Best cheap car insurance in Austin for 2021

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As of 2020, Austin was ranked one of the worst U.S. cities to drive in due to having average commute times just under 28 minutes and high ratios of vehicle-related fatalities. However, car insurance rates in the city are not too far off from the Texas average, with minimum coverage at $558 per year and full coverage at $1,796 per year.

Car insurance is mandatory for the city’s 978,908 residents, but fortunately for Austin drivers, coverage is not much more expensive than the national cost of car insurance, which is $1,674 per year for full coverage. Many of the largest car insurance companies provide even lower rates than the city average. Whether you are seeking basic or full coverage for your vehicle, there are several options for Austin motorists to choose the best cheap car insurance policies.

Best car insurance companies in Austin

Austin, Texas is home to many trusted providers — five of which make this year’s best auto insurers in the Bat City. Bankrate researched over a dozen companies to compare average auto premiums and customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power. Each provider listed also has more than 80 years of experience in the insurance industry and has coverage offerings for multiple kinds of drivers.

Insurance company J.D. Power score (Texas region) Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Allstate 832 / 1000 $550 $1,546
Geico 846 / 1000 $418 $1,290
Nationwide 820 / 1000 $481 $1,245
State Farm 844 / 1000 $574 $1,433
USAA *878 / 1000 $436 $1,344

*Due to membership restrictions, USAA is considered rank-ineligible by J.D. Power.

Allstate

Allstate provides quick quote services to help you find insurance that matches both your budget and your needs quickly. One of the features that makes Allstate stand out is the insurance firm’s pay-per-mile car insurance option, called Milewise. It offers a way for drivers who use their vehicles sparingly to save money while having nationally trusted insurance. Allstate also offers car-sharing features to help drivers save money and miles, discounts and a hub of resources for education.

Geico

Geico offers its customers both competitively priced car insurance — the cheapest rates in Austin on average — and 24/7 customer service options to help with any difficulties or issues that may arise. For customers who like to build out their policies, there are options for rental reimbursement coverage and mechanical breakdown insurance, in which Geico covers all vehicle parts and systems and even lets policyholders visit the repair shop of their choice. Additionally, you can gain discounts for having a new vehicle, being a good driver, being a good student, being a member of the military and more.

Nationwide

Nationwide provides a variety of options for drivers to find a car insurance quote in Austin that works best with their needs and goals. Although its premium lands mid-tier in comparison to other providers on our list, all drivers have different insurance needs so it is best to determine what your cost will be by requesting a quote directly through the website. To offset some of the higher costs, Nationwide offers its free annual On Your Side Review service to ensure proper coverage for policyholders and a hub of resources for easy access. The company also features a safe-driving program, which could save drivers up to 40% in addition to various other discounts.

State Farm

State Farm has the highest minimum coverage premiums on average out of the companies on our list, at $574 annually. However, it offers various discounts that drivers may qualify for whether their insured vehicles are new or old. Vehicles made earlier than 1993 could qualify for med pay discounts up to 40% for having passive restraint equipment installed, whereas vehicles made after those years may receive up to the same amount for safety equipment. While State Farm offers standard coverages like collision insurance and comprehensive insurance, the company also gives you the option of rental insurance, emergency road service coverage and rideshare insurance.

USAA

USAA features one of the cheapest rates in Austin at $436 annually for minimum coverage and $1,344 annually for full coverage, though coverage is only available to military members and their families. With the membership loyalty, those who have a history with USAA would be able to save more by continuing auto insurance and potentially other policies with USAA. If you have a clean driving record, drive infrequently or have a newer vehicle, USAA may provide several incentives to purchase a policy with savings options for each of these use-cases.

Cheapest car insurance in Austin

Compared to the national costs of car insurance of $1,674 annually for full coverage and $565 for minimum coverage, Austin residents pay near similar rates for car insurance on average. Rates for the city are $1,796 annually for full coverage, which is slightly above the national rate, and $558 annually for minimum coverage — just slightly under. Comparatively, Texas drivers pay considerably more for full coverage at $1,823 annually and considerably less for minimum coverage, which averages $524 annually.

The following table looks at the cheapest car insurance rates from the most popular carriers based on market share.

Insurance Company Average Annual Premium for Minimum Coverage Average Annual Premium for Full Coverage
Geico $418 $1,290
USAA $436 $1,344
Mercury $565 $1,644
Allstate $550 $1,546
State Farm $574 $1,433

Geico, USAA and Allstate offer auto insurance premiums cheaper than the average annual rate that Texans would pay. However, USAA is only available to active military members, veterans and their family members. Mercury and State Farm provide slightly higher premiums than the Austin average. For drivers who do not meet USAA membership eligibility requirements,State Farm, Allstate and Geico may be worth considering, as they offer the most extensive list of discounts that drivers could apply to save costs on their premiums. From some of the more common discounts such as good driver and good student discounts, to the less common discounts such as low mileage, low vehicle usage, military, government discounts and more.

Out of the list of these insurance companies, Allstate and State Farm provide the best educational resources for policyholders. Both providers have dedicated blogs on their website dedicated to informing drivers more about their policies. But one shared feature between all of the insurance companies are their mobile apps provided to policyholders for easy use.

Austin insurance requirements

Although everyone’s insurance needs are different, the minimum coverages that drivers in Austin and in Texas are required to have are:

  • $30,000 in bodily injury per person and $60,000 per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage

Personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured motorist coverage may automatically be included in Texas auto insurance policies, but you may submit a request to have it removed if you wish.

It is important to consider more options and even full coverage options in Austin. While minimum car insurance coverage can cover your basic necessities, you may want to consider full coverage for collision and comprehensive insurance to cover your medical and vehicle repair costs in the event you are in an at-fault accident. Other reasons you may want to consider full coverage is depending on the age of your vehicle and whether your vehicle is leased or owned or financed, which may call for special considerations. State minimum liability limits may not cover your medical and vehicle repair costs financially in the event of an accident.

Car insurance discounts in Austin

Drivers in Austin may be eligible for some discounts depending on their circumstances. Each auto insurance company in Austin provides a list of discounts to help drivers pay less in premiums. Below are a few discounts offered in Austin:

  • Good student – Oftentimes, drivers who are enrolled in full-time education and able to maintain a particular GPA will find themselves eligible for some form of good student discount on their car insurance premiums.
  • Multi-policy – Most companies will give drivers the option of saving on their insurance premiums if they bundle policies, for example taking out both a home and auto insurance policy with the same company.
  • Low mileage – Drivers who do now drive many miles per year are often eligible for some sort of discount.
  • Accident-free – Drivers who have a clean driving record with no accidents will often find that they are able to receive a discount in return.
  • Safe driver – Actions toward safe driving, like completing an approved safe driving course may make you eligible for a discount on your car insurance.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance companies in Austin, Texas, will depend on a number of things about the company as well as a number of personal factors. Things like the type of coverage you are searching for and your budget will help determine the best car insurance company for you. Researching scores for financial strength and customer satisfaction may also help you determine where best to start your research.

How much car insurance do I need in Austin?

Drivers in Austin and all of Texas are required to have the minimum coverage by law. The minimum coverage that any driver can get is $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident for bodily injury liability, $25,000 for property damage, and $2,500 for personal injury protection (unless you reject this coverage). However, it is recommended to get full coverage to protect yourself from spending in the event of an accident.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a cleaning driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.

Written by
Grace Kim
Insurance Contributor
Grace Kim has two years of experience in writing for finance and insurance domains such as The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in New Jersey at Bankrate and Reviews.com. She has written about auto, homeowners, renters and life insurance. She holds an M.Sc from New York University in Corporate Communications and has spent most of her professional experience writing about finance and tech topics.