Texas Auto Insurance Requirements
Texas has very tough auto insurance laws for both private and commercial vehicle owners. Minimum auto insurance coverage requirements in Texas are mandated by state law and the Texas Department of Insurance. The following minimum coverage is required on every registered vehicle, except as noted below:
(Source: Texas Department of Insurance)
Driving without the mandatory liability insurance in Texas will result in a minimum $175 fine. Subsequent offenses will include suspension of driving privileges, higher fines, reinstatement fees, and license points.
The Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association is available to drivers who are unable to obtain required coverage through the voluntary market. More information is available on the TAIPA website.
Alternatively, drivers not wishing to carry basic liability insurance in Texas may deposit cash or securities in the amount of $55,000 with the State Comptroller or $55,000 in cash or cashier’s check with a County Judge, or obtain a surety bond. A certificate of financial responsibility will be issued in lieu of an insurance card.
Factors Influencing Car Insurance Premiums in Texas
Getting a quote for cheap car insurance in Texas requires some research and rate comparisons between different insurance companies, even though Texas ranks below national averages for car insurance costs. Some factors that impact insurance rates in Texas include:
– Texas is not a “no-fault” state, and does not require PIP insurance
– Vehicle repair costs are generally less expensive in Texas than elsewhere
– Overall accident fatality rates are higher than national averages
– A higher percentage of uninsured drivers compared to national averages
– Auto insurance fraud
– Vehicle theft rates well above national averages
The average auto insurance premium for residents in Texas is $1,492 in 2011; the national average is $1,790.
Tips for Obtaining Cheap Car Insurance in Texas
– If you’re over 55, take a state-approved defensive driving course for a policy discount
– Several insurance companies offer “pay as you drive” car insurance for low mileage drivers in Texas
– Maintain a good driving record
– Bind multiple policies (homeowners, life, auto) with the same provider
– Maintain a good credit score
– Create a personal “emergency fund” of up to $1500 and increase deductibles accordingly
– Discuss affinity discounts with your insurance provider
– Drop comprehensive and collision insurance on older vehicles
– Auto Theft: Texas has a relatively high vehicle theft rate, but it has been decreasing (as is the case in most states) consistently over the past 10 years. This can be attributed primarily to anti-theft devices being standard on recent model cars, as well as public awareness of the issue:
(Source: Auto Thiefs)
– Automobile Accidents: The total vehicle miles traveled in Texas has been decreasing in recent years, as have vehicle accident fatality rates. Texas is still above the national average in numbers of deaths in car crashes.
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