Best cheap car insurance in Houston for 2021

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In 2020, there were over 97,000 traffic accidents in Harris County, home to Houston, Texas. 466 of those accidents were fatal. Drivers in Houston likely want to protect themselves from the financial implications of causing an accident, and one of the best ways to do that is to purchase auto insurance. The average cost of car insurance in Houston is $691 per year for minimum coverage and $2,146 per year for full coverage, according to Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums.

To find the best car insurance, Houston drivers may want to consider several factors, such as average premiums, customer service scores, discounts and available coverages. Bankrate has reviewed the largest carriers by market share in the area to help you find the best car insurance in Houston.

Best cheap car insurance companies in Houston

To help you find the best car insurance companies in Houston for your needs, Bankrate’s editorial team looked at the biggest providers and carefully evaluated each one based on 2021 average rates obtained from Quadrant Information Services, third-party ratings, coverage options, discounts and customer service reviews.

If you are looking for car insurance coverage in the Houston area, these companies might be a good fit:

Insurance company J.D. Power score
(Texas)
Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Geico 832 / 1,000 $503 $1,529
USAA *879 / 1,000 $510 $1,556
State Farm 838 / 1,000 $665 $1,651
Allstate 836 / 1,000 $700 $2,033

*USAA is not eligible for official ranking with J.D. Power due to eligibility restrictions

Geico

In Houston, and around the country, Geico is known for selling affordable car insurance policies. If price is your primary concern, you may want to get a quote from Geico. However, Geico does not offer a wide selection of coverage options; its policies are fairly basic. But the company does have a wide variety of discount opportunities that could help drivers save even more money on their premiums. The company also has a robust mobile app that allows you to pay bills, make policy changes, call for roadside assistance and file claims.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

USAA

USAA may be a good choice for policyholders who are active-duty military members or veterans. The company exclusively sells insurance to military members and their eligible families, and if you meet the criteria, USAA may be able to provide you with auto insurance that is well below the Houston area’s average premiums. The company also consistently receives high scores from J.D Power, although it is not eligible for official ranking due to its eligibility restrictions.

Learn more: USAA Insurance review

State Farm

Customers looking for a digital experience may want to consider getting a quote from State Farm. The company has a highly-rated digital app and offers lots of online resources. State Farm also offers two safe driver discount programs, Drive Safe & Save for adults and Steer Clear for drivers under 25. Additionally, State Farm received an above-industry-average score from J.D. Power for claims service. This indicates that customers are generally pleased with the claims process with State Farm.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Allstate

Although Allstate did not receive the highest J.D. Power score of the providers we chose as being among the best, the company could still be a good fit for your needs. Allstate offers numerous coverage endorsements to help you to customize your policy, including sound system equipment coverage and coverage options for classic cars. In addition, Allstate offers a long list of discounts for drivers who are looking to lower their rates. Allstate customers may be able to save money on their insurance by insuring a new vehicle, being a smart student and paying their premiums on time.

Learn more: Allstate Insurance review

Cheapest car insurance in Houston

Auto insurance is relatively expensive in Houston. Full coverage costs $2,146 per year, whereas the average annual full coverage premium in Texas is $1,823 and the national average annual full coverage premium is $1,674. Minimum coverage costs $691 per year in Houston, $524 per year in Texas and $565 per year nationally.

Cost is often a concern when shopping for auto insurance. Based on our research, some of the largest, cheapest auto insurance providers in Houston are:

Insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Geico $503 $1,529
USAA $510 $1,556
White Mountains $527 $1,676
AMTrust Financial $527 $1,979
Nationwide $584 $1,540

The table above compares the cheapest car insurance rates from the most popular carriers based on market share. This information is beneficial to keep in mind when researching car insurance carriers.

As shown, Geico offers the cheapest average full and minimum coverage premium. However, just because a company’s coverage is a bit more expensive — like AMTrust Financial — does not mean that it is not a good company. Cost is not the only factor that you might want to consider when choosing your car insurance company. You may want to think about a company’s customer service ratings, available discounts, digital tools and coverage offerings as well.

Houston insurance requirements

Drivers in Houston are legally required to carry a minimum amount of car insurance coverage, as determined by state law. In Texas, every driver must carry at least 30/60/25 coverage, which includes:

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

Your Texas auto policy will also automatically include personal injury protection (PIP), although you can reject this coverage in writing. Car insurance companies in Texas are also required to offer you uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage, which you may also choose to reject in writing.

Purchasing minimum coverage insurance could mean you will pay a lower rate. However, insurance experts agree that most drivers will benefit from buying higher liability limits or even full coverage insurance.

The costs in the aftermath of car accidents can be high and there is no guarantee that Houston’s minimum insurance coverage requirement will be enough to cover the full cost of an at-fault crash. Any damages above your policy’s limit will come directly out of your pocket.

Additionally, most lenders and dealerships require you to carry full coverage insurance if your vehicle is financed or leased. Lenders may also mandate how high your deductibles can be.

Car insurance discounts in Houston

Most Houston car insurance companies offer discounts to help drivers save money on premiums. You might even qualify for multiple discounts. Here are some of the different discounts offered in Houston and who is eligible for them:

  • Policy bundling: Houston drivers who bundle an auto and home insurance policy from the same company can often save money on their premiums. Most insurance companies that offer auto and property insurance offer this discount.
  • Defensive driver discounts: If you take an approved defensive driver course, you might be able to save money on your car insurance. You may want to contact your insurance company to ask if they offer this discount and to check which organizations offer a qualifying driving training course.
  • Good student discounts: Many insurance companies offer a discount for students who get good grades or maintain a certain GPA. The requirements are different for every insurance company, so check to see if you or your student qualifies.
  • Car safety feature discounts: Another popular car insurance discount in Houston is the car safety feature discount. If your vehicle has certain features, like anti-lock brakes, airbags, daytime running lights or an anti-theft system, you may qualify for a discount.

Talking to your agent is one of the best ways to check to see if there are additional savings opportunities that you might qualify for. You can also usually see what discounts are offered on most auto insurance companies’ websites.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

Car insurance is highly personalized, so the best car insurance company is different for every driver. It depends on the amount of coverage you need, the type of coverage you want, your budget and what you value in a car insurance company. Your age, gender, ZIP code and driving history also factor into your rates and eligibility. When you are shopping for car insurance in Houston, it is a good idea to compare providers and get sample quotes to see which company can offer you the lowest rate.

What factors can affect the cost of my car insurance in Houston?

There are many different factors that can raise or lower your car insurance rates if you live in the city of Houston. Everything from the make and model of your car to the type of coverage and your driving record can affect your rates. Even your ZIP code can affect how much your car insurance policy will cost you, as can your marital status and what purposes you use your car for. Because every company weighs your rating factors differently, getting quotes from different companies for the same coverage might help you find the coverage you need for a lower price.

What will happen if I drive uninsured in the city of Houston?

If you are an uninsured driver in Houston, you may be looking at a ticket and a hefty fine. In addition to fines, you could also have your car impounded or have your license suspended. If you cause an accident without car insurance, you will be responsible for the damages out of pocket. Insurance can be expensive, but the financial fallout from driving without insurance often outweighs your premium amount.

Why is car insurance expensive in Houston?

Drivers in Houston pay more than drivers in Texas and in the nation as a whole, on average. This could be due to the size of the city and the number of cars on the road. Houston’s roadways are busy and more cars on the road mean there is a greater chance of accidents. To compensate for this increased risk, auto insurance companies can charge higher premiums.

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 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 coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 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.

Written by
Elizabeth Rivelli
Insurance Contributor
Elizabeth has two years of experience writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, The Simple Dollar, Coverage.com and NextAdvisor, among others. In addition to auto insurance, Elizabeth regularly writes about home insurance, renters insurance and life insurance. She also covers industry trends and general insurance education.
Edited by
Insurance Editor