If you're a driver in Texas, then it’s your responsibility to ensure you have the right documents to operate and own a car. Before going on the road, you should make sure you have a license, a registered car and an auto insurance policy.
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, you must have enough insurance to cover the following minimum liability limits:
- $30,000 per person.
- $60,000 per accident.
- $25,000 for property damage.
This is known as 30/60/25 coverage.
You must carry proof of insurance at all times when you drive and show it to a police officer when asked, after an accident, when you renew your license or registration, and during you car inspection. If you don't, you face a fine and potential license suspension.
Sample of Annual Texas Auto Insurance Rates
Houston Auto Insurance
Houston is the largest city in Texas, and the fourth largest in the country with a population of more than 2 million people. Located near the Gulf of Mexico, Houston has a thriving energy sector that revolves around oil and gas production. Known as the "Space City," Houston is home to NASA's Johnson Space Center, where astronaut Jack Swigert from Apollo 13 once exclaimed: "Houston, we have a problem."
In Houston, cars are the dominant mode of transportation. Houston is surrounded by Interstate 610, which loops around the city. Interstate 10 connects the city with San Antonio to the west, while Interstate 45 goes north to Dallas. The city suffers from the fourth-worst traffic congestion in the nation. Cycling is growing in popularity with commuters with more than 160 miles of biking lanes across the city and an emerging bike-sharing program.
San Antonio Auto Insurance
San Antonio is the second-largest city in Texas with a population of 1.4 million. The Battle of the Alamo was fought here in 1836, which is a major tourist attraction for the city. The city is also home to the San Antonio Spurs, one of the most successful teams in the NBA.
San Antonio residents depend on their cars to get around, as it is considered one of the least walkable cities in the nation. San Antonio is surrounded by a number of highways, including Interstate 10, which connects the city with Houston to the east; and Interstate 35, which connects the city with Austin, the state's capital, and Dallas to the north.
Corpus Christi Auto Insurance
Corpus Christi is a coastal city in southern Texas that has earned the nickname the "Sparkling City by the Sea." Corpus Christi is also known for its cowboy lifestyle, and is considered one of the fattest cities in America. It is the eighth-largest city in the state with a population of more than 320,000 residents.
Texas State Highway 44 runs through Corpus Christi and connects to Interstate 69, which runs south to Brownsville. While Interstate 37 runs north to San Antonio.
Dallas Auto Insurance
Dallas is the third-largest city in Texas with a population of 1.3 million. The notorious criminals Bonnie and Clyde hailed from Dallas, but the city may be more widely recognized as the spot where former President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Dr Pepper and 7-Eleven are both headquartered in Dallas.
Dallas became a prominent railroad city in the 19th Century, but today has given way to a series of major highways that surround the city. The Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, also known as Interstate 635, was named after the former president from Texas and loops around Dallas.
Fort Worth Auto Insurance
Fort Worth was established as an Army outpost following the Mexican-American war in 1849 to protect the state from further aggression. It is the fifth-largest city in Texas with a population of more than 833,000 people.
Like most places in Texas, Fort Worth residents rely on their cars. Fort Worth is surrounded by four highways. Interstates 30 and 35 run through Fort Worth, while Interstates 20 and 820 loop around the city.
Austin Auto Insurance
Austin is the state capital of Texas. Located near the Texas Hill Country, Austin is the fourth-largest city in the Lone Star State with a population of more than 930,000 people. Austin is one of the safest cities in America. It is home to the University of Texas.
Congress is the main street in the city of Austin that ends at the state capitol. Most commuters take Interstate 35 and the traffic has gotten worse as the city has grown. It's only a short drive to the Texas Hill Country.
El Paso Auto Insurance
El Paso situated in the southwest corner of Texas along the Rio Grande. It is the sixth-largest city in the Lone Star State with a population of more than 680,000 people. Despite its location near the U.S.-Mexican border, El Paso is considered one of the safest cities in America.
In El Paso, the primary highway that runs through the city is Interstate 10. It connects El Paso with other western cities like Houston, San Antonio and Phoenix.
Galveston Auto Insurance
Galveston is a small, coastal town in Texas on the outskirts of Houston with a population of more than 47,000 people. Nicknamed the "Playground of the South," its shores are lined with Victorian homes and beaches. Galveston was once the capital of the Republic of Texas, before it became a U.S. state. In 1900, thousands of Galveston residents were killed in a hurricane that is still considered the deadliest natural disaster in American history.
Galveston is connected to mainland Texas through Interstate 45, which becomes Broadway Avenue as it runs through the city's downtown area. This is the main road in and out of town.
Texas City Auto Insurance
Texas City is a major petroleum hub along the Gulf Coast with a population of more than 45,000 people. British Petroleum (BP) operates the nation's third-largest oil refinery in the city, which produces 4 percent of the gasoline sold in the U.S.
The Gulf Freeway turns into Interstate 45 and connects Texas City with Houston and the rest of the state. While Texas City is connected to other nearby coastal communities like Galveston through Texas State Highway 146.
Brownsville Auto Insurance
Brownsville is considered one of the poorest towns in America. It is located in southern Texas near the Rio Grande, and has a population of more than 183,000 people. Brownsville's economy revolves around international trade, much of which comes through the Port of Brownsville.
Interstate 69 connects Brownsville with Corpus Christi to the north, and turns into U.S. Route 83 before it crosses the border. Three international bridges connect Brownsville with Mexico.
Finding Auto Insurance Resources in Texas
If you want to know more about auto insurance in Texas, there are many places you can go. First, the Texas Department of Insurance website has important information on auto insurance and other types of coverage in the state.
There are two different offices for driver's licenses and car registration. If you want to know how to get a new license, transfer your license or get your driving record, contact the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles or TxDMV, on the other hand, manages vehicle registration, inspections and even car dealer applications.
Tips for Saving on Texas Auto Insurance
Some motorists can qualify for discounts based on certain criteria, including:
1. If you are or have a young driver in the home, you know that teen drivers are more expensive to insure. Young drivers can, however, may get a discount by taking a DPS-approved driver education course.
2. Never let your insurance lapse. Texas law states that companies can hike your premiums if you drove uninsured for more than 30 days in the previous 12 months before your application.
3. Watch your credit score. According to the Texas Department of Insurance and the Office of Public Insurance Counsel, some companies may use your credit history as a factor when calculating your insurance premium. However, an insurance company can't deny you coverage or cancel your policy based solely on your credit report.
Moving to Texas: Important Information
If you are moving to Texas from another state, don't forget to take care of your license and car registration. According to TxDMV, you must register your car within 30 days of moving to Texas. To do this, you need to get a vehicle inspection, and then go to the county tax assessor-collector to get a title and registration.
To get a new Texas driver's license, you must have been living in the state for at least 30 days. However, if you have a valid license from another state, you can surrender your out of state license and get a Texas license without taking any of the knowledge tests. You must do this within 90 days of moving to the state.
Understanding Driving Laws in Texas
Switching to a Texas license from another state's license is simple because most traffic laws are the same from state to state. However, before you go out on the roads, make sure you read up on unique Texas driving laws.
There are some offenses that Texas considers severe enough for mandatory suspension. While some are obvious, such as felonies and providing false information, there are offenses on a smaller scale you should know, including:
- Overtaking and passing a school bus operating stop lights or a sign, even when safe to do so.
- Using a fake, suspended, revoked or altered license.
- Using someone else's license.
- Lending out a permit or license.
Frequently Asked Questions About Texas Auto Insurance
1. Is your insurance valid in other places?
Other U.S. states and Canada will recognize your auto insurance. However, you will need to purchase additional insurance if you plan to go to Mexico, as this country does not accept most types of foreign insurance policies.
2. What are your rights as a consumer?
Texas insurance law has a Bill of Rights that outlines all your rights as a consumer. This includes the right to information from your insurance company, protection from excess limits, and information on payment plans and privacy.
3. Can a company cancel your policy as a result of a speeding ticket?
Yes, especially within the first 60 days of the policy's implementation, as during this period Texas insurance companies can cancel a policy for any reason. Few insurers will cancel your policy based on one ticket, but they may raise your premium.
How to Get Great Rates on Texas Auto Insurance
Finding an auto insurance quote can seem overwhelming – but insuranceQuotes.com helps you find the best car insurance policy at the best price. Every year, we match 15 million consumers to the nation’s biggest auto insurance companies, including State Farm, Allstate and Liberty Mutual.
insuranceQuotes.com connects you with local and national insurance companies that give you free car insurance estimates by phone or email within minutes. By comparing multiple quotes, you can be sure that you’re getting the best price for car insurance.
insuranceQuotes.com Auto Rate Methodology
Rates are based on one vehicle and one driver who has state minimum coverage with $500 deductibles. The hypothetical driver is 35 years old, female or male, employed, a college graduate, and has good credit. She has no traffic violations, claims, or lapse in coverage. The vehicle is assumed to be a sedan that is garaged on premises, used primarily for commuting, and driven 16,000 miles per year. Rates include commonly available carrier discounts and are estimates and not guaranteed.