When purchasing a vehicle, you understand that they come with several expenses including car insurance. Car insurance is designed to protect you and your investment should you be involved in an unfortunate accident and can be one of your vehicle’s most significant expenses each year. As you purchase your vehicle, you’ll want to know where to find cheap car insurance in Brownsville, Texas.
What Are the Types of Car Insurance Coverage?
Most insurance companies offer four main types of car insurance coverage, and many drivers use these types for protection. You’ll want to know what each type of insurance covers and whether or not it’s required to drive your vehicle legally in Texas before purchasing a policy. The four main types of car insurance coverage include:
Bodily injury and property damage liability coverages are required in most states. Bodily injury coverage will pay medical bills for the other driver and passengers if you cause an accident. The property damage portion will cover their vehicle and any other personal property.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Most companies offer these two as a package deal to protect you from drivers who either have no insurance or inadequate insurance coverage. Insurance companies are required to offer you uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in Texas, and if you don’t want it, you need to reject it in writing. If you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, your policy will pay your medical bills.
With underinsured motorists, the difference between what the other driver’s insurance covers and your actual expenses are covered by your policy as long as it falls within your limits. For example, if you have $35,000 in medical expenses, but their insurance limit is $30,000, your policy would step in and cover the $5,000 overage.
Collision coverage pays for damages to your vehicle if you hit another vehicle or object, such as a fence. You’ll have a deductible, an amount you agree to pay out of pocket before the insurance coverage is applied. Collision coverage is usually optional unless you have a lease or a lien on your vehicle. If so, your lending institution may require you to carry this type of coverage.
Another optional insurance coverage is comprehensive, which covers damages to your vehicle if caused by vandalism, theft, or acts of nature such as hail. Comprehensive coverage will also include a deductible and can be required by a lending agent if you have a lease or loan on your vehicle.
Additional coverages available to Texas drivers include medical payments, personal injury protection, towing and labor coverage, and rental reimbursement coverage. Drivers can carry as much or as little insurance coverage as desired as long as they meet the minimum state requirement.
What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Required in Brownsville, Texas?
Texas requires you to show proof of the ability to pay for damages for any accidents you may cause. For most drivers, this proof is through liability insurance coverage. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles requires drivers to carry the following minimum car insurance coverage:
- Bodily injury of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
- Property damage of $25,000 per accident
The minimum liability limits may not be enough to cover all accidents today, so you may want to consider upping your limits, if possible. Many vehicles today are $25,000 or more to replace, and if your insurance coverage is inadequate, you can be held liable for the damages.
All Texas drivers must provide proof of insurance when requested. If you fail to carry the state-required minimum, penalties include:
- Fines of $175 to $350
- SR-22 requirement as a designated at-risk driver
Repeat offenders can expect to be fined $350 to $1,000, receive a 180-day vehicle impoundment with proof of financial responsibility required to release the vehicle, and impound fees of $2,700. You may also have your vehicle registration or driver’s license suspended as a repeat offender.
What Factors Determine the Car Insurance Premium?
Your car insurance premium is determined by several factors, including your age, driving history, prior traffic violations or accidents, credit history, type of vehicle, and zip code. Most of these factors are beyond your control, but to lower your car insurance premium, you can do one or more of the following:
- Improve your credit score
- Carry the minimum insurance required by law
- Take a driver’s education or defensive driving course
- Opt for a higher deductible
- Take advantage of discounts through your car insurance company
- Avoid traffic violations and accidents
Where Can You Get Cheap Car Insurance in Brownsville, Texas?
U.S. News & World Report shares that the average driver in Texas pays $1,382 annually for their car insurance premium, which is very close to the national average of $1,321 per year. For cheap car insurance in Brownsville, Texas, you may want to check out the following car insurance companies:
- State Farm: $994
- USAA: $1,045
- Farmers Insurance: $1,156
- GEICO: $1,251
- Nationwide: $1,636
- Allstate: $2,210
These average rates for various car insurance companies demonstrate the range amongst premiums for the same driver, same vehicle, and same coverage. It’s important to gather several quotes from different car insurance companies and agents to compare them to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money. If you’re looking for high coverage, which includes optional coverages, the best companies for cheap car insurance in Brownsville, Texas, include:
- State Farm: $1,061
- USAA $1,115
- Farmers Insurance: $1,205
- GEICO: $1,358
- Nationwide: $1,644
- Allstate: $2,342
The difference between high and minimum coverage in Texas can be as little as $67, which amounts to just over $5 per month. You may want to consider adding coverage or upping your limits to provide the best coverage possible within your budget.
Car insurance is an unavoidable expense, like routine maintenance, that can make owning a car more expensive. If you take the time to shop around for your insurance coverage, you might be able to save some significant money with cheap car insurance, making it more affordable to own a car in Brownsville, Texas.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.