Fort Worth, Texas, has seen significant growth and is now the 13th largest city in the country. With over 909,000 residents, it is slowly inching toward the 1 million mark, and that makes for a lot of drivers on the road. Add in the fact that millions of tourists visit the Dallas-Fort Worth area every year, and the streets can get quite crowded. As such, auto accidents are likely to happen, and car insurance is mandatory. If you’re new to the area, here is what you should know about car insurance in Fort Worth.
Each state has its own laws regarding car insurance and unique driving conditions that drivers need to contend with. One of the first things you should know about car insurance in Fort Worth is that Texas is a tort state, which is the opposite of a no-fault state. In a no-fault state, drivers use their insurance if they’re in an auto accident, no matter who is at fault. In a tort state, the person responsible for the accident is the one whose insurance will cover the cost of accidents.
Either way, you need insurance. Before getting behind the wheel, here’s what you should know about auto insurance — and driving in general — in Fort Worth.
Car Insurance Is Necessary in Fort Worth
Car insurance is mandatory in Fort Worth and throughout Texas, and for a good reason. Due to the number of people commuting to/from nearby Dallas, Fort Worth has many drivers on the road at a given time. While accidents can happen, they can also be deadly. In fact, there were 82 fatal accidents in Fort Worth in 2019 alone.
Most Dangerous Intersections in Fort Worth
There are certain parts of Fort Worth in which drivers should take extra precautions. The Fort Worth Safe Communities Coalition found that the following intersections are the most dangerous in the city:
- East Lancaster Ave. & Riverside Dr.
- Texas 360 & Texas 183 (Airport Freeway)
- McCart Ave. & Interstate 20
- South Sargent St. & East Lancaster Ave.
- North Freeway (I-35W) & Meacham Blvd.
Drivers who frequent those intersections should be extra cautious and consider adding extra coverage beyond the minimum requirements.
Minimum Requirements for Car Insurance in Fort Worth
In Texas, drivers must have at least the minimum amount of liability insurance to pay for accidents they cause. The minimum requirements are 30/60/25, which means:
- $30,000 per person
- $60,000 per accident (the total amount your insurance company will pay if more than one person is injured in an accident you cause)
- $25,000 in property damage liability
While this minimum amount of coverage may get you the lowest premium, additional coverage may save you money in the long run if you’re ever involved in an accident.
There Are Added Insurance Requirements if You Finance a Vehicle in Fort Worth
On top of the minimum requirements, you need extra insurance if you lease or make payments on your car: comprehensive and collision.
Collision insurance covers costs related to damage from a vehicle collision. Unlike liability coverage, collision coverage will pay out regardless of who was at fault.
Comprehensive insurance covers costs not associated with vehicle collisions. Examples include damage from striking an animal, theft, hailstorms, or tornadoes.
Optional Insurance Coverage in Fort Worth
On top of liability, collision, and comprehensive auto insurance, there are additional coverage options you can add to your policy, including:
- Medical payments coverage to help cover medical bills from auto injuries
- Rental reimbursement coverage to help cover the cost of renting a car if yours is being fixed or was stolen
If You’re Caught Without Insurance in Fort Worth
If you’re ever pulled over or involved in an accident, you’ll need to provide proof of insurance. Without auto insurance in Fort Worth, you could be subject to any of the following penalties:
- A fine of at least $175 and as much as $350 for the first offense
- Fines of up to $1,000 for subsequent offenses
- Filing of a Financial Responsibility Insurance (SR-22) certificate
- Suspension of vehicle registration
- Revocation of your license
Don’t assume you won’t be caught either: It’s simply not worth the risk.
Car Insurance Costs in Fort Worth
The cost of car insurance in Fort Worth ($1,446) is more than the average cost in Texas overall ($1,415), but it is still less than the national average ($1,548). But other factors could decrease or increase your premiums. If you’re married, for example, you’ll pay less for car insurance than if you’re single. Your age also plays a factor, with teenagers and drivers over 70 paying more than other age groups. Other factors affecting your rate include traffic offenses, your zip code, and even your credit score.
How Traffic Offenses Affect Premiums in Fort Worth
Driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, speeding, and getting into car accidents will all indicate to insurers that you may be a risky driver to insure. Therefore, your premium will increase the more offenses you have on your record. In Fort Worth, your insurance could increase by $800 for a DUI or a reckless driving citation and over $120 for a speeding ticket.
How Your ZIP Code Affects Your Premium in Fort Worth
Where you live in Fort Worth affects your car insurance rates no matter what city you live in. That’s because certain ZIP codes are more prone to crime than others. For example, if you live in zip code 76104, you can expect to pay more than 12% than if you live in ZIP code 76247.
Even Your Credit Score May Affect Your Premium in Fort Worth
Your credit score may also indicate to insurance companies how risky you are to insure. For that matter, you could save more than 60% on your premium if you have an “exceptional” credit rating compared with someone who has a “very poor” credit rating.
Rely on Baja Insurance for Fort Worth Car Insurance
Baja Insurance is a trusted insurer specializing in finding affordable rates for Fort Worth and Texas residents overall. For any of your car insurance needs, give us a call to see how we can help. You can also start your free car insurance quote online.