Austin is one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the country but is also ranked among one of the nation’s worst metro areas for traffic congestion. Most people living in Austin drive to get to work and the average commute time is 26.4 minutes. Given that drivers spend so much time in the car, it’s important to have accurate and helpful information on car insurance rates. Its even more important if your car is your most reliable way to get to work. Investing in quality car insurance will help ensure that there is less disruption to your life in the event of an accident.
Texas Coverage Laws
Texas law requires you to have 30/60/25 liability coverage, this means $30,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability. This is called state minimum insurance. It is generally the cheapest, however there are some definite ‘costs’ to this low price. If you only have the state minimum and get into an accident, your car will not be protected and you will have to pay out of pocket for any repairs that your car might require. If you get into a major accident and your car is totaled, you will not have any financial help in replacing the car and no rental car coverage in the shorter term. Additionally, because you don’t have significant coverage, if you get into an accident that results in serious injuries, your health care costs may also become a hefty financial burden. While it might be tempting to simply go with a lower rate to save money in the short term, spending a few more dollars a month might save you thousands of dollars in the end.
To make sure that your car is protected in the event of an accident and that you will be financially taken care of in the event of an accident, you need to have what is called comprehensive and collision insurance. Although this will cost you slightly more per month, it could save you substantially in the long term in the event of a major accident. Note, if you still owe a balance on your car, your lender will require you to have collision and comprehensive coverage because like you, they do not want to be liable for the loss or repair costs of an accident.
Laws in Texas require insurance companies to charge rates that are fair, reasonable, and adequate for the risks that they cover. If the government finds that the company’s rates are too high the company can be required to refund people for the overages. If you feel like you are being overcharged or that something unethical is occurring with your insurance. The Texas Department of Insurance is the government agency that is responsible for processing complaints about insurance companies. [https://www.tdi.texas.gov/]
Car Insurance Rates
Decisions about premium rates depend on a number of factors:
- Age. Men under 25 and women under 21 typically have the highest rates. Rates go down as people approach middle age and then begin rising again after the ago of 70. Are you currently in your 30s or 40s? If you are, you are in the perfect age range for affordable insurance coverage.
- Your driving record and history of claims. If you have gotten into accidents or received tickets you can be charged more. Some companies may even refuse to sell you a policy if they determine you are at a high risk for issues like accidents, tickets, and drunk driving arrests.
- Where your car is located. If you live in a city, such as Austin, your rates will probably be higher because people in urban areas are more likely to get into accidents than people in rural areas. With more cars are on the road in denser numbers, statistics show that more accidents occur in more densely populated areas – like Austin. Even in the same city, your rates can change depending on your zip code. You will be surprised to find that your rates could vary upwards of 13% based on your Austin neighborhood.
- The type of car you have. Collision and comprehensive rates are the highest for luxury, high-performance and sports cars. Rates are also high for cars that are expensive to repair, like imports with harder to find parts. In general, if you have a newer mid-range domestic car you will have lower insurance costs.
- How you use your car. If you use your car for things like commuting and running errands, your insurance costs will be lower than if you use your car for your business. Business vehicles are more expensive to insure
- Your credit score. Some companies will use your credit score to decide what to charge you. If you want to double check which companies will use your credit scores [http://www.helpinsure.com/help/documents/creditauto.pdf]. If you have a great credit score it might be worth going with a company that will take your credit into account. If you have low credit look for a company that does not run a credit check
Cheapest Car Insurance in Austin, Texas
Unfortunately, the average car insurance rate in Austin is higher than both the national and state average due to a high accident rate and the high number of insurance claims. For individuals looking for liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, the average cost for car insurance for men is around $1,272 per year for men and $1,333 for women. However, it is still possible to find good deals, especially if you don’t have a high rate of claims or tickets.
As part of this study, we compared the rates of the companies who offered the cheapest rates. For the purposes of this comparison used a 30-year-old, single man, who owned his own home. The man drove a 2014 Toyota Rav4 and drove around 12,000 miles a year, using his car primarily for commuting to and from work. He had no history of accidents, claims, or tickets. He selected coverage slightly above the state minimum, but still less than the full comprehensive coverage. A similar analysis was used for a 30-year-old woman which had an otherwise identical history. It was found the average cost for the man was $107 per month and for the woman, it was $104 per month. The cheapest companies were either Elephant or Mercury, with many of the other companies costing an upwards of $10 – $20 more per month.
It is important to remember that one of the big discrepancies in insurance is what zip code you live in. There are 15 different zip codes throughout Austin. The most expensive zip codes for men were 78731 and 78732, which encompass neighborhoods of Allandale, Balcones Park, Rosedale, Davenport, Lost Creek, Rollingwood, Rob Roy, Stratford Hills, and Westlake Hills. The cheapest rate for men in these neighborhoods was $126 per month. For women, 78732 and 78746 were the most expensive zip codes. These include the neighborhoods of Davenport, Lost Creek, Rollingwood, Rob Roy, Stratford Hills, Westlake Hills, Lake Travis, and Steiner Ranch. Unsurprisingly many of these neighborhoods are also some of the wealthiest and most up and coming areas of Austin, where in-general people drive more expensive cars and that was reflected in a higher cost of car insurance.
Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Neighborhood.
|78731||Allandale||Elephant $126||Elephant $119|
|78750||Anderson Mill||Elephant $124||Elephant $119|
|78759||The Arboretum||Elephant $122||Elephant $115|
|78731||Balcones Park||Elephant $126||Elephant $110|
|78750||Balcones Village||Elephant $124||Elephant $119|
|78704||Barton Hills||Mercury $98||Mercury $94|
|78738||Belevedere||Mercury $101||Mercury $95|
|78704||Bouldin Creek||Mercury $98||Mercury $94|
|78748||Buckingham Estates||Mercury $96||Mercury $91|
|78750||Bull Creek||Elephant $124||Elephant $119|
|78702||Chavez||Mercury $102||Mercury $98|
|78745||Cherry Creek||Mercury $100||Mercury $94|
|78723||Cherrylawn||Mercury $98||Mercury $96|
|78745||Cherry Meadows||Mercury $100||Mercury $96|
|78702||Chestnut||Mercury $102||Mercury $101|
|78757||Crewstview||Mercury $92||Mercury $89|
|78749||Circle C Ranch||Mercury $106||Mercury $99|
|78703||Clarksville||Elephant $117||Elephant $110|
|78703||Crestview||Elephant $117||Elephant $110|
|78746||Davenport||Elephant $126||Elephant $121|
|78749||Deer Haven||Mercury $106||Mercury $99|
|78759||The Domain||Elephant $122||Elephant $115|
|78702||East 6th||Mercury $102||Mercury $101|
|78702||East 11th||Mercury $102||Mercury $101|
|78702||East Ceasar||Mercury $102||Mercury $101|
|78745||Flournoy Acres||Mercury $100||Mercury $96|
|78745||Grand Oaks||Mercury $100||Mercury $96|
|78702||Govalle||Mercury $102||Mercury $101|
|78749||Heights at Loma Vista||Mercury $106||Mercury $99|
|78702||Holly||Mercury $102||Mercury $101|
|78750||Jester||Elephant $124||Elephant $119|
|78759||Jollyville||Elephant $122||Elephant $115|
|78703||Lake Austin||Elephant $117||Elephant $110|
|78732||Lake Travis||Metlife $102||Elephant $121|
|78750||Lakewood Park||Elephant $124||Elephant $119|
|78749||Legend Oaks||Mercury $106||Mercury $99|
|78746||Lost Creek||Elephant $126||Elephant $121|
|78749||Maple Run||Mercury $106||Mercury $99|
|78748||Manchaca Gardens||Mercury $101||Mercury $101|
|78757||North Shoal Creek||Mercury $89||Mercury $89|
|78749||Oak Park||Mercury $106||Mercury $99|
|78703||Old Enfield||Elephant $117||Elephant $110|
|78748||Onion Creek||Mercury $101||Mercury $101|
|78703||Pemberton Heights||Elephant $117||Elephant $110|
|78746||Rollingwood||Elephant $126||Elephant $121|
|78731||Rosedale||Elephant $126||Elephant $110|
|78738||Rough Hollow||Mercury $101||Mercury $95|
|78746||Rob Roy||Elephant $126||Elephant $121|
|78748||Shady Hollow||Mercury $101||Mercury $101|
|78703||Shoal Creek||Elephant $117||Elephant $110|
|78748||South Slaughter||Mercury $101||Mercury $101|
|78750||Spicewood Vista||Elephant $124||Elephant $119|
|78745||Southhampton Hills||Mercury $100||Mercury $96|
|78748||Southland Oaks||Mercury $101||Mercury $101|
|78738||Spanish Oaks||Mercury $101||Mercury $95|
|78759||St. Edwards Trail||Elephant $122||Elephant $115|
|78732||Steiner Ranch||Metlife $102||Elephant $121|
|78746||Stratford Hills||Elephant $126||Elephant $121|
|78745||Sunset Valley||Mercury $100||Mercury $96|
|78703||Tarrytown||Elephant $117||Elephant $110|
|78704||Travis Heights||Mercury $98||Mercury $94|
|78723||Walnut Hills||Mercury $98||Mercury $96|
|78749||Western Oaks||Mercury $106||Mercury $99|
|78703||Westfield||Elephant $117||Elephant $110|
|78746||Westlake Hills||Elephant $126||Elephant $121|
|78723||Windsor Park||Metlife $102||Elephant $121|
Although this analysis can help you get started, how accurate it will be for you as an individual will vary. If you closely mirror our fictional examples your rates will be similar. If you are significantly younger or older, have a markedly different car, or have lots tickets or claims then your rates will deviate considerably from these examples.
Circumstances that can Negatively Impact Your Car Insurance Rates
Men and women in their late teens and early twenties are likely to pay significantly higher rates than those in their thirties. Teens and young adults are more accident prone and are therefore more expensive to insure. As individuals age the accident rate once again begins to inch upwards. In Texas the average monthly rate for drivers over the age of 65 is $93, at over 75 years old it increases to $102, and over 85 it reaches $114. Now these rates might sound low based the rates for the 30-year-old’s discussed previously. However, it is important to remember that rates in Austin are greater than those in other areas of the state, so rates for older people in Austin will be greater than the state average. However, if people in these age groups are able to maintain clean driving records, they will still be able to find some less expensive rates.
Regardless of age, if people have accumulated a high number of traffic citations or made multiple claims they will also be faced with higher monthly rates. In Texas, each traffic citation will stay on your driving record for three years. If you do receive a citation the best thing is to use a defensive driving course to remove the citation from your record if you are eligible. If not, try to avoid any additional tickets over the next three years. This will stop your rate from increasing further and hopefully at the conclusion of the three-year period your higher rate will begin come down.
Whether or not your car insurance rates will be impacted by an accident depends on who is to blame. Texas uses what is called a ‘fault’ state. When an accident occurs, it is determined which driver is responsible for the accident. ***Note*** this is why it is extremely important to contact the police when any accident occurs to fill out a report. The Police will assign who is at fault and without this verification, insurance companies can deny claims. So to protect yourself and your rights, it is imperative that you contact the police in the event of an accident.
Once the fault is assigned, that person’s insurance will be required to pay not only for the injuries or damage for themselves but for the other people and vehicles involved in the accident. If you get in an accident and it is the fault of the other driver then you will not have to make an insurance claim with your insurance and the accident will not impact your rates – In this case you will need to obtain the insurance information for the other driver and contact their insurance in order to have your car repaired and any physical injury costs covered. However, if you are the “at fault” driver you should be prepared for the other driver(s) to make claims against your insurance and for your rates to go up temporarily. Do keep in mind, some insurance companies offer things like accident forgiveness so be sure and ask when shopping rates about these programs it could end up saving your thousands over the years you are on the road.
If you are unsure of the status of your driving record you should contact the Texas DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and obtain a copy of your current driving record. If you have had tickets that have just reached the three-year mark it is worth checking your driving record to make sure that they have been officially removed from your record, if they have, that would be a good time to shop new rates with several different companies to see if you can get a new lower rate.
Circumstances that can Positively Impact Your Car Insurance Rates
Although rates typically go up as someone approaches retirement, there are ways to still qualify for low rates. For people of retirement age there are insurance agencies who provide discounts to age qualifying membership such as the AARP, which can support older drivers and help keep rates down. In Texas, the AARP provides a number of benefits, such as 12-month rate protection, lifetime renewability, accident forgiveness, and 24/7 claim service. These benefits are not only valuable for older Texas drivers to look into but can also help you as you age and no longer want to deal with issues such as roadside repairs on your own.
Many people in Austin are affiliated with the military, and issues such as deployment can definitely impact insurance rates. Many active duty, veterans, and military family members might find that USAA insurance is the right it for them. It can help lower costs, especially when people are deployed or away from home and their vehicles for an extended period of time. They even offer a 60% discount on storing vehicles.
Car Theft Rates
Car insurance not only helps you in the event of an accident, but also helps you get back on the road if your car is stolen. When considering how much auto insurance coverage would be best for you, it is worthwhile to consider what the car theft statistics are in your area. There were a total of 937 car thefts in Austin neighborhoods in 2017. However, where those thefts occurred varied widely based on zip code. If you live in a zip code with a greater than average amount of car thefts it might be worth investing in stronger insurance or in a car with anti – theft features.
Car Insurance Thefts in Austin in 2017, by Zip Code:
|Zip Code||Motor Vehicle Thefts|
Car Insurance Agents in Austin
While many prefer the cheapest rate, there are also a number of other factors to consider when choosing insurance. Perhaps you are willing to pay more for certain types of coverage. You might also prefer a company where you are able to develop a close relationship with your local insurance agent.
For instance, although Elephant can often provide the lowest rates for insurance, there are some factors that might have you thinking twice about using them. Elephant is a direct to consumer insurer, without the ability for you to develop personal relationships with a local agent, which means that you may be at their organization mercy, devoid of the human touch. For instance, people with car insurance through Elephant filed complaints about the company at three times the national average. Doing your research on these direct to market companies to hear other consumer experiences will likely indicate the companies values and help you make the best decision for yourself.
For people interested in a maintaining a more personal and yet professional relationship with an agent there are a number of people that they can go to, both in Austin and the surrounding area. Keep in mind you are likely going to spend more as these agencies have more overhead. Below you will find some of the top rated agents in the Austin area.
|Owner / President||Company||Location|
|Phyllis Benjamin and Sara Fry||Benjamin Fry Insurance||1111 South Interstate 35|
Austin, TX 78747
|Patrick Watkins||Watkins Insurance Group||3834 Spicewood Springs Road|
Austin, Texas 78759
|Robin Moore and Justin Lawhorn||Lawhorn and Moore Insurance||1311 Chisholm Tri|
Round Rock, Texas 78681
|Ron Nemetz||Nemetz Insurance Services||3470 Jack C hays Trail|
Buda, Texas 78610
|Heaton Bennett||Heaton Bennett Insurance||3933 Steck Avenue|
Austin, Texas 78759
|Stephanie Abt||Abt Insurance||Online|
|Multiple Agents||Southwest Insurance Center||3105 Slaughter Lane|
Austin, Texas 78748
|Bent Allen||State Farm||9809 Anderson Mill Road|
Austin, Texas 78750
|Ed Weeran||Ed Weeren Insurance Agency||300 East Highland Mall Blvd|
Austin, Texas 78752
|Dean Davis||Dean Davis Insurance||7950 Anderson Square|
Austin, Texas 78757
|Xzavier Haywood||GEICO Insurance||4930 South Congress Avenue|
Austin, Texas 78745
|Lin Agency||Allstate Insurance||8516 Anderson Mill Road|
Austin, Texas 78729
|Ross Gray||Farmers Insurance||2404 South IH 35 Frontage Road|
Austin, Texas 78704
If your primary concern is to locate a cheap rate for insurance than going with a direct to consumer company may be your right for you. However, if you want quality customer service, with a more human touch and possibly an agent on the ground that you can work alongside than it might be worth paying slightly more per month. Remember, there are ways to save if you are 55 or older and/or in the military, it will also be worthwhile to explore some of the exclusive insurance rates that are open to you.
A price comparison based on your own driving record, your vehicle, your age, and the individual factors will provide the most competitive car insurance rate in Austin, Texas. In the end the most important thing for you to do is decide what kind of coverage you need and then do some shopping, allow multiple car insurance companies the opportunity to compete for your business.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
- 1 Basics
- 2 Texas Coverage Laws
- 3 Car Insurance Rates
- 4 Cheapest Car Insurance in Austin, Texas
- 5 Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Neighborhood.
- 6 Circumstances that can Negatively Impact Your Car Insurance Rates
- 7 Circumstances that can Positively Impact Your Car Insurance Rates
- 8 Car Theft Rates
- 9 Car Insurance Agents in Austin
- 10 Summary