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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Texas for 2019

March 20, 2019
Auto Insurance, Insurance
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Auto insurance is an important purchase, but finding a policy and insurer that suit your needs isn’t always easy. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about buying a Texas auto insurance policy — including how much coverage is required, what your policy will pay for and where to find cheap car insurance in Texas.

We looked at quotes from the largest insurers in Texas and ranked the three cheapest options for several driver types.

Cheapest for good drivers

State Farm was the cheapest for good drivers with good credit in Texas, at about $100 per month, on average. Progressive and Esurance came in next, respectively, with some less competitive prices.

InsurerAverage price
State Farm
$1,205/year ($100/month)
Progressive$2,088/year ($174/month)
Esurance$2,266/year ($189/month)
For this calculation, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with a clean driving record and good credit. With the exception of age, a large portion of drivers are closest to this profile, which carries standard "full coverage" insurance, including state-required coverage.

Cheapest for drivers with poor credit

At roughly $208 per month, on average, State Farm was the cheapest insurer we found for Texas drivers with blemished credit. Geico and Esurance round out the top three cheapest options.

InsurerAverage price
State Farm$2,494/year ($208/month)
Geico$2,601/year ($217/month)
Esurance$3,549/year ($296/month)
Poor credit can have a bigger effect on car insurance premiums than even a DUI conviction or a recent accident. To calculate these figures, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-olds with a clean driving record, poor credit as reported to their insurer, and standard "full coverage" insurance.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash

State Farm was cheapest in our analysis for drivers with one accident on their record, at about $121 per month, on average. Prices skyrocket from there, highlighting one good reason to compare quotes. Progressive and Geico coming in second and third, respectively.

InsurerAverage price
State Farm
$1,453/year ($121/month)
$3,368/year ($281/month)
$3,854/year ($321/month)
To get these figures, we averaged rates for 40-year-olds with one recent at-fault crash and the typical "full coverage" insurance. Your rates will remain high for three to five years after you cause an accident or have a moving violation. If you fall into this category, be sure to shop for new insurance rates just after the three-year and five-year anniversaries of your infraction.

Cheapest for low-mileage drivers

State Farm was the cheapest in our analysis for people who don’t drive much, at $100 per month on average, with Esurance and Progressive rounding out the cheapest three. Surprisingly, these are the same three quotes as our first group, showing mileage isn’t big factor in Texas auto insurance prices.

InsurerAverage price
State Farm$1,205/year ($100/month)
Progressive$2,088/year ($174/month)
Esurance$2,266/year ($189/month)
Whether you're retired, work at home or often use public transportation, you may be able to get cheaper car insurance simply because you drive less. The rates above are for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and a clean driving record who drive 5,000 miles per year instead of the standard 12,000.

Honorable mention: Milewise

Milewise (an Allstate company) is worth looking into if you drive very little, though we can’t get rate estimates because it requires a device to plug into your car to track mileage. You’re charged a daily rate, plus a per-mile rate, and the company says customers who drive 135 miles or less per week can save 10% or more. The less you drive, the lower your insurance bill, but if you want to take a road trip, don’t worry — you won’t be charged for more than 150 miles per day.

Cheapest for minimum coverage in Texas

State Farm was the cheapest for minimum coverage in Texas, at about $42 per month, on average. Allstate and Progressive come in second and third, respectively.

InsurerAverage price
State Farm$505/year ($42/month)
Allstate$760/year ($63/month)
Progressive$785/year ($65/month)
We calculated these numbers by averaging rates for 40-year-old good drivers who have only the minimum mandatory insurance in their state. Such light coverage isn't typically recommended, since it might not cover all the bills resulting from a car accident, but it's better than nothing — especially if you can't afford much more.

Cheap for military families in Texas

If you’re an active member of the military or a veteran — or have an immediate family member who is — chances are high you’ll get a good rate with USAA, an option that isn’t available to the general public. In our analysis, USAA was the cheapest option in Texas for every driver type listed above.

» COMPARE: NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool

Minimum car insurance requirements in Texas

With rare exceptions (see below), Texas drivers are required to carry liability insurance. You’ll often see the minimum requirements written in shorthand as 30/60/25. This means in Texas you must buy at least:

  • $30,000 bodily injury/death liability coverage per person.
  • $60,000 bodily injury/death liability coverage per accident.
  • $25,000 property damage liability coverage per accident.

If you cause an accident, liability insurance kicks in to pay for others’ injury treatment and property damage, up to your limits. It doesn’t pay for your own injuries or vehicle repairs.

In many cases, the legal minimum insurance won’t be enough to cover costs if you cause an accident. If you total someone’s luxury car, for example, their repair costs could easily exceed a $25,000 ceiling. Any damage that surpasses your limits has to come out of your own pocket. That’s why for most drivers it’s wise to select higher limits, such as 100/300/50.

Auto insurance alternatives in Texas

If you’re having trouble getting insured in Texas, look into the Texas Auto Insurance Plan Association. It can help connect you with a company that will cover you.

There are legally acceptable alternatives you can choose to prove your financial responsibility, including:

  • Filing a surety bond with the Department of Public Safety. You must file the bond jointly with at least two people, called “sureties,” who own property in the state. The property offered in the bond must be worth at least as much as the insurance amounts mandated under the state’s minimum liability car insurance requirements.
  • Making a $55,000 deposit with the state comptroller in either cash or securities.
  • Making a $55,000 deposit with the county judge where your vehicle is registered, in either cash or cashier’s check.
  • Qualifying for a certificate of self-insurance through the Department of Public Safety. You promise to pay up to the same amount covered by minimum liability insurance requirements if you cause an accident with one of your cars. This option only applies if you own 25 vehicles or more.

Cheapest car insurance in Texas

CategoryCheapest option
Good driversState Farm
Drivers with poor creditState Farm
Drivers with one at-fault crashState Farm
Low-mileage driversState Farm
Minimum coverageState Farm
Drivers with a military connectionUSAA
For our base-profile driver with good credit and a clean driving history, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers for 40-year-old men and women in 20 ZIP codes. The policy includes:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.
  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash.
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with poor credit, we adjusted the credit tier from “good” to “poor.”
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash.
  • For low-mileage drivers, we adjusted the miles driven from 12,000 per year to 5,000.
  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.

We used a 2015 Toyota Camry in all cases. These are rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.