If you live in Texas, finding affordable Auto Insurance is possible. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy, especially when there are so many variables that affect how much you pay in premiums each month. Some things are within your control, while other things are outside of your control, and navigating the ins and outs of it all can be tricky.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that you can get the coverage you need, and we can help you find it. Keep reading to learn more about how to get affordable Car Insurance coverage.
How Much Auto Insurance Do You Need?
When you purchase Auto Insurance in Texas, your agent will make sure you’re meeting Texas’s requirements for minimum Auto Insurance coverage.
However, minimum coverage should only be considered a starting point, not necessarily the end goal. You may need more insurance than is legally required under state law. Why? Because if anything happens, you’ll want to make sure you have the coverage you need to get back on your feet – and back on the road.
For example, in addition to the legally mandated liability coverage – which covers property damage and injuries you cause to other people – you may want to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage. This will provide you with protection in case your own car is damaged in an accident, or if damage to your car is caused by a collision with an animal, a storm, or a number of other covered events. It will also provide protection in case your car is stolen or vandalized.
Another thing to consider is the coverage amount. Although you could go with the minimum coverage limit required under Texas law, if you have assets to protect, however, you might want to consider higher limits. Otherwise, if you cause an accident that results in damages that exceed your coverage limit, you could be on the hook for the difference.
At the same time, you don’t want to purchase more coverage than you need. That’s just a good way to waste money. To find affordable Auto Insurance coverage, it’s important to avoid paying for coverage types you don’t need or limits that are higher than what makes sense for you.
What Factors Impact the Cost of Car Insurance?
Many different factors affect Auto Insurance costs. These factors include demographics, your driving history, your coverage decisions and the insurance company.
Rate Factor #1: Demographics
Insurance underwriters use certain types of information to determine your risk of having a claim and the most appropriate rates for you. While it varies by insurance carrier and state, some common factors that underwriters consider include the following:
- Your age
- Your gender
- Your marital status
- Your credit score
- Your location
These factors are important because they can tell underwriters a lot. For example, very young drivers are also typically inexperienced drivers, and they tend to have a greater chance of having an accident. At the same time, some locations within Texas have more traffic and higher accident rates, and car theft rates can also vary from area to area.
Rate Factor #2: Driving History
Your personal driving record is also very important. Traditionally, auto insurers consider factors like the following:
- Speeding tickets
- Other moving violations
Both severity and frequency matter. For example, a DUI will have a bigger impact on your rates than a ticket for going a few miles over the limit. If you get a lot of tickets, however, the impact will add up.
Here’s the good news: Mistakes don’t follow you forever. Tickets and accidents are removed from your driving record after a few years, and when this happens, your Auto Insurance rates can go back down. The number of years can vary depending on your carrier’s underwriting practices.
These days, more drivers and insurers are also using telematics devices. These devices can analyze things like speeding and hard braking to determine how safe a driver is. If you’re a safe driver, telematics might help you prove this to your insurer. Some carriers will give you a discount upfront if you agree to have your driving monitored by their telematics device.
Rate Factor #3: Insurance Coverage Details
You can also adjust your Auto Insurance premiums by adjusting the details of your coverage. To make your coverage more affordable, consider changing the following:
- Your coverage types
- Your limits
- Your deductible
Be warned, though – when you make changes here, there is a tradeoff. For example, if you decide not to purchase an optional coverage type, you’ll save money, but you might not have any coverage for certain types of losses. Likewise, if you lower your limits, your premiums should go down as well. If you cause damages that exceed your limits, however, you could be on the hook for the difference.
Your deductible matters, too. The deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket when you file a claim. A higher deductible typically results in a lower premium, but you need to make sure you’ll be able to afford the deductible if anything happens.
Rate Factor #4: The Insurer
Finally, the insurance company you go with can have a major impact on the rates you’re charged. Although insurers tend to look at many of the same factors when determining rates, there is still a lot of variation from company to company.
Some insurers will penalize you more for certain things, while others will penalize you less. Some are more willing to take on drivers with a less-than-stellar driving record than others. Because of this, the best insurance company for one person might not be the best insurance company for another person.
How Can You Find Affordable Auto Insurance?
If you go to 10 different Auto Insurance companies, you’ll probably get quoted with 10 different rates. To find the most affordable coverage, you need to compare your options.
Unfortunately, this can be time-consuming. It can also be confusing because the price might not be the only thing that differs from insurer to insurer. You don’t want to end up comparing apples to oranges, and you don’t want to end up with coverage that doesn’t meet your needs.
This is why it’s helpful to turn to an expert for help. Independent Insurance Agents are not employed by an insurance company. Instead, they contract with multiple insurance companies to find the best rates for their clients.
When you work with Castereno Insurance & Tax Service, we will do the comparison shopping for you. We can also help you choose appropriate limits, deductibles and optional coverages to help you find coverage that meets your needs while delivering a great value.
Ready to find the most affordable Auto Insurance coverage for you? Contact us. We’re here to help!