With so many options available for car insurance, what’s the secret to getting the best possible Texas car insurance rates? The answer could be in the questions you ask.
What kind of car do you have?
Depending on the year, make and model of your car, your comprehensive and collision coverage will be higher or lower. Newer, more expensive cars usually have higher rates; however, comprehensive and collision coverage rates do not vary much. So, if you're buying a new car, look for one that’s less expensive.
What are your limits?
Minimums for liability insurance coverage are usually set by each state and that includes bodily injury and property damage. If you're getting a loan to buy a new or used car, your lender will require you to carry a certain amount of comprehensive and collision coverage.
How high should my deductible be?
If you want a lower monthly rate on your auto insurance, take a higher deductible. Just remember that should you be responsible for an accident, you'll pay the deductible up front before the insurance payment goes into effect.
What’s your credit score?
Some states (Texas included) allow insurers to take your credit history into account when determining your insurance credit score. That is then uses to calculate your premium rate. Bad credit could mean paying higher insurance rates.
Do you know a reliable independent insurance agent in your area?
Finding a reliable independent insurance agent close to home could save you time and money. An independent agent has access to many difference insurance carriers. This means they will do the ‘heavy lifting’ of sorting through which carrier would be the best fit for you. It’s also nice to develop a friendly, long-term relationship with good people you can trust.
Do you trust your insurance company?
If your choice for an independent insurance agent is with a solid group that has been around 10, 20, or more years in the community, you’re probably making a wise choice. Ask friends and neighbors, business associates and colleagues about your selection and see what they have to say.
Does your independent agent offer discounts?
Discounts can make a difference and are often available to retirees or cars with car alarms installed.
Also, if you're over 55, you can take a defensive driving course and get a usual 10 percent off your rate. Group discounts can include discounts with some agents. Also, ask your agent about ‘bundling’, which means you do all your insurance needs through one agent. This can be a money saver.
What coverage do you really need?
You may not really need to carry comprehensive and collision coverage if you have an older car and own it outright. Keep your liability insurance though, after all it’s illegal in most states to drive without it.
Does the insurance agent you select offer a yearly review?
If your agent doesn’t mention it, then request a yearly review of your policy. If you have moved, changed jobs, or you’re driving more than usual or less, it could affect your insurance rate.