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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Texas for 2018

Auto insurance is an important purchase, but finding a policy and insurer that suit your needs isn’t always easy. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about buying a Texas auto insurance policy — including how much coverage is required, what your policy will pay for and where to find cheap car insurance in Texas.

We looked at quotes from the largest insurers in Texas and ranked the three cheapest options for these driver groups:

Also in this article:

Cheapest for good drivers

For drivers with no at-fault accidents, DUIs or moving violations.

The average for good drivers in Texas among the three cheapest insurers was about $1,204. Farmers Insurance was the cheapest at $994 per year, or about $83 per month.

In addition to enjoying lower rates in general, safe drivers typically can get a variety of discounts. State Farm, in particular, advertises four separate discounts on its site for safe or accident-free driving.

Cheapest for young drivers

For drivers in their early 20s.

Young drivers often need less car insurance than those with savings and assets, so we looked at rates for drivers in their early 20’s with minimum required coverage. Farmers returned the lowest rate, at about $63 per month, followed by Geico and State Farm.

This category had the lowest-priced range of average rates of any we analyzed, meaning young drivers can often keep costs fairly low.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault accident

Causing one accident can add a significant amount to your Texas car insurance premium, but insurers vary in how much they increase rates. One insurer in this test returned a rate of more than $8,000 per year for drivers with one at-fault crash, showing the value of shopping around for the best rate.

Cheapest for drivers with poor credit

For drivers placed in the “poor credit” tier.

Even though you may not associate your credit with car insurance, credit-based insurance scores are one of the factors companies can use to help determine your rates in Texas.

In some cases it won’t affect your rates, such as with Farmers Insurance in our analysis. But not everyone can count on their premiums staying put. Geico and State Farm were the next cheapest insurers for drivers with poor credit, and each company’s rates jumped for this group. As always, comparing a variety of estimates is a good way to find the best deal.

Cheapest for retired drivers

For drivers in their mid- to late 60s who no longer use their car for commuting.

Older drivers might anticipate rising auto insurance rates as they age. But our research found that the lowest average rate for retired drivers in Texas — $774 per year from Farmers — was cheaper than the best deal for 30-year-old good drivers.

The biggest reason for this price difference is that retired drivers usually travel significantly fewer miles per year than those who commute daily. To reflect this, we looked at rates for older drivers who drive half as much as other groups.

Cheapest for drivers with a military connection

If you’re an active member of the military or a veteran — or have an immediate family member who is — chances are high you’ll get a good rate with USAA, an option that isn’t available to the general public. In our analysis, USAA was one of the three cheapest options in Texas for every driver type listed above, and in some cases it was the cheapest. USAA customers also benefit from the insurer’s top-rated customer service.

Cheapest for low-mileage drivers

If you don’t drive much, look into Milewise when you compare quotes. This insurance from the Allstate family requires a device to plug into your car to track mileage. You’re charged a daily rate plus a per-mile rate, and the company says customers who drive 135 miles or less per week can save 10% or more. As with other per-mile insurers, the less you drive, the lower your insurance bill. But if you want to take a road trip, don’t worry — you won’t be charged for more than 150 miles per day.

Minimum state car insurance requirements in Texas

With rare exceptions (see below ), Texas drivers are required to carry liability insurance . You’ll often see the minimum requirements written in shorthand as 30/60/25. This means in Texas you must buy at least:

  • $30,000 bodily injury/death liability coverage per person
  • $60,000 bodily injury/death liability coverage per accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability coverage per accident

If you cause an accident, liability insurance kicks in to pay for others’ injury treatment and property damage, up to your limits. It doesn’t pay for your own injuries or vehicle repairs.

In many cases, the legal minimum insurance won’t be enough to cover costs if you cause an accident. If you total someone’s luxury car, for example, their repair costs could easily exceed a $25,000 ceiling. Any damage that surpasses your limits has to come out of your own pocket. That’s why for most drivers it’s wise to select higher limits, such as 100/300/50.

Other insurance to consider

Collision coverage: Pays for fixing your own car. It also pays for repairs if you have a single-car accident, such as hitting a tree. Collision coverage has a deductible, the amount subtracted from a claim payment. So if you need $5,000 worth of repairs and have a $500 deductible, your claim check would be $4,500.

Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive coverage pays to repair your car after animal collisions and certain non-collision issues such as car theft, vandalism and fire, to name a few. It also has a deductible.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: If you’re struck by a driver who has no car insurance, or not enough, UM/UIM coverage will pay for your injury treatment and that of your passengers, as well as your auto repairs. There’s a mandatory $250 deductible for UM/UIM property-damage claims in Texas.

Texas auto insurance companies must offer UM/UIM coverage, but you can reject it in writing if you wish. However, it could be a worthwhile purchase, since about 14% of Texans drive uninsured, according to the Insurance Research Council. It’s common to select the same limits as your liability insurance.

Medical payments coverage (MedPay): MedPay helps pay for your injury treatment plus that of your passengers or family members no matter who caused the accident. It also helps cover funeral costs after fatal accidents.

Personal injury protection: Like MedPay, PIP pays for injury and funeral costs for you, your family and your passengers after an accident, regardless of who caused the accident. It also covers partial income losses due to injuries. Texas car insurance companies will automatically offer $2,500 in PIP, but you may reject it in writing if you don’t want it, or you can select higher limits.

Alternatives to buying auto insurance in Texas

If you’re having trouble getting insured in Texas, look into the Texas Auto Insurance Plan Association . It can help connect you with a company that will cover you.

You don’t necessarily have to buy car insurance in Texas. There are legally acceptable alternatives you can choose to prove your financial responsibility, including:

  • Filing a surety bond with the Department of Public Safety. You must file the bond jointly with at least two people, called “sureties,” who own property in the state. The property offered in the bond must be worth at least as much as the insurance amounts mandated under the state’s minimum liability car insurance requirements.
  • Making a $55,000 deposit with the state comptroller in either cash or securities.
  • Making a $55,000 deposit with the county judge where your vehicle is registered, in either cash or cashier’s check.
  • Qualifying for a certificate of self-insurance through the Department of Public Safety. You promise to pay up to the same amount covered by minimum liability insurance requirements if you cause an accident with one of your cars. This option only applies if you own 25 vehicles or more.

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This information allows us to understand which insurance group your car belongs to, in order to complete the insurance quote. You can find out which group your car belongs to using this tool.

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You will also need to include information about your job, age, and where you live, along with details of your driving history (including any convictions and claims).

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The names and licence details of anyone who will be driving your car need to be provided.

No Claims Discount (NCD) history

Details of your no claims discount will help lower the price you are quoted. You can find out here how many years’ no claims discount your insurer will honour.

Get cheaper car insurance

The average cost of car insurance in February 2018 was £508 – a 6.6% drop!*. Whilst any drop in car insurance prices will be welcomed by motorists, these savings are unlikely to be passed on automatically. The best way to get a cheaper car insurance quote is to shop around and compare car insurance.

Here are our top tips on how to get cheaper car insurance

Don’t auto-renew

Over a third of motorists still allow their
policy to be automatically renewed and
they could be losing out by not
shopping around.

Compare quotes

Market research company, Consumer Intelligence, found that 51% of customers who search for car insurance through us could save up to £280 on their annual premium**.

Increase your excess

Insurers are likely to reduce the cost of
cover if you increase your excess. Just
make sure your excess is affordable. Read our voluntary excess guide.

*February 2018 compared to February 2017, according to MoneySuperMarket data.


**51% of consumers could save up to £280.85 Consumer Intelligence, April 2018

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What types of car insurance policy are available?

Third party

Third party provides the lowest level of car insurance cover. However, this doesn’t necessarily make it the cheapest car insurance quote you’ll find. Third party car insurance insures you against damage to another person’s car or injury to them. It doesn’t cover your car should it need to be repaired or replaced.

Third Party Fire and Theft

With third party, fire and theft you have additional cover to repair or replace your car if it’s stolen, damaged or destroyed by fire.

Comprehensive Cover

Fully comprehensive car insurance offers complete cover for your car and other drivers. This includes third party and third party fire & theft, vandalism damage, accidental damage, repairs, and loss of gadgets such as sat nav systems.

Our dedicated guides will help you work out which type of cover is right for you and your motor.

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Fully comprehensive cover

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Excess insurance

Insuring against high excess costs could save you money if you ever have to claim.

Gap insurance

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Find the Best Cheap Car Insurance

Whether you’re looking for a full coverage car insurance policy or liability coverage only, nobody wants to overpay. And the best way to get the cheapest car insurance possible is by comparing car insurance quotes — and the companies offering them.

To get you started, NerdWallet looked at car insurance prices across the country for different driver profiles and coverage levels. We’ve sliced the data in several ways to give you an idea of average costs and what factors might nudge your car insurance rate up — or even better, down.

Cheapest overall: Liability-only car insurance

The cheapest car insurance will often be the minimum coverage required in your state, which in most states is liability insurance. Liability insurance covers property damage and medical bills for others due to accidents you cause. Some states require additional or alternative coverage, such as personal injury protection.

Full coverage car insurance is more expensive and often comes with a deductible, a set amount you are responsible for if you file a claim. But it also provides more expansive coverage for your car, like if it’s stolen or damaged, whether by you, a hit-and-run driver or a fallen tree.

To get an idea of the cheapest car insurance rates, period, we looked at quotes from available carriers for the minimum required insurance in each state. Then, we compared it to the average cost of full coverage car insurance to show the difference in cost.

Average rates can give you an idea of pricing in your state for minimum or full coverage car insurance policies, but that says little about the companies available to you.

Cheapest of the big car insurance companies

Just five car insurance companies make up more than 55% of the U.S. market. They include Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm, which are available to anyone, as well as USAA, the insurer for active military members, veterans and their families.

Since most people choose one of these large insurers, NerdWallet compared quotes from the five largest auto companies in ZIP codes across the country. Rates are for policies that include minimum coverage required in each state, plus collision and comprehensive coverage. Our “good driver” profile is a 30-year-old with no moving violations and credit in the “good” tier. Use the tabs to see rates for drivers with credit in the “poor” tier and those with one at-fault accident as reported to the insurer.

Keep in mind these are averages from across the country, so rates in your area will differ.

NerdWallet’s rating: 4.0 / 5

National average rates:

  • Good driver: $1,177/year
  • Good driver, poor credit: $1,901/year
  • One at-fault accident: $2,225/year

Among the biggest four car insurers, our data indicates Geico is often the cheapest. Not only was Geico the cheapest for drivers with good credit and no moving violations, it was also cheapest for drivers with poor credit. However, drivers with a recent at-fault accident might see significantly higher quotes from Geico compared to other insurers.

2. State Farm

NerdWallet’s rating: 4.0 / 5

National average rates:

  • Good driver: $1,366/year
  • Good driver, poor credit: $2,867/year
  • One at-fault accident: $1,637/year

State Farm was the second-cheapest for good drivers, but it also came in cheapest for drivers with one at-fault accident — nearly $600 per year cheaper than Geico in that category. State Farm also beats Geico, Progressive and Allstate in NerdWallet’s ranking of best car insurance companies.

3. Progressive

NerdWallet’s rating: 3.5 / 5

National average rates:

  • Good driver: $1,726/year
  • Good driver, poor credit: $3,056/year
  • One at-fault accident: $3,024/year

Progressive isn’t the cheapest in this large national analysis, but that only illustrates the importance of shopping around. In many states, Progressive had some of the lowest rates for all of our 2018 driver profiles.

4. Allstate

NerdWallet’s rating: 4.0 / 5

National average rates:

  • Good driver: $1,812/year
  • Good driver, poor credit: $3,054/year
  • One at-fault accident: $2,719/year

Allstate averaged more than others in this list for good drivers, but it was cheaper than Progressive for drivers with an at-fault accident or poor credit.

Cheapest for military-affiliated families: USAA

NerdWallet’s rating: 4.5 / 5

National average rates:

  • Good driver: $870/year
  • Good driver, poor credit: $1,654/year
  • One at-fault accident: $1,162/year

USAA is only available to veterans, active military members and their families, so we didn’t rank it against the others. Even so, we found it to be the cheapest, by far, among large companies for all categories.

Check out smaller insurers, too

Finding cheap car insurance doesn’t mean you have to stick with large insurance companies. Regional and small insurers may beat the lowest offers from the big guys. For example:

      • Grange Insurance, which is available in 13 states through independent agents, came in cheaper than USAA in all three of the above categories. The average rate for good drivers was only $566 per year.
      • Erie Insurance, available in 12 states and the District of Columbia, had an average rate of $759 per year for good drivers. Bonus points: Erie locks in your initial rate for four years and ranks fourth among our best companies. Read our Erie Insurance review for more information.
      • Country Financial is available in 19 states and returned an average rate of $940 per year for good drivers. It was also cheaper than the big four (but not USAA) for drivers with at-fault accidents and poor credit.

Cheapest car insurance in your state

How to get the cheapest possible insurance

No matter who your auto insurance company is, here are tips for saving on your policy:

        1. Look for discounts — even ask for them. There could be discounts you’re not taking advantage of. For instance, maybe you retired and are driving less than when you bought your policy. Mention it and you might get a low-mileage discount.
        2. Rethink insurance limits and deductibles. A higher collision and comprehensive deductible might make sense if you rarely drive or are financially comfortable with the risk. Raising deductibles means you’d owe more out of pocket if you had to file a comprehensive or collision claim, but it’s a surefire way to get cheaper car insurance.
        3. Know when to cut coverage. Don’t strip away coverage just for the sake of a lower price. You’ll need full coverage car insurance to satisfy the terms of an auto loan, and you’ll want it as long as your car would be a financial burden to replace. But for older cars, you can drop comprehensive and collision coverage, which only pay out up to your car’s current value, minus the deductible.
        4. Cash in on major life changes. Certain life events could translate to cheaper car insurance. For instance, many companies offer a lower rate for married couples or domestic partners. Or perhaps you moved to a suburb with lower accident and crime rates. If your risk for accidents goes down, your rates just might, too.

NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool makes it easy to see side-by-side rates from top companies.

NerdWallet averaged rates for 30-year-old men and women with no incidents on record for 10 ZIP codes in each state and Washington, D.C. from the largest insurers, up to 12 in each state. Rates in the first column are for minimum insurance coverage required by law in each state.

For the full coverage category, we averaged rates from the largest insurers for 30-year-old men and women in 10 ZIP codes and with the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash
  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible

In states where required, minimum additional coverages were added. We used a 2014 Toyota Camry in all cases. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

To compare the 5 largest insurers:

NerdWallet averaged rates for 30-year-old men and women for 10 ZIP codes in each state and Washington, D.C., from the largest insurers in each state. “Good drivers” had no moving violations on record and credit in the “good” tier as reported to each insurer. For the other two driver profiles, we changed the credit tier to “poor” or added one at-fault accident, keeping everything else the same. Sample drivers had the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash
  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible

In states where required, minimum additional coverages were added. We used a 2014 Toyota Camry in all cases. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

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