Tools for Purchasing the Right Auto Insurance in Texas

| January 16, 2013

Texas residents looking to buy automobile insurance should first pay a visit to the Texas Department of insurance before contacting an auto insurance agent.

Drivers can get a ballpark estimate of how much insurance would cost to insure their cars. All the driver has to do is complete a driver profile. In essence, the driver gets a chance to pre-underwrite an auto insurance policy. It helps the driver understand what goes into determining an auto insurance policy premium and how things such as credit rating can affect rates.

Sample Auto Insurance Premium

Because the estimated premiums are based either on a private passenger Toyota or Ford F150 truck, the driver must understand that the premiums will either go up or down depending on the actual vehicle being insured. The purpose of the estimated premiums is to give the driver a sampling of how each insurance company responds to the same underwriting information.

Once the premium is calculated, the user is presented with a listing of insurance companies, annual sample rate, the insurance company’s A.M. Best rating (a rating of the financial standing of the insurance company), the complaint index percentage and rate change over the past three years. The driver can then select several insurance companies to compare their rates, terms and conditions.

Comparing Car Insurance Companies

After selecting two or three insurance companies to compare, the Texas Department of Insurance provides a worksheet with detailed information to help the consumer better understand what each insurance company offers. The information provided on the worksheet is rather extensive. It may be difficult to truly analyze while viewing it on a computer screen. Therefore it is recommended to print it on paper to truly analyze the similarities and differences.

Seek Help from an Insurance Professional

Direct writing insurance companies such as Geico, Liberty Mutual and Progressive accept driver submitted applications. This is perfectly fine for individuals who are familiar with auto insurance and are comfortable with the various limits, deductibles, rates terms and conditions and feel at ease when it comes to negotiating their own insurance contract. However, for those individuals who feel they need additional help before making a decision, is recommended that they contact an insurance professional and go over the terms and conditions.

Texas

The Texas Department of Insurance also offers help through their consumer help line by calling 1- 800-252-3439 weekdays between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM or drivers can send their questions via e-mail to consumerprotetection@tdi.state.tx.us. Whether the driver contacts a local insurance broker or the Department of Insurance it’s best to understand the coverages prior to purchasing a policy.

Texas Financial Responsibility

Because there were so many uninsured motorists in Texas (according to the Texas Department of Insurance it is estimated 15 to 20% of the motorists were uninsured), the state enacted the Financial Responsibility Verification Program. Through this program law enforcement officers and designated state officials can immediately determine whether not a vehicle has insurance. No longer can uninsured individuals get away with presenting invalid or forged ID cards.

The state of Texas takes automobile insurance seriously and has made it a point to provide drivers with tools to help them find the best coverage for their vehicles.

Category: Car, Insurance

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a wife, mother, freelance writer and owner of Tidbits and Stuff.

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