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On average, Texans pay an annual car insurance premium of $1,868 for full coverage and $551 for minimum coverage. In the U.S., the average cost for full coverage is $1,771 and $545 for minimum coverage. Not only is car insurance relatively expensive in Texas, but data shows that 14.2% of Texans live below the poverty line.
There are no government-sponsored programs to help Texas drivers pay their insurance, but you must have car insurance to keep your vehicle legally registered. For many low-income families in Texas, car insurance bills may be a source of strife. Bankrate has compiled this guide to help drivers in Texas understand their options and find affordable coverage for their needs.
Low-income car insurance in Texas
Low-income car insurance is not a specific type of car insurance. Rather, low-income insurance policies are often available through state-sponsored programs for people who cannot afford standard coverage. Low-income car insurance makes it easier for individuals to obtain the state’s required coverage and reduces the number of uninsured drivers on the road.
Unfortunately, Texas does not offer any government-run low-income car insurance programs. The only states that currently offer these programs are California, Hawaii and New Jersey. However, there are multiple ways that low-income families in Texas could purchase a policy that is more affordable than average.
Shopping around for car insurance and getting quotes from multiple providers could help you find the cheapest policy available for the type and amount of coverage you need. You can also improve your credit score and raise your deductible to help achieve a lower rate. Additionally, looking for insurance companies that offer multiple discounts you can take advantage of is a great way to help reduce average premiums.
Car insurance for low-income drivers and families
Although there are no low-income car insurance programs in Texas, many car insurance companies offer affordable options.
The table below lists the 10 cheapest car insurance companies for full coverage policies in Texas, based on data provided from Quadrant Information Services. Please note that these are average rates based on a 40-year-old driver with a clean driving record and good credit. Insurance companies consider multiple rating factors when calculating premiums, so your rate may vary.
|Company||Average annual full coverage premium||Average monthly full coverage premium|
Low-income car insurance for Texas drivers with a poor credit score
Some states allow insurance companies to use a driver’s credit score as a rating factor when determining their premium. Texas is one of those states. If you have poor credit, you could pay more for your car insurance than someone with a higher insurance-based credit score.
Based on our research, the following companies offer the cheapest full coverage insurance for Texas drivers with a poor credit score:
- Mercury: $2,075 per year
- Nationwide: $2,364 per year
- Geico: $2,486 per year
Low-income car insurance for Texas drivers with an at-fault accident
Having one or more at-fault accidents on your motor vehicle record could significantly increase the rate you pay for car insurance. If your driving record isn’t perfect, the companies below may be a good option for you, as they offer the cheapest full coverage in Texas for drivers with an at-fault accident based on our research:
- State Farm: $1,649 per year
- Geico: $1,882 per year
- Nationwide: $1,978 per year
Low-income car insurance for Texas families with a teen driver
For many teens, getting a driver’s license is an exciting milestone. However, this milestone can cause substantial financial hardship for parents or guardians in the form of increased car insurance premiums. Due to the added risk of insuring a young driver, policyholders who add a teen driver to their policy will usually see a steep uptick in their rate.
The quotes below reflect the total cost to insure a 16-year-old driver added to their parent’s policy. If you have a newly-licensed driver in your home, these companies might offer the cheapest full coverage option for you:
- Nationwide: $2,172 per year
- State Farm: $2,644 per year
- Geico: $2,878 per year
Low-income car insurance for Texas senior drivers
Some seniors could experience an increase in their premiums the older they get, especially as the risk of at-fault accidents typically increases for older age groups. With one in three seniors in America living in poverty, even a small raise in rates can have a big impact on monthly expenses.
The following quotes are based on 70-year-old drivers. If you are a senior on a budget, you might want to start with these companies as they quoted the cheapest full coverage for older drivers in our analysis:
- State Farm: $1,251 per year
- Geico: $1,441 per year
- Mercury: $1,591 per year
Texas minimum car insurance requirements
In Texas, drivers are required to carry at least 30/60/25 personal liability insurance, which is considered to be a minimum coverage policy. Minimum coverage in Texas includes the following:
- $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 per accident
Additionally, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection (PIP) must be offered, but can be rejected in writing.
A minimum coverage insurance policy may be appealing to low income drivers in Texas looking for a cheap policy. However, a minimum coverage policy likely won’t offer enough coverage for most drivers in the case of an accident involving another vehicle or passenger. If you cause an accident and the damages are greater than the policy’s limit, you are responsible for paying the difference out-of-pocket. Additionally, a liability-only policy does not offer any coverage for your own vehicle, which is where other coverage types such as collision and comprehensive come in handy.
Although a full coverage policy will likely cost more on the front-end, it could save low-income drivers in Texas considerably in terms of how much they are responsible for out of pocket in the event of an accident. Still, if minimum coverage is all you or your family can reasonably afford, it helps to compare providers to ensure that you choose the best insurer for your needs.
While every car insurance company in Texas charges a different rate, we found the 10 providers in the table below to offer the cheapest car insurance in Texas for minimum coverage on average:
|Company||Average annual minimum coverage premium||Average monthly minimum coverage premium|
Based on the data above, Geico offers the cheapest car insurance premium in Texas at $407 per year for minimum coverage. Although Geico’s coverage is somewhat limited, the company offers a long list of discounts with savings for military personnel, federal employees, good students and many others.
State Farm and USAA are the next cheapest options, although USAA only sells insurance to active duty and retired military service members, and their eligible family members.
Car insurance discounts for low-income drivers
To get insurance for low-income families in Texas, look into providers that offer a variety of discounts you can qualify for. Even if you receive a quote that is out of your budget, you may be able to lower your premium significantly by applying discounts. Here are some of the most common auto insurance savings opportunities:
Most car insurance companies offer policy bundling discounts that can help you save on your auto insurance premium. Typically, bundling discounts apply if you have your auto and your homeowners or renters policy with the same company. However, each company sets its own guidelines. You may want to ask your agent for specifics.
Along with bundling discounts, many insurance companies will offer a multi-car discount for insuring more than one vehicle on your policy.
If you practice safe driving habits, you can usually qualify for a discount on your insurance premium. Look for companies that offer a discount for being claims-free or completing an approved defensive driving course. Many popular insurance carriers also offer an app-based safe driver rewards program, which tracks your driving using telematics. With these programs, drivers generally save more money on their premium over time as they continue safe driving habits.
Vehicle safety features
The last major category of car insurance discounts is related to vehicle safety features. If your car has advanced safety features, like an anti-theft system, anti-lock brakes or lane departure alerts, you can likely qualify for a lower insurance premium. Most insurance providers list the qualifying safety features on their website.
Although the number of discounts available to drivers will vary from company to company, most providers offer at least a few different ones that can be utilized to reduce your premium further. When researching a car insurance company, you can often check its auto policy page or discounts page for all available savings opportunities.
Frequently asked questions
The cheapest car insurance company varies because every driver pays a different rate for car insurance. Insurance companies in Texas look at factors like your age, credit score, claims history, the type of car you drive and how often you drive to calculate your personalized premium.
There are only a handful of states that offer government-sponsored low income car insurance. California, Hawaii and New Jersey offer state-sponsored plans, but you must meet certain eligibility criteria in order to get coverage. If your state does not have a low income program, you could get a cheaper insurance rate through discounts, raising your deductible and paying your premium in full. Keep in mind that you take on more financial risk in the case of an accident or claim when raising your deductible.
Yes, you can get car insurance with bad credit. However, you will likely pay a higher premium than average. Working to improve your credit score is often beneficial in helping you get a lower rate.
The difference between a full coverage and minimum coverage policy is the type of coverage included. A minimum coverage policy only includes liability insurance and any other basic coverage types your state requires, which protects your legal and financial responsibility in the event of an at-fault accident. A full coverage policy includes liability insurance plus optional collision and comprehensive coverage to cover potential damage to your vehicle.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2022 rates for all 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 2020 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.
Incidents: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with a single at-fault accident applied.
Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 18-70 (base: 40 years) applied. Depending on age, drivers may be a renter or homeowner.
Teens: Rates were determined by adding a 16-year-old teen to a 40-year-old married couple’s policy. The rates displayed reflect the total cost after being added to a parent’s policy.
Credit-based insurance scores: Rates were calculated based on the following insurance credit tiers assigned to our drivers: “poor.” Insurance credit tiers factor in your official credit scores but are not dependent on that variable alone.