If you’re one of the millions of Americans struggling to pay insurance on a lower income, every dollar counts. According to a recent study, people who earn under $20,000 a year are often required to spend as much for their car insurance as top earners ($200,000). This is extremely taxing to working-class families, who are left to viperous practices by loan sharks and dishonest companies. In states like Texas, for example, insurance rates are relatively higher than those of other states. Therefore, low income car insurance in Texas maybe, at first glance, challenging to find.
However, there exist plenty of solutions for the lower-earning American in Texas. As an excellent resource for all information related to lifestyle savings, our site has the tips you need. We have created this guide to low income car insurance in Texas for those with tight budgets in need of coverage. In this article, you will find tips on selecting an insurer, a reminder of why you need car insurance and advice on how to drive your costs down. Finally, you will have our selection of the most affordable car insurance options in Texas, as well as relevant service information. Hopefully, the latter will help you arrive at your cheapest option. So. Shall we find you cheap full coverage auto insurance?
How Car Insurance Works
Car Insurance refers to a coverage contract vehicle owners must have with a third party to “handle” expenses in case of accident, loss, theft or damage. Parties seeking insurance simply provide the insurers with information on themselves and their vehicles, and a quote is made. Once payment arrangements have been made, the insured party is now a “member” of the insurance. This provides liability protection to the insured individual, the insured vehicle, and the public.
Low Income Management
To qualify as an individual with a “low” income, you must earn under $22,000 a year, working full time. Often, low income families and individuals benefit from government-funded financial assistance, discounts, and deductibles. However, there are no government policies in place to fund low income car insurance in Texas. Instead, it has a wide range of car insurance prices that may cater to all budgets. You need only know where to look.
Finding An Insurer
Finding insurance is the first step of any valuable adult purchase. However, this task can be challenging. Insurers always make broad claims to offer the cheapest and best services, often relying on public confusion to mask preying tactics. One of the most common insurer strategies is to quote clients based on their identity, behavior, and earnings rather than their “ability to drive safely.” This is based on the assumption that lower-paying professions and urban living will create a threat to the safety of your car. These metrics also relies on the known fact that low-income families often purchase second-hand vehicles more likely to break down or cause accidents.
Furthermore, low-income Americans are less likely to be able to pursue litigation in case of insurance malpractice. Therefore, the lowest earners are generally the most vulnerable for insurers to take advantage of. Though the action has been taken to minimize “prejudicial quoting,” most states allow the use of credit scores and educational checks to determine premiums.
To avoid possible automatic over-pricing based on obsolete metrics, you may want to look for a usage-based car insurance company. Usage-based companies study the driving behavior of their clients and charge them depending on their driving skill, track record, and average journey length. This is a generally cheaper option; you need only “watch your driving” to save on insurance payments. You can also expect such insurance companies to offer rates more consistent with clients’ ability to pay. Simply put, usage-based companies are your best bet for low income car insurance in Texas.
Why You Absolutely Need Car Insurance
If you are looking into car insurance for the first time or are considering making a switch, you must be overwhelmed with intimidating information. Most unpleasantly, you may get bombarded with ludicrous rates online, or receive untrustworthy offers. This may lead you to ask how necessary car insurance really is.
It is illegal in 49 states (all US states except New Hampshire) to drive a car without paid car insurance. This is because car insurance guarantees that damage you may cause driving the vehicle can be immediately taken care of. Every state has its own minimum liability insurance level. Texas’s minimum liability level is $30,000 bodily injury per person coverage, $60,000 bodily injury per accident and $25,000 property damage coverage. Texas has one of the highest minimum liability levels for insured cars, which effectively drives up insurance costs.
How To Lower Car Insurance Costs
1. Understanding the Metrics
There are a few ways of lowering your costs on your car insurance. As you may know, it is illegal for insurance companies to ask you what your income is. However, they have other means of establishing what your income bracket may be. The metrics employed are usually the following:
- Past Insurance Claims
- Extra Coverage
- Driving Profile
A high number of past insurance claims usually signifies dependency on insurance funds to pay for accident damage. It is assumed that people with higher incomes frequently handle accident charges themselves. That is often either to spare insurance filing efforts or to avoid a prolonged run increase on their yearly rates. Individuals of lower incomes, however, can find themselves forced to rely on insurance coverage. However, to lower your costs in the long run, you will need to be willing to handle some damage costs yourself. Theoretically, you should handle every damage-related, insurance-covered bill reasonably within your means. Otherwise, you can expect your insurance rate to go up after your claim is received instantaneously.
You also need to beware of extra coverage costs. Superfluous coverage offers are a convenient means of squeezing out extra bucks from clients. Comprehensive and collision coverage, for example, will rarely cater to older vehicles. If your car is worth under $4,000, there is not much to gain in its full repair.
If you’re looking to have affordable coverage in the long run, you will need to have a perfect driving profile. This means no driving offenses. You must also note that a weak driving profile is considered significant of low social-economic status, which may be detrimental to your final premium.
2. Keeping Track Of Your Discounts
Watch out for discounts on your insurance policy. It is your responsibility to know every deduction you are entitled to. Typically, discounts will allow you to save hundreds of dollars on your final insurance payment. There are several standard discounts insurance policies offers:
- a) Multi-policy Discount : Most insurance companies offer a multi-directional discount on the use of several insurance policies at once. The most common multi-policy discount is for both car and home coverage. Should you be covered by the same insurance company in both these areas, you should expect about $100 off on each coverage.
- b) Equipment Discount : If you were to invest in small safety equipment like smart locks, you could expect your premium to drop substantially. Consider investing in a service like Lojack, which most insurance companies recognize.
- c) Defensive Driver Discount : A defensive driver course improves your driving profile. Several insurance companies offer large ($50+) discounts to drivers with defensive driver accreditation. This course is available in all American States.
- d) Multi-Car Coverage Discount : As the name suggests, this discount applies to individuals with more than one car under a company’s coverage. This is particularly useful to small businesses with vehicle assets.
- e) Good Student Discount : If you have been doing well in school, you may be entitled to a “Good Student Discount” offered by several insurance companies in Texas. To qualify for this discount, you will need a GPA of 3.0 and above.
Factors That Will Mater
Before you choose an insurer, you need to be aware of the factors they will look at to determine your rate. This will enable you to be prepared for potential over-pricing. Insurance providers use the following to determine your premium:
- Your credit score
- Your education level
- Your past insurance history
- Your zip code
- Your home-owner status
It is likely that these metrics disadvantage lower-income individuals. However, awareness of their existence may help you present yourself better in your filing. Consider investing time in improving your credit score and earning educational accreditation before you purchase a car and are required to pay for insurance.
Your Affordable Car Insurance Options In Texas
Unfortunately, Texas is not one of the 3 States to offer Government-funded help with car insurance payments. However, it does have an array of successful insurance companies with competitive rates and exciting discount options. To facilitate your research process, consider the Texas auto insurance quotes comparison in the text below.
The Texan average car insurance cost is $2,330. However, several insurance companies offer premiums for much less: Texas Farm Bureau, with its average car coverage premium at $1210, is the cheapest in the state. This number does not necessarily involve heavy discount checks. Therefore, there may be more to be done to drive this number down. Between the Texas Farm Bureau and the generic Texan insurance, are four other large companies, namely:
- Mercury (average premium at $1789)
- State Farm (average premium at $1501)
- Progressive (average premium at $1368)
- GEICO (average premium at $1301)
Your Cheapest Option: A little Background
If your income is on the lower end, you may want to opt for the cheapest car insurance available to you. In Texas, this insurance option is Texas Farm Bureau. Overall, this company has relatively affordable rates. Most of the company’s prices are below its competitors’. However, as an organization dedicated to improving local cultivators’ lives, it relies on membership. Therefore, there is a membership fee dependent on your chosen premium. Texas Farm Bureau Car Insurance Coverage has a complaint index of 0.70, which suggests that it has relatively high consumer satisfaction.
Understanding Texan Metrics
Now that you know your cheapest option, you may be wondering whether to leap. However, even with a lower income, individuals should be able to choose the services that cater most to their lifestyle. For example, while the company listed below has the cheapest rates, it also offers a very specific type of service for members of the agricultural world. If you’re looking to understand more about your other options, you first need to consider your location.
Depending on the Texan city you are in, other insurance companies may become contenders for the cheapest standard quotations. In Corpus Christi, Texas, for example, GEICO is the most affordable car insurance provider, with a standard quote of $1079. This is also the case in Dallas, where GEICO has an average standard quote of $1288. To find the cheapest car insurance provider in your city, consult a comprehensive by-city cost list.
You may also want to note that some cities in Texas have particularly costly car insurance. Therefore, it may be unwise to expect their companies’ quotes to match the lowest average rate. Houston, for example, is the most expensive city in Texas for car insurance, with an average quote at $2,881 per year. Fortunately, Texas Farm Bureau and Progressive both offer insurance coverage in the city.
A Concluding Note
Texas is a relatively expensive state to have car insurance. However, it is also a state with a variety of options available for all budgets. Though the state does not currently offer car insurance funding assistance, it features some of the leaders in low-cost insuring. Companies like Progressive, GEICO and Texas Farm Bureau are present in every major Texan city and offer rates very competitive to the national average. This means that even with a yearly income of less than $20,000, you have options. It is also important to remember that you can heavily influence your quote and effectively lower it following the tips mentioned above.
Furthermore, the claiming of discounts you are entitled to will save you almost as much as a thorough selection process would. Essentially, the flexibility of your quote is in your hands. For more information on ways to save on your spending, do not go too far.