10 Must-Know Tips When Comparing Houston, TX Auto Insurance

Nobody I know likes paying for auto insurance, especially knowing their premiums are too high. Lots of auto insurance companies contend to insure your vehicles, and because of this it can be hard to compare insurers to discover the definitive lowest rate

If you are insured now or are looking for a new policy, you can use these techniques to find the best rates while maintaining coverages. Finding affordable coverage in Houston is quite easy. Texas vehicle owners just need to know the most efficient way to compare price quotes over the internet.

Quick Houston Auto Insurance Quotes

There are several ways to compare auto insurance quotes, and some are more efficient than others. You could waste time talking about coverages with local insurance agents in Houston, or you can utilize the web for quick rates.

All the larger companies participate in a marketplace that allows shoppers to submit one quote, and each company then returns a price quote determined by their information. This saves time by eliminating quote requests to every company.

To find out how much you can save on auto insurance click to open in new window.

The only downside to comparing rates this way is that you can’t choose which insurance companies you will receive quotes from. So if you prefer to pick from a list of companies to compare, we have a listing of companies who write auto insurance in Texas. Click here for list of insurance companies in Texas.

It doesn’t matter which method you choose, just ensure you’re using exactly the same coverage limits for each price quote. If you are comparing different limits and deductibles on each one then you won’t be able to determine which rate is truly the best in Houston.

Ads can be misleading

Consumers in Texas constantly see and hear ads for the lowest price auto insurance by companies like GEICO, State Farm and Progressive. They all seem to say the same thing that you can save if you change to them.

But how can every company claim to save you money?

Different companies have a certain “appetite” for the driver that earns them a profit. A good example of a desirable insured could be between the ages of 40 and 55, is a homeowner, and chooses high deductibles. A customer getting a price quote who matches those parameters is entitled to the best price and most likely will save when switching.

Potential customers who are not a match for the “perfect” profile will be charged a more expensive rate and this can result in business not being written. The ads say “customers that switch” not “people who quote” save that much. This is how insurance companies can make those claims. That is why drivers should get a wide range of price quotes. It’s just too difficult to predict which insurance companies will give you the biggest savings.

Pay less by taking advantage of discounts

Companies offering auto insurance don’t list every available discount very clearly, so we break down both well-publicized and the harder-to-find savings tricks you should be using. If you’re not getting every credit you deserve, you are paying more than you should be.

  • Anti-theft Discount – Vehicles equipped with anti-theft or alarm systems can help prevent theft and will save you 10% or more.
  • Student Driver Training – Require your teen driver to successfully complete driver’s ed class if it’s offered in school.
  • Service Members Pay Less – Being deployed with a military unit may qualify for rate reductions.
  • Save with a New Car – Buying coverage on a new vehicle is cheaper because new vehicles have to meet stringent safety requirements.
  • Clubs and Organizations – Being a member of a professional or civic organization may earn a discount on your policy.
  • Passive Restraints and Air Bags – Vehicles equipped with air bags can get savings of more than 20%.
  • Safety Course Discount – Successfully completing a defensive driving course could save 5% or more if your company offers it.

As a disclaimer on discounts, some credits don’t apply the the whole policy. Some only apply to the cost of specific coverages such as liability, collision or medical payments. Just because you may think you could get a free auto insurance policy, you won’t be that lucky.

To see a list of providers who offer auto insurance discounts in Houston, follow this link.

Quote online but still have a local agent

Certain consumers would rather visit with an insurance agent and that is OK! Good agents can answer important questions and help you file claims. The best thing about comparing rates online is you can get the best rates but also keep your business local.

To make it easy to find an agent, after completing this short form, your insurance data is immediately sent to agents in your area who will give you bids for your business. You never need to leave your computer as quotes are delivered straight to your inbox. How’s that for easy!

Picking an insurer shouldn’t rely on just the premium amount. Agents should be asked these questions:

  • Will your rates increase after a single accident?
  • What will you get paid if your car is a total loss? How is that amount determined?
  • Do you have coverage for a rental car if your vehicle is in the repair shop?
  • Are there any hidden costs in their price quote and does it include driving and credit history?
  • Are glass claims handled on-site or do you have to take your vehicle to a repair shop?
  • How often do they review policy coverages?
  • Which members of your family are coverage by the policy?
  • Did they already check your driving record and credit reports?

Choose the right insurance agent

When researching local Houston agents, there are a couple of different agency structures that differ in how they can insure your vehicles. Insurance agencies in Houston are either captive or independent. Both types can properly insure your vehicles, but it’s worth learning the difference between them since it may influence buying decisions.

Captive Agents

These agents are contracted to one company such as Allstate, AAA, Liberty Mutual and State Farm. Captives cannot provide prices from multiple companies so keep that in mind. Captive agents are trained well on the products they sell which helps them compete with independent agents.

Listed below are Houston captive insurance agents who can help you get price quote information.

Allstate Insurance – 9000 W Bellfort St # 420 – Houston, TX 77031 – (713) 777-6800
State Farm Insurance – 11200 Westheimer Rd # 805 – Houston, TX 77042 – (713) 784-3100
Liberty Mutual Insurance – 13201 Northwest Fwy # 400 – Houston, TX 77040 – (713) 460-4650
American Family Insurance – 10603 Grant Rd # 210 – Houston, TX 77070 – (281) 955-7332
Farm Bureau Insurance – 10998 North Fwy – Houston, TX 77037 – (281) 447-0499
Farmers Insurance Group – 8145 Highway 6 S # 122 – Houston, TX 77083 – (281) 561-6000

Independent Agencies or Brokers

Independent insurance agents do not work for one specific company but instead can place your coverage with lots of companies enabling the ability to shop coverage around. To transfer your coverage to a different company, the business is moved internally and that require little work on your part. When comparison shopping, it’s a good idea to contact several independent insurance agents to get the best comparison.

Listed below is a list of independent agents in Houston that are able to give comparison quotes.

BLAIS Excess and Surplus Agency – 820 Gessner Rd # 1750 – Houston, TX 77024 – (713) 780-7787
Safeco Insurance – 7600 W Tidwell Rd # 708 – Houston, TX 77040 – (713) 744-1750
Chapman Agency – 12903 Birch Falls Rd – Houston, TX 77065 – (713) 686-9729
Mraz Simmons Insurance – 5700 NW Central Dr # 140 – Houston, TX 77092 – (713) 895-9191
Evergreen General Agency – 10333 Harwin Dr – Houston, TX 77036 – (713) 988-0646

For a complete listing of licensed insurance agents in Houston, click here to link.

Upon getting answers to your satisfaction to your questions and an affordable coverage quote, most likely you have located an insurance agent that is a good match to service your policy.

More detailed Texas auto insurance information can be found at the Texas Department of Insurance website. Visitors are able to download brochures, read consumer alerts, discover disciplinary actions, and find out industry alerts.

A tidy conclusion

We covered a lot of techniques to lower your auto insurance rates. It’s most important to understand that the more companies you get rates for, the more likely it is that you will get a better rate. You may even discover the best price on auto insurance is with a lesser-known regional company. They may have significantly lower rates on certain market segments as compared to the big name companies such as Progressive or GEICO.

Cheap auto insurance can be bought online as well as from independent agents in Houston, so you should be comparing quotes from both to have the best selection. Some insurance companies don’t offer you the ability to get quotes online and most of the time these regional insurance providers sell through independent agents.