Sometimes we may not want to admit we don’t know everything there is to know about shopping for car insurance in Houston, Texas. Or, any other part of the state for that matter. After all, when it comes to auto insurance, most of us want to pretend we know more than we do – and, that’s what can get us in trouble if we have an accident.
The fact is – ignorance is not bliss – and neither is acting like a know-it-all. So, to make things a bit easier for those of us who may not be completely versed in Texas auto insurance, below are a few things to look for:
1. Find an insurer that offers package discounts.
• You can save on both your auto insurance and homeowners or renters insurance if you bundle them with the same insurance company.
2. Keep a clean driving record.
• A lot of Houston car insurance agencies shop multiple insurance companies to find you the most competitive rates. This works to your advantage as they often cater to a specific type of client.
• Good driver/bad driver – whichever you are – make sure your insurance company isn’t charging you more than they should. Be informed and know when you’re being overcharged and when it’s time to move on.
• If you have a clean driving record you should be paying less than a driver with a checkered past behind the wheel. Good drivers deserve a “good driver” discount.
3. Flashy, high-priced vehicles mean higher premiums.
• The car you choose to drive off the dealer’s lot can have a great deal to do with your Texas auto insurance rate.
• Luxury cars, fully loaded with options, and SUVs are targets for car thieves. Depending on where you live, you could end up paying substantially more than someone with a standard vehicle.
• If you drive a sports car, you can expect to pay accordingly. Most auto insurance companies associate these vehicles with speed; therefore, you are more likely to get pulled over for excessive speed. While this is not necessarily so – insurance companies believe this to be a fact – especially with younger drivers.
4. Lower your rate by increasing your deductible.
• The smaller your deductible, the higher your rates.
• The higher your deductible, the lower your annual premium.
• Depending on your accident history, increasing your deductible may be a good way to keep your premium more manageable.
5. Eliminate unnecessary or unneeded coverage.
• If you drive an older vehicle – one of little value – you probably don’t need comprehensive and collision coverage.
• Should the value of your vehicle be less than $1,000; it makes little sense to have these coverages. Carrying liability as mandated by the state of Texas is about all you need.
6. Take advantage of all available discounts offered by Texas auto insurance carriers, including:
• Automatic seat belts
• Air bags
• Anti-lock brakes
• Alarms and theft devices
• Good driver
• Good student
• Driving training
7. Maintain a good credit score
• Your credit score could have an impact on your Houston car insurance rates with some companies.
• The better your credit score, the more money you can save on your auto insurance rates.
Despite your credit score, a clean driving record reflects on you in a positive way when auto insurers are setting your annual rates.
Do you believe yourself to be fairly knowledgeable when shopping for auto insurance or did you learn a few things today? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.