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Texas is home to many of the fastest-growing and largest cities in America and Dallas is certainly a big part of that. Since the 2010 census, Dallas has grown by more than 12%, making it the 9th most heavily populated city in the country. While jobs are plentiful and housing is cheap in Texas, trade-offs do exist. One of the biggest would be the price of car insurance. The average price for a full coverage auto insurance policy is nearly $1950. That’s $200 more than the Texas average and nearly $300 more than the national average. In fact, even Houston is cheaper on average than Dallas. So what gives?

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Average Car Insurance Rates in Dallas

In rapidly growing cities that are susceptible to bad weather (like hail, tornadoes, and even hurricanes), car insurance premiums tend to rise rapidly. Indeed, Dallas has seen a number of factors hit their insurance costs: rapid expansion, crazy weather, and longer and longer commute times. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, premiums in Northern Texas have increased by 46% since 2011 – far surpassing the national average increase of 22%.

If you’re a Dallas resident, shopping around for the best insurance price is more important than ever. Thankfully, many insurance options exist and it’s easy to get discounted rates if you know where to look. Here are a few critical factors to consider before you start shopping for a new auto insurance policy.

Texas State Insurance Minimums and Laws

Car insurance is required by federal law, but the coverage minimums are left up to each individual state to decide. Some states like Florida have very low minimums, but Texas is not one of them. In fact, only Alaska and Maine have higher insurance minimums than Texas, which legislates drivers hold at least 30/60/25 coverage. What exactly does this mean?

  • $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
  • $60,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage coverage

If you have state minimum coverage and cause an accident, your plan will cover $30,000 of injuries per person or $60,000 per accident, whichever comes first. Your plan will also cover damages to other vehicles or property up to $25,000. For serious accidents, $60,000 will often come up short. After your auto policy funds have been exhausted, you’ll need to pay the remainder out of pocket or risk being sued. This is why we recommend full coverage plans of 100/300/100.

Texas uses the tort system to determine fault in accidents. This means that blame is divvied up between drivers for every accident. If the courts rule you to be 75% responsible for an accident, you’ll need to pay 75% of the damages (but can still reclaim 25% from the other driver). To find the best car insurance in Texas, it helps to know what factors insurers look for.

What Factors Go Into My Car Insurance Premium?

In Texas, many factors are used to price car insurance premiums. Some factors like gender and credit score are banned in other states, but Texas insurance providers use all of them to determine rates. Here are the ones making the most impact.

Age and Driving History – These two go hand-in-hand. New drivers tend to be young and inexperienced while older drivers often have decades of experience under their belt. The younger and more inexperienced you are, the higher your car insurance premium will be.

Gender – On average, men pay slightly more for car insurance than women of similar age and situation.

Credit Score – Yes, unfortunately, your credit score can be used to price your insurance premium. The lower your score, the higher your premium. Many states, like California, have banned the practice of using credit scores in insurance rate calculations.

Driving Record – Do you have a lead foot? Drivers with a history of tickets or other infractions are dinged heavily by insurance companies. And if you get caught driving under the influence? Say goodbye to affordable car insurance for a long, long time.

Location – It’s not just the city you live in that matters, but the zip code too. Insurance providers price each zip code differently, depending on crime stats or rates of claims made.

Most and Least Expensive Zip Codes for Car Insurance in Dallas

Most Expensive

  1. 75247 (Dallas County)
  2. 75260 (Arts District)
  3. 75207 (Stemmons Corridor)
  4. 75241 (Dallas County)
  5. 75242 (Downtown / West End)

Least Expensive

  1. 75287 (Denton County)
  2. 75252 (Collin County / Renner)
  3. 75248 (Dallas County / Prestonwood)
  4. 75098 (Wylie)
  5. 75214 (Rawlins)

Best Dallas Car Insurance Providers

Most Affordable: GEICO or STATE FARM – While Geico has had the market cornered on cheap car insurance for some time, State Farm has recently introduced some policies that actually price below the offerings of Geico. As always, it depends on your driving situation and the type of coverage you’re looking for. Geico is cheapest for state minimums, but State Farm has better pricing on full coverage plans.

Best Overall: TEXAS FARM BUREAU – Not to be confused with State Farm, the Texas Farm Bureau is a Lone Star State staple, providing affordable coverage on homes and cars alike. JD Power rated Texas Farm Bureau #1 in Texas during the most recent Auto Insurance Study.

Best Customer Experience: USAA – No company is more pleasant to deal with than USAA, which provides finance and insurance products to members of our armed forces and their families. USAA consistently has low rates and unparalleled customer support.

Choosing the Best Car Insurance Policy

Even if you’re happy with your car insurance, it’s best to shop around every few years and ensure you’re still getting the best price. Perhaps you’ve piled on a few speeding tickets and are looking for a provider that won’t crush you with premium increases. Or, you’re looking to add a teenage driver to your plan without breaking the bank. Whenever your situation changes, it’s good to revisit your insurance plan and see if you can’t get a better rate somewhere else. Remember, there’s never a penalty for quote shopping!

Buying insurance is a personal decision and not every driver needs the same level of coverage. However, serious car accidents often result in expensive damages and long hospital stays. If you get bare minimum coverage and are found to be at fault for an accident like this, you’ll be paying a substantial amount out of pocket.

That’s why we always recommend 100/300/100 “full coverage” policies with comprehensive and collision coverage. With this level of coverage, you’ll be protecting your assets AND making sure you can pay for damages to your own property. If full coverage policies are unaffordable, always buy the maximum amount of coverage you can swing. Writing a check to an insurance company each month is much easier to swallow than paying out of pocket for injuries sustained in an accident.

For more information on other states and cities, check out our other car insurance guides and resources.

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Johnny Jet Editorial