The short way to sum up this topic is to say that Texas drivers should buy as much car insurance as they can afford. The point is, every benefit your insurance agent might bring to your attention has a purpose. Each is another important tool in the toolbox of safety and financial security that every motorist wants and needs.
However, the reality of life is that cost is always a factor in everything we buy or consider purchasing. We’re all on a budget of some kind. You might not be driving your ideal vehicle, for example. You might have a more affordable, though less flashy, model. Perhaps you drive a used version of the make or model you would have preferred buying new.
So, of course, you’ll shop carefully for your car insurance—and you should. See if you recognize yourself or your family in any of the types of motorists profiled below. If so, this might help you determine which sort of car insurance plan is best for your very unique circumstances.
Driving on a Shoestring Budget in Texas
You might fall into this category because you’ve recently lost your job. Maybe you’re in school, with only part-time employment. Perhaps you have a whole lot of other bills piling up and you must budget very carefully. It could be you’ve fallen into a high-risk category for insurance purposes, and your coverage is especially expensive.
Whatever the reason, you’re very sensitive to the cost of coverage. Liability insurance coverage in Texas could be the right plan for you.
Drivers are required to carry car insurance in every state except New Hampshire. However, coverage can be very costly for some drivers, especially if they’re young or have had at-fault accidents, multiple speeding tickets, or are considered to be at higher risk for other reasons. That’s where the minimal cost plan of liability coverage becomes a valid option.
If you have a liability insurance policy, the good news is that it costs less than more comprehensive coverage. On the other hand, it only covers other drivers and passengers in the case of an accident for which you’re at fault. Your own vehicle won’t be covered. You also won’t be able to file a claim for such non-collision events as car theft, vandalism, or damage due to fire, earthquake, or numerous other causes.
In other words, you get what you pay for; but liability insurance coverage will keep you legally on the road and might keep another party from suing you if you cause an accident.
Have a Texas License Suspension
Why would you need car insurance if you’ve lost the right to drive? It sounds like some kind of a cruel joke, doesn’t it?
The truth is, even if your license has been suspended for a DUI conviction or for other causes, you still have to keep your vehicle insured. That’s because:
- Your car can still get damaged, or stolen, even if it’s just sitting in your driveway.
- If you’re still making car payments, your finance company will insist on insurance on the vehicle that it—technically—owns.
- Insurance companies don’t like to see large gaps in coverage, so they might refuse to continue coverage if you go away for a length of time.
- If you plead the case for needing your vehicle to keep your job or for some other critical reason, you might be given permission to drive for limited hours, and you can’t drive without insurance.
- You’ll need to show proof of insurance in Texas before you can get your license reinstated.
Texas drivers with suspended or restricted driving privileges must obtain what’s called a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate. This is more commonly known as an SR-22.
An SR-22 isn’t actually an insurance plan, but it’s available from your insurance company. It’s a document that proves to the state you have liability coverage. Having an SR-22 will get you back behind the wheel faster once your driving privileges have been reinstated.
Are You Looking for the Most Coverage for Less in Texas?
You’re not made of money. You’re on a budget, just like everyone else. However, you have a job and some sense of financial stability. Maybe you have a family, own a home, and are getting on with your life.
You definitely want more than liability coverage in terms of car insurance. You know that minimal coverage is risky. It could cost you quite a bit if you got into an at-fault accident or otherwise damaged your vehicle.
What drivers in this group are looking for is full coverage, with a focus on the following two elements:
- Collision — This is just what it sounds like. It’s when your car and other vehicles meet up in a bad way. Collision coverage will pay for the damage to your own vehicle up to your coverage limits, regardless of who was at fault.
- Comprehensive — Your car can get damaged even sitting in your garage. Fires, floods, and other natural disasters could destroy it. It might be stolen or damaged through theft or a run-in with deer or other roadside animals. This is why some Texas drivers choose comprehensive coverage. It offers financial protection for loss or damages that happen in ways other than a collision with another vehicle.
Have Multiple Members to Insure in Your Texas Family?
You might be part of a family where not only the parents drive, but also one or more teenagers or young adults.
Even thinking about your young driver being on the road late at night can cause stress. It’s even more stressful if you imagine your teen running out of gas on a desolate highway in rural Texas or returning to a car with a dead battery or a flat tire. Those are all good reasons to add roadside assistance to your car insurance policy.
Roadside assistance is a coverage benefit that includes a toll-free phone number and 24/7 service for stranded drivers. Call for roadside assistance and you’ll get help in the form of a battery jump, a tire change, a couple of gallons of gasoline, or a tow to a service garage—whatever kind of help you need.
You’ll never feel totally comfortable when your young drivers are behind the wheel, but you’ll feel a bit better if you have roadside assistance and your kids know how to use it.
Are You a Savvy Shopper With Some Savings for Emergencies?
Texas motorists shopping for insurance coverage can control monthly costs by raising their deductibles.
The deductible is the dollar amount that you agree to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage takes responsibility for the rest of the expenses up to your policy limit. For instance, if you have a $500 deductible and your insurance claim comes to $2,000, you’ll pay that first $500, and your insurance company will pick up the tab for the final $1,500.
A top strategy for the savvy insurance shopper is to raise the deductible. If you increased it to $1,500, your policy would cost a lot less than it would if your deductible was at $500. That’s because your insurer will be responsible for less when you have a higher deductible and must file a claim.
The potential downside, of course, is that you must be able to pay that deductible amount if a claim is filed. Overall, a higher deductible makes the most financial sense if you can afford that out-of-pocket cost when you need it.
The savvy shopper for car insurance can also take advantage of numerous other rate reductions. These include such things as multiple vehicle discounts, bundling of your insurance with your homeowners or other insurance plans, discounts for good students, and numerous others.
Consult with your insurance agent to learn all of the benefit options available to you if you invest in a full-coverage plan and the many discounts and strategies that can result in smart savings on your car insurance policy.
Another winning strategy is to consult an independent insurance agent.
Agents who work exclusively for one insurance company can only offer you the insurance plans from that one insurer, but an independent insurance agent contracts with multiple major carriers. That means he or she can look at several plans to deliver insurance policies and find cheap car insurance in Texas that more fully meet your needs and budget.
Call Baja Auto Insurance for Affordable Car Insurance in Texas
At Baja Auto Insurance, our independent insurance agents help Texas drivers obtain the right coverage every time. Call us at (800) 401-6870 or get a quick quote online. You can also enter your zip code here and find an office near you.