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Though the average Houston driver pays $646 per year for the minimum amount of car insurance coverage required and $2,219 per year for full coverage, you may be able to find a cheaper policy. According to Bankrate’s research, the cheapest insurers on average in the city are State Farm, Geico, Esurance, Mercury and USAA. Our insurance editorial team breaks down our picks for the best cheap car insurance in Houston to help give you a starting point in your search for the right policy for you.
Best cheap car insurance companies in Houston
According to data we analyzed from Quadrant Information Services, Houston’s three best car insurance companies with the cheapest rates on average are State Farm, Geico and Mercury. You may also want to consider our Bankrate Scores, our proprietary rating system, which goes beyond just average rates to look at potential discounts, coverage options, policy features, accessibility and third-party data, such as J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study scores for customer satisfaction and AM Best ratings for financial strength to rate each provider out of a possible five points.
Our Bankrate Scores, combined with each providers’ average rate in the Houston area, are designed to help you quickly compare providers to decide which insurers you might want to get quotes from to compare.
|Insurance company||Bankrate Score||J.D. Power score (Texas)||Average annual premium for full coverage||Average annual premium for minimum coverage|
*Not officially ranked by J.D. Power due to eligibility restrictions.
Not only is State Farm one of the cheapest car insurance companies in Houston on average for full coverage, it also earned a solid Bankrate Score of 4.2. In Texas, the company ranks second place for overall customer satisfaction in the 2023 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study, which means it might be a good option for drivers who value a positive customer experience. The carrier may also be a good option for teen drivers, as it offers several potential teen driving discounts and additional savings opportunities for teens with its Steer Clear telematics program. However, State Farm does not offer gap insurance, which could be a drawback for drivers with new vehicles.
Learn more: State Farm Insurance review
Geico has an even higher Bankrate Score and also offers some of the cheapest average rates for minimum coverage and full coverage in Houston. The carrier also has a long list of potential discounts, which could help some drivers maintain affordable rates even if they need more coverage. Geico falls short, however, with a below-average ranking in the J.D. Power study in Texas for overall customer satisfaction, so it might not be the best choice for customers to whom customer experience is paramount.
Learn more: Geico Insurance review
Even though Mercury is a less well-known car insurer than others on our list, it still offers Houston drivers cheap average rates and lots of optional endorsements, such as rental car, roadside assistance and ride-hailing coverage. This carrier earns the lowest Bankrate Score on our list, due primarily to its size and scope, which means it does not have as much third-party information available, such as J.D. Power scores. The company does not offer gap insurance, so it may not be the best choice for drivers who just purchased a new car and financed it.
Learn more: Mercury Insurance review
With a strong Bankrate Score, cheap average rates and the highest J.D. Power score in Texas for customer satisfaction, USAA may offer the best car insurance in Houston for some drivers. You may have noticed it is not eligible for official ranking with J.D. Power due to its eligibility restrictions, since coverage is limited to current and past service members and their eligible immediate families. Still, the company continues to score well with J.D. Power, despite not being officially ranked. It might be a good option for those who are in the National Guard or stationed at Joint Reserve Base Ellington who value good customer service and coverage tailored to the military.
Learn more: USAA Insurance review
Nationwide offers highly customizable policies that may make it appealing to Houston drivers who want features like accident forgiveness or a vanishing deductible. Although its average rates for minimum coverage are slightly above the Houston average, its average full coverage rates still come in below what most across the city are paying. It was not scored in the Texas region in the J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study, but it is worth noting that the company scored below average in J.D. Power’s Claims Satisfaction Study, so it may not be the best choice for drivers who value a strong customer service culture.
Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review
How to get and keep the cheapest car insurance in Houston
To get and keep the most competitive rates for car insurance, Houston drivers may have to put in some work. Here are some tips that might help you find and lock in the cheapest car insurance for you.
- Shop and compare quotes. Just because a carrier offers affordable rates does not mean it will offer the best rate for your needs. Shopping around by comparing several car insurance quotes from different companies for the same coverage types and levels could help ensure you are getting the cheapest rates on the best car insurance for your needs.
- Boost your credit score. Texas is one of the 47 states in the U.S. where insurers are permitted to use your credit-based insurance score when determining how much to charge for your car insurance policy. Maintaining a good credit score could be a good way to keep your rates low, as studies have shown that drivers with poor credit tend to file more claims and insurers tend to charge drivers with poor credit scores significantly more. If you have less than ideal credit, you may be able to land a cheaper car insurance rate if you can work on improving your credit score. Consider working with a financial planner if you aren’t sure where to start.
Frequently asked questions
The company with the best car insurance in Houston can differ for everyone, since each person has different criteria for an insurance company. For instance, you may want a company with strong financial scores and high third-party ratings for customer satisfaction. Or, the company’s mobile accessibility and claims track record may be more important. Determine what you want most out of a company and research carriers in your area to find the best car insurance company for you.
Like most states, car insurance is required to legally drive in Texas. Houston drivers are required to carry at least $30,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per person, $60,000 in bodily injury liability per accident and $25,000 in property damage liability per accident. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, along with personal injury protection (PIP) must be offered by insurers but can be rejected in writing. Most insurance experts will recommend that you purchase more than the minimum amount required to better protect yourself financially. Keep in mind that minimum coverage does not cover the cost of damage to your own vehicle if you cause an accident.
The average cost of car insurance in Houston, TX varies for every driver, but for a 40-year-old driver with good credit, the average rate is $646 for minimum coverage and $2,219 for full coverage. An 18-year-old with their own policy will pay $5,822 per year on average for a full coverage policy, however, and drivers with poor credit pay $3,304 per year for full coverage, on average.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2023 rates for ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean 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 coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2021 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually. These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Our 2023 Bankrate Score considers variables our insurance editorial team determined impacts policyholders’ experiences with an insurance company. These rating factors include a robust assessment of each company’s product availability, financial strength ratings, online capabilities and customer and claims support accessibility. Each factor was added to a category, and these categories were weighted in a tiered approach to analyze how companies perform in key customer-impacting categories. Like our previous Bankrate Scores, each category was assigned a metric to determine performance, and the weighted sum adds up to a company’s total Bankrate Score — out of 5 points. This year, our 2023 scoring model provides a more comprehensive view, indicating when companies excel across several key areas and better highlighting where they fall short.
- Tier 1 (Cost & ratings): To determine how well auto and home insurance companies satisfy these priorities, 2023 quoted premiums from Quadrant Information Services (if available), as well as any of the latest third-party agency ratings from J.D. Power, AM Best and the NAIC, were analyzed.
- Tier 2 (Coverage & savings): We assessed companies’ coverage options and availability to help policyholders find a provider that balances cost with coverage. Additionally, we evaluated each company’s discount options listed on its website.
- Tier 3 (Support): To encompass the many ways an auto insurance company can support policyholders, we analyzed avenues of customer accessibility along with community support. This analysis incorporated additional financial strength ratings from S&P and Moody’s and factored a company’s corporate sustainability efforts.