Expensive car insurance in Houston can empty your monthly budget and force you to make tough financial choices. Doing a rate comparison can save money and help to make ends meet.
It’s shocking but most car insurance buyers kept their policy with the same company for four years or more, and just short of a majority have never shopped around. Texas drivers could save themselves roughly $1,800 a year by just shopping around, but they think it’s difficult to find lower-cost car insurance rates. Many auto insurance companies compete for your hard-earned dollar, and it can be difficult to compare rates to get the lowest cost out there.
It’s a good idea to do rate comparisons yearly since insurance prices are adjusted regularly by insurance companies. Just because you had the best deal on Lexus NX 300h insurance in Houston at your last renewal other companies may now be cheaper. Forget anything you know (or think you know) about car insurance because I’m going to let you in on the secrets to the tricks you need to know to find the best coverage while lowering your premiums.
Why Your Insurance Rates might be higher
Many factors are part of the calculation when pricing auto insurance. Some are obvious such as your driving history, but other criteria are less apparent like where you live and annual miles driven.
- Raising comp and collision deductibles saves money – The deductibles you choose state the amount of money you are required to spend out-of-pocket if the claim is covered. Coverage for physical damage, termed comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy, insures against damage to your car. Some examples of covered claims would be colliding with a stationary object, damage caused by hail, or theft of your vehicle. The more of the claim you’re willing to pay, the less your car insurance will be.
- Discounts for multiple policies – Some companies will award better rates to insureds who consolidate policies with them. It’s known as a multi-policy discount. The discount can add up to anywhere from five to ten percent in most cases. Even if you already get this discount, consumers should still shop around to confirm you are receiving the best rates possible. It’s possible to still save even more than the discount by buying insurance from more than one company.
- Stay claim-free and save money – Auto insurance companies in Texas generally give the best rates to policyholders who file claims infrequently. If you file a lot of claims you can definitely plan on much higher rates or policy non-renewal. Your car insurance is designed for larger claims.
- Premiums are impacted by vehicle performance – The performance level of the car, truck or SUV you need to insure makes a significant difference in your rates. Since the Lexus NX 300h falls in the luxury crossover class, rates will be substantially more than the average rate where you live in Houston. The lowest performance passenger vehicles generally receive the lowest base rates, but other factors influence the final cost greatly.
- Never let your coverage lapse – Driving without insurance is not a good idea and you may have a hard time finding new coverage because you let your insurance expire. Not only will you pay more, getting caught without coverage might get you a license revocation or jail time. You could then be forced to prove you have insurance by filing a SR-22 with the Texas DMV.
- Single drivers may pay higher premiums – Having a wife or husband can get you a discount compared to being single. Having a significant other is viewed as being less irresponsible and insurance companies reward insureds because drivers who are married file infrequent claims.
Finding cheaper auto insurance rates can be quick and easy. You just need to take time comparing rate quotes from different insurance companies.
It’s so simple to compare auto insurance quotes online takes the place of having to go to all the different insurance agencies. The fact that you can get quotes online makes this unnecessary unless you’re the type of person who wants the peace of mind that only a licensed agent can provide. It is possible to price shop your coverage online but still have the advice of a local agent.
The car insurance companies shown below offer price quotes in Texas. If the list has multiple companies, we recommend you visit several of them to get the best price comparison.
Insurance is not optional in Texas
Even though it can be expensive, insurance is a good idea for several reasons.
- Just about all states have mandatory insurance requirements which means you are required to carry specific minimum amounts of liability if you don’t want to risk a ticket. In Texas these limits are 30/60/25 which means you must have $30,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $60,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and $25,000 of property damage coverage.
- If you have a loan on your Lexus, almost every bank will require you to have insurance to guarantee payment of the loan. If coverage lapses or is canceled, the bank may buy a policy for your Lexus for a much higher rate and force you to pay for it.
- Insurance protects both your assets and your vehicle. It will also reimburse you for all forms of medical expenses for you, your passengers, and anyone else injured in an accident. One of the most valuable coverages, liability insurance, also covers legal expenses if you are sued as the result of your driving. If you have damage to your Lexus as the result of the weather or an accident, your policy will cover the repair costs.
The benefits of buying insurance definitely exceed the price paid, particularly if you ever have a claim. But the average driver in Texas is overpaying more than $700 annually so shop around once a year at a minimum to be sure current rates are still competitive.
Insurance discounts are available to cut your rates
Insurance is not inexpensive, but there are discounts available that you may not even know about. Certain discounts will be applied when you purchase, but some need to be manually applied before being credited.
- New Car Discount – Buying a new car model can cost up to 25% less since new vehicles have better safety ratings.
- Anti-theft System – Vehicles that have factory anti-theft systems have a lower chance of being stolen and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
- Cautious Driver Discount – Drivers without accidents may save up to 50% more compared to accident prone drivers.
- Onboard Data Collection – Policyholders that allow driving data submission to look at driving habits by using a telematics device in their vehicle such as Snapshot from Progressive or Drivewise from Allstate may see discounts if their driving habits are good.
- Driver Training Discounts – Passing a safe driver class is a good idea and can lower rates and easily pay for the cost of the class.
- Driver’s Ed – Reduce the cost of insurance for teen drivers by having them participate in a local driver’s education class if offered at their school.
- Passive Restraint Discount – Options like air bags and/or automatic seat belt systems could see savings of 20% or more.
- Low Miles Discount – Maintaining low annual mileage could qualify for cheaper premium rates.
- Paperwork-free – A handful of companies may give you up to $50 for completing your application online.
Don’t be shocked that some of the credits will not apply to all coverage premiums. Some only apply to individual premiums such as collision or personal injury protection. If you do the math and it seems like adding up those discounts means a free policy, companies don’t profit that way.
If you would like to choose from a list of insurance companies that offer discounts in Texas, click here.
When to contact an agent
Some people prefer to get advice from a local agent and that is a personal choice. Good insurance agents will help you protect your assets and help submit paperwork. One of the great benefits of comparing rates online is that you can find cheap rate quotes and still choose a local agent. And providing support for small agencies is important particularly in Houston.
Once you complete this form (opens in new window), your coverage information is submitted to participating agents in Houston who will give you bids for your business. You won’t even need to leave your house because quoted prices will be sent immediately to your email address. If you wish to get a price quote from a specific auto insurance provider, you would need to visit that company’s website and complete a quote there.
Is an exclusive or independent car insurance agent right for you?
If you need to find a local agent, you must know there are a couple types of agencies and how they work. Agencies in Houston are classified as either independent or exclusive depending on the company they work for. Both can write policy coverage, but it’s worth learning the difference in how they write coverage since it could factor into the type of agent you choose.
Independent Auto Insurance Agencies
Agents of this type are not limited to a single company so they have the ability to put coverage with a variety of different insurance companies and possibly get better coverage at lower prices. If prices rise, they simply move the coverage in-house and you stay with the same agent.
If you are comparing auto insurance prices, it’s a good idea to get rate quotes from at least one independent agent in order to have the best price comparison.
Below is a short list of independent agents in Houston that may be able to provide competitive price quotes.
Exclusive Insurance Agencies
Agents that choose to be exclusive work for only one company and examples are State Farm, Allstate, and Farm Bureau. They usually cannot provide prices from multiple companies so they have to upsell other benefits. They are highly trained on sales techniques which helps offset the inability to provide other markets.
Below are exclusive agencies in Houston willing to provide price quote information.
Lucrecia Jasminoy – State Farm Insurance Agent
223 Cavalcade St – Houston, TX 77009 – (713) 884-1442 – View Map
Picking an auto insurance agent requires you to look at more than just a cheap quote. These are some questions you should get answers to.
- Which insurance company do they prefer to write with?
- Are aftermarket or OEM parts used to repair vehicles?
- Do they have any clout with companies to ensure a fair claim settlement?
- Does the agency provide any after hours assistance?
- Can you choose the body shop in case repairs are needed?
- Do you need full coverage on every vehicle?
Do I just need basic coverages?
When it comes to insurance from an agent or online, there really is no perfect coverage plan. Each situation is unique.
Here are some questions about coverages that might help in determining if your insurance needs will benefit from professional help.
- Can I get by with minimal medical coverage if I have good health insurance?
- Does having multiple vehicles earn me a discount?
- Does insurance cover damages from a DUI accident?
- Do I get a pro-rated refund if I cancel my policy early?
- Why am I required to get a high-risk car insurance policy?
- What does medical payments coverage do?
If it’s difficult to answer those questions but a few of them apply, then you may want to think about talking to a licensed agent. To find an agent in your area, complete this form. It is quick, free and can help protect your family.
Don’t give up on cheap premiums
As you shop your coverage around, never reduce coverage to reduce premium. There have been many cases where someone sacrificed liability limits or collision coverage only to regret at claim time that the small savings ended up costing them much more. Your focus should be to buy the best coverage you can find for the lowest price, but do not skimp to save money.
Discount Lexus NX 300h insurance in Houston is possible on the web as well as from insurance agents, and you should compare rates from both to get a complete price analysis. A few companies may not provide the ability to get quotes online and most of the time these small, regional companies prefer to sell through independent agents.
People who switch companies do it for many reasons like denial of a claim, being labeled a high risk driver, policy cancellation or unfair underwriting practices. No matter why you want to switch, choosing a new company is actually quite simple.
To read more, feel free to visit the articles below:
- Avoiding Deer Collisions (Insurance Information Institute)
- Who Has Affordable Auto Insurance After a Speeding Ticket in Houston? (FAQ)
- How Much are Car Insurance Quotes for Infrequent Drivers in Houston? (FAQ)
- A Tree Fell on Your Car: Now What? (Allstate)
- How to shop for a safer car (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
- Steps to Take After an Auto Accident (Insurance Information Institute)
- Child Safety FAQ (iihs.org)