From multicar collisions on Interstate 30 to fender-benders on Buckner Boulevard, even the best drivers in Dallas can sometimes be involved in accidents. Having a good car insurance policy can shield you from the expensive costs associated with these crashes.
Local independent agents are available to help you find the best and most affordable auto insurance policy. Contact an insurance agent near you to get more information, and you can soon start comparing customized quotes from some of the best car insurance companies in Dallas.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Dallas, TX?
The average cost of car insurance in Texas is higher than the national average rate. Shopping around for the best price has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars a year.
- National average annual car insurance cost: $1,311
- Texas average annual car insurance cost: $1,449
Car insurance costs are calculated on a case-by-case basis. Here are some factors that can influence your rate:
- The year, make, model, and value of the vehicle(s) you are insuring
- Your age, gender, occupation, driving record, and credit score
- Information about other licensed drivers in your household
- Whether you own or rent your home
- The amount of liability coverage you are purchasing
- Which, if any, coverage options you are including in your policy
If you are bundling your car insurance with other policies like homeowners insurance or renters insurance, you can typically earn rate reductions on all your bundled policies. There are other discounts you may be entitled to, such as if you have a long, safe driving record or your teen driver gets good grades.
When you compare policies and rates from a few competing insurance providers, you can choose the policy that offers the coverage you want at the most affordable price. Independent agents make comparison shopping easy.
What Does Dallas Car Insurance Cover?
Car insurance policies are a mixture of required and optional coverage. As a vehicle owner in Dallas, you are required by Texas state law to have a policy that includes the following coverage.
- Liability insurance: This is designed to cover third-party injuries and property damage if you are at fault for an accident. Your policy must include, at a minimum:
- Bodily-injury liability coverage: $30,000 per person / $60,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage: $25,000 per accident.
If you are leasing or financing your car, you will likely be required by your dealership or lender to also carry full coverage. This includes:
- Collision insurance: This is designed to pay for repair or replacement costs if your vehicle is damaged in a collision, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive insurance: This is designed to pay for repair or replacement costs if your vehicle is damaged in a non-collision event.
All other coverage is fully optional. The optional coverage offered by most car insurance providers includes:
- Uninsured motorist insurance: This is designed to cover your property damage as well as the cost of medical care you or your passengers may require if you are in a collision caused by an uninsured driver.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments insurance (Med-Pay): Texas allows drivers to purchase either PIP or Med-Pay. Each can cover expenses related to injuries you may incur in a collision, regardless of fault. PIP is more expensive but provides a wider range of coverage.
- Towing and roadside assistance: This is designed to cover the cost of necessary assistance if your vehicle becomes disabled while you are out on the road or away from home.
- Gap insurance: This can bridge the gap between what your vehicle is worth and what you still owe for it if it is totaled in a covered event. It is a good idea during the first year or two of new-vehicle ownership when cars depreciate the fastest.
- Rental car reimbursement coverage: This is designed to cover the cost of renting a vehicle while repairs are being made to your own car following a covered event.
A policy that just meets the minimum coverage requirements will be your least expensive option, it is not always the best choice. If you cause a collision and your liability limits are too low, you will be expected to make up the difference out of pocket.
That is why many drivers in Dallas opt to purchase more liability coverage than the state requires.
If you have a lot to lose and want to have even more liability coverage than your policy can offer, you can supplement your car insurance with umbrella insurance. This is an affordable way to boost all of your personal liability coverage.
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What Is the Penalty for Driving without Insurance in Dallas, TX?
Even though driving without insurance in Texas is a misdemeanor, more than one out of every ten drivers in this state are operating uninsured vehicles. This is higher than the national average rate of uninsured drivers.
- Percentage of US drivers who are uninsured: 13.0%
- Percentage of Texas drivers who are uninsured: 14.1%
If caught driving without insurance in Texas, in addition to a misdemeanor conviction on your record and higher car insurance rates for years to come, you can face the following penalties.
- For a first offense:
- Fines ranging from $175 to $350
- Annual surcharges of $250 a year for three years, for a total of $750
- For second and subsequent offenses:
- Fines ranging from $350 to $1,000
- Annual surcharges of $250 a year for three years, for a total of $750
- The possible impoundment of your car for up to 180 days with a $15 per day impoundment fee
If you cause an accident while driving without insurance, things are even worse. In addition to the penalties listed above, you can face a $4,000 fine, the suspension of your registration and driver’s license for two years, and possible incarceration for up to two years.
You will also be expected to pay for any injuries or property damage you may have caused.
If you carry uninsured motorist insurance, you can rest assured that if an uninsured driver is responsible for a collision with you, you will receive the compensation you are due without needing to go through expensive lawyers or time-consuming lawsuits to collect what is owed to you.
How High Is the Auto Theft Rate in Dallas, TX?
The car theft rate in Texas is a bit higher than the national rate, but in Dallas, the rate is much higher. Residents of this city report about 10,000 auto thefts a year.
- National auto theft rate per 1,000 people: 2.29
- Texas auto theft rate per 1,000 people: 2.43
- Dallas auto theft rate per 1,000 people: 7.52
As a resident of Dallas, it is important that you are aware that you can only be reimbursed for a stolen vehicle if your car insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage. This optional insurance covers against a wide variety of non-collision loss and damage to your car.
If you are still paying for your car or you have it on a lease, chances are good you have this coverage already. If not, you may want to find out how much it would cost you to add it to your car insurance policy. That way you can decide if this coverage provides a good value for you and your family.
How Can an Independent Agent Help Me Find the Best Car Insurance in Dallas, TX?
Independent agents can be very helpful when you are shopping for the right car insurance. These agents can explain your coverage options, answer your insurance-related questions, and assist you with reviewing policy details and rates from some of the best car insurance companies in Texas.
Contact an independent insurance agent at an office near you to get more information and to start comparing a selection of customized car insurance quotes.
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