this auto insurance coverage handles any medical or funeral expenses. It is not required, but most require a $2,000 limit policy.

Personal Injury Protection

If you or a passenger has been injured in an accident, this policy will cover the medical bills and related expenses, such as the continuation of income. It is not required, but many acquire a $2,500 limit policy.


This covers the repair or replacement of your damaged vehicle. It is not required, but many seek a policy with a $500 deductible.


This covers expenses for damages due to thefts, storms or similar non-collision incidents. It is not required, but most seek a policy with a $500 deductible.

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What You Should Know About Auto Insurance in Texas

Texas law requires that drivers are able to cater for any damages and injuries from an auto accident they caused. Liability auto insurance coverage helps the at-fault drivers are able to pay medical expenses of the victims as well as to cater for the repair or replacement of the other driver’s car; but it doesn’t cover your injuries or damage to your property. Therefore, while Texas only requires you to have liability insurance, it is critical to have other auto insurance options in order to protect yourself financially. Some of these policies include collision, comprehensive, uninsured/underinsured drivers, as well as towing and labor coverage.

Most people purchase liability insurance just to meet financial responsibility law requirements. Now, if you bought liability insurance just to comply with the law, note that Texas requires that your policy should meet the following minimum limits:

  • $30,000 for each injured person
  • $60,000 per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

As a driver, your insurer will issue you with a proof-of-insurance card, which is a proof of financial responsibility. You can use the card in various situations, such as when you:

  • Have an accident
  • Get or renew your driver’s license
  • Are asked for it by a police officer
  • Register your car or renew its registration

Now, there are penalties that may befall you when you fail to comply with state’s financial responsibility, which are:

  • For the first offense, you are charged a fine of about $175 to $350
  • For additional offenses, you are charged a fine of $350 to $1,000, your driver’s license is suspended, or your car is placed into an impoundment lot.
  • If you are caught violating the financial responsibility law and without a driver’s license, then you are charged a fine of $2,000 maximum fine, or 180 days in jail, or both
  • If you caused an accident that led to serious injuries or death, you are charged a fine of $4,000 at maximum, one year in jail, or both.

Know Your Rights

It is important that you read and understand your rights as laid down in the Consumer Bill of Rights for auto insurance. Texas requires that your insurer send you a copy of such with your policy. Read it to understand your rights under Texas law, but if you are not able to understand every clause in the policy, be sure to consult a professional.

Auto coverages vary from company to another. Therefore, it makes sense to shop around. You can find the best auto insurance policy for your money by following these little-known tips.

Know what type of coverage that fits your needs

While auto insurance policy with higher deductibles allows you to pay less in term of premium, should you have a claim, and then you will have to pay more out your own pocket.

Get price quotes from several auto insurance companies

The price quotes should be for the same insurance coverage. In Texas, it is a requirement that you give the correct information when applying for auto insurance. Giving wrong details could lead to denial or cancellation of the coverage.

Review your credit score

This is because, most insurance companies will use your credit scores to decide what rate to charge you. Therefore, it makes sense to review your credit score annually and correct any error.

Buy the coverage from a reputable company

Your insurer must be licensed, have a good financial rating, offer reasonable price and good customer service. Checking their complaint index will help you know how they treat their customers. It is against the law to sell insurance without a license in Texas.

It is advisable to consult a professional whenever you want to buy an auto insurance policy.

What you should know about auto insurance rates

While auto insurance companies set their own rates, they have to file them with Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). The rates should be reasonable, not discriminatory, and adequate, as well as not excessive. Texas law does not require auto insurance companies to get prior approval before using their rates. However, if TDI establish that a company charged excessive rates on their policies, it has the power to make that insurer give refunds.

Various factors can affect your auto insurance premium. Every company that sells auto coverages in Texas is required by the law to file its underwriting guidelines with TDI and should update their policies each time they make a change. These underwriting guidelines help companies decide whether to sell you a policy and at what rate. Some of the factors that these companies will use to set their premiums include:

  • The age and marital status
  • Your driving record and claims history
  • Where you keep your car—whether in the city or rural: People who live in cities get higher premiums because they have more auto thefts and accidents.
  • The type of the car you have
  • Your car’s primary use
  • Your credit score

Getting the right auto insurance starts with knowing coverage requirements in your state. Look for an agent to help you understand the different types of auto insurance policies available in Texas and determine which one that best suit you.

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The Texas Consumer Protections for Auto Insurance

Texas is one of the few states that has a legitimate Consumer Bill of Rights geared specifically for the auto insurance industry. This is definitely a state that protects its own! However, you must be in compliance with the state auto insurance policy if you plan to take advantage of the rights that you are afforded in the Bill of Rights. Here are the standards that will need to uphold in order to fully appreciate the protections that the state of Texas gives you against any unscrupulous auto insurance company.

State Minimum Coverage Requirements

Taking full advantage of the Texas Consumer Bill of Rights for the auto insurance industry means staying in compliance with the state minimum coverage requirements for auto insurance. The minimum auto insurance coverage levels are subject to change, so you should check the state website every year in order to keep up with the latest on this issue. Currently, every resident of the state of Texas is required to have a minimum of $30,000 of personal liability insurance, $25,000 of property damage insurance and $60,000 of total protection per accident.

Keep in mind that these minimums are not set by the cost of health insurance or any other expense that you may incur if you get into an accident. If the limits of these minimums are reached, you will be expected to pay the remainder of the expenditures out of pocket. This should be especially concerning if you have additional drivers on your auto insurance package, especially new drivers such as teenagers.

Keeping Proof of Financial Responsibility on Hand

It is also the responsibility of every driver in the state of Texas to keep proof of an auto insurance coverage package on hand in certain situations. In order to be eligible to receive all of the rights in the Texas Bill of Rights as concerning the auto insurance industry, you must be able to produce your auto insurance card if you are asked for by an officer, when you go into renew your registration, if you get into an accident, if your car is being inspected and if you are obtaining a new or renewed drivers license in the state.

Different Types of Auto Insurance Coverage Packages in Texas

All responsible driver should have an appropriate amount of auto insurance coverage when they drive. There are many different types of auto insurance packages to consider. The coverage packages below are the main distinctions that must be adequately covered in order to maintain your protections under the Texas Consumer Bill of Rights for the auto insurance industry.

First of all, you must have a policy for all of the potential drivers of your vehicle. If there is more than one driver in your household, then it is definitely in your best interest to create an auto insurance policy that covers them all. You never know when someone may take your car out for a joyride and get in an accident. If that driver is not covered by your auto insurance policy, a simple joyride can turn into a very expensive and debilitating burden on an entire family within a matter of seconds.

You can also negotiate your policy in order to protect yourself from drivers whom you do not want driving your vehicles. This is known as an excluded driver coverage package. In this coverage, you will actually point out the people with whom you do not wish to be legally associated. If that person somehow drives your vehicle and gets into trouble, you will not be held legally responsible for any accidents that person gets into; otherwise, you might be in legal hot water simply because that person was driving a vehicle that you own.

Your coverage package must also include liability, collision, comprehensive, medical payments protection, uninsured drivers protection and personal injury protection coverage in order to be truly responsible in the state of Texas.

Liability damages will cover the civil expenses that occur from injuries that you cause in an accident including rental vehicles for the other party and any punitive damages that a court may award the opposing party.

Collision and comprehensive insurance coverage packages are usually only required if you have bought your car on a loan. They are sometimes not required for cars that do not have liens on them. Collision insurance pays for the cost of fully replacing or repairing a car after an accident. Comprehensive insurance pays the cost of replacing or repairing a car if it undergoes damage because of a weather condition or an act of God. Comprehensive coverage protects you in all other instances outside of a collision.

Medical payments coverage is an especially important type of coverage to have with the rising cost of health care. This is the part of coverage that will pay for medical and funeral costs that arise out of an accident no matter who is at fault. In most cases, everyone in the car, including uninsured passengers, will be insured under this coverage.

Personal injury protection adds to medical payments coverage. If you are the only breadwinner in a household, then it would definitely benefit you to have the additional features that personal injury protection adds.

Finally, uninsured motorist coverage protects you if the other driver does not have insurance.

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