Cheap Car Insurance in Houston for 2020

Houston is known for many great things, but cheap car insurance isn’t necessarily one of them. On average, Houston drivers pay up to $1,700 per year, which is almost $300 more than the Texas average and $200 more than the national average. Part of that is due to the area’s large population, which is somewhere north of 2.3 million. The rest is due to insurance company statistics that show the area’s high frequency of traffic accidents.

Who has the cheapest car insurance in Houston?

  • USAA
  • Geico
  • State Farm
  • Allstate

We pulled data from a number of sources to try and figure out the average insurance costs in Houston, on average, for a year. This is a guide to the average prices, which means your mileage may vary wildly, depending on your background and driving history. You may also pay more in one part of Houston over another, depending on how well your neighbors are at piloting their vehicles without accidents.

DISCLAIMER: There are numerous other factors that are going to impact the cost of insurance on your car, crossover, or truck. We’ll provide info on some of those variables, but your best bet is to read our deep dive on Cheap Car Insurance for 2020 to get a better idea.

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Who has the best cheap car insurance in Houston?

  • Best Large Insurance Carrier: GEICO - Every single source showed GEICO as the price leader. USAA has better rates, but is only available for current or former military members and their families. Texas Farm Bureau also undercuts Geico in some situations, but is only a regional carrier.

  • Cheapest Insurance from a Smaller Carrier: Texas Farm Bureau - The regional carrier actually undercuts many of the big boys in the Houston area.

  • Cheapest Insurance with One Accident: Texas Farm Bureau - Though you’ll pay more with an accident across the board, Texas Farm Bureau is the best for people who’ve been in an at-fault crash.

  • Cheapest Insurance for Higher Mileage: GEICO - The large national insurance carrier dominates the list of cheapest insurance in the state of Houston if you’re not current or former military.

How much does car insurance cost in Houston?

In our larger story on car insurance, we found that a national average for auto insurance was $1,341. In Houston, you can add anywhere from $200 to $600 to that number. Downtown Houston is the worst, but you won’t save much until you move to the outskirts of the metro area.

Rates we found reported as “typical” or “average” (annual) onlineAverage (annual)Adjusted average* (annual)
GEICO$1,366 - $1,426$1,396$1,385
Texas Farm Bureau$1,167 - $1,708$1,438$1,421
State Farm$1,488 - $1,813$1,651$1,610
Allstate$1,166 - $2,324$1,745$1,697

(*) The “adjusted average” is computed by eliminating the highest and lowest values and averaging the remaining values.

What causes rates to go up in Houston?

Houston is enormous and applying a one-size fits all answer doesn’t make any sense. When you’re researching insurance in Houston, you actually need to get more granular and start researching down to which neighborhood in the county your car is registered in. Living in Austin County or Harris County can result in rate differences of up to $400.

After your specific location, all the other things that affect the cost of car insurance everywhere else in the country apply: Accidents and citations are the big ones. Your age and gender are the others. Be sure to check our main story on insurance to learn more, and take a look at available discounts, too.

How do accidents affect rates in Houston?

If you’re in an accident in Houston, your insurance rate can go up as much as 83%. That’s almost like you’re paying for insurance twice, just for one at-fault accident. For that reason, driving a car with advanced safety technology like auto emergency braking and adaptive cruise control can be worth the added expense to help keep you out of accidents.

Range of Rate Increases for One AccidentAverage of Rate IncreasesAdjusted Average of Rate Increases
46%, 77%, 83%67%59%

Keep in mind that this is a guide. Your actual rate increase could vary a lot, especially if you’ve enrolled in an insurer’s optional “Accident Forgiveness” program, which allows you one accident without being surcharged.

How do tickets affect rates in Houston?

Tickets might seem like they’re less expensive than accidents, but consider that every point on your license is going to stay there for three years and three months.

Range of Rate Increases for One Speeding ViolationAverage of Rate IncreasesAdjusted Average of Rate Increases
5%, 10%, 26%, 30%18%18%

How can you get car insurance discounts in Houston?

We have an exhaustive story on the tens of thousands of discount programs available for insurers across the country, based on memberships, military service, and other associations. Several carriers in the Houston area give discounts for multiple policies, safe driving, good grades (for young drivers), solid credit scores, and more.

What’s the minimum coverage allowed in Houston?

If you get stopped without insurance in Texas, you’ll get a slap on the wrist and a hefty fine for the first offense. Citations range between $175 and $350, and a surcharge of $250 ill be added to your annual license fee for the next three years. All-in that’ll cost you between $925 and $1,100. Minimum coverage requirements are:

  • Property Damage Liability: $25,000 for property damage.
  • Bodily Injury Liability: $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident.
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury: $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident.
  • Personal Injury Protection: $2,500 unless coverage is rejected.
  • Uninsured motorist property damage: $25,000 unless coverage is rejected.

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FAQ

Who has the cheapest car insurance in Houston?

Insurance rates can vary wildly, depending on where you live and on the state of your driving record. On average, GEICO offers the best rates, landing at just under $1,400 annually.

How can I get super cheap car insurance?

The best way to get super cheap insurance in Houston is to not live in town. Beyond that, you need to be an exceptional driver, not get any tickets, and scramble for every single discount you can find.

What is the cheapest online car insurance?

Again, GEICO is the only option if “cheap” is your only requirement. They’re hundreds of dollars cheaper in all the research we did, either online or off. There may be reasons to purchase insurance from other insurers: you like the agent, they may have a better policy of using OEM parts, they offer better spiffs like roadside assistance, or whatever. But you’re not going to find insurance that’s less expensive, unless you’re in the military and USAA is an option.

What’s important in a car insurance company besides the rates?

Outstanding customer service is worth paying money for. Buying cheap insurance only to find out that they drag their feet on claims and are hard to deal with when they have to pay out is hardly worth the discount.

Does credit score affect car insurance?

Yes, Texas allows the use of credit score to calculate insurance rates.

Is there low income car insurance?

Not exactly. There are no laws requiring low income insurance, but there are several “super cheap” carriers that only meet the bare minimums of coverage and may not be for anyone with a decent vehicle.

Can I buy one day car insurance?

One-day, or temporary car insurance can be handy if you’re moving a car from one location to another. It’s going to be way more expensive per day than a regular insurance policy, but if you truly only need it for a day, it’s better than having your license revoked.

How can I get my insurance quote cheaper?

Shopping around is the best strategy to find the best rates. Companies will often compete with each other for your business. You can also take advantage of any other memberships you might have, like AAA or AARP for discounts.

Why is my insurance so high with no accidents?

If you live in Houston, it’s because the area is considered high-risk for accidents. Moving out to the suburbs may help.

Is an older car cheaper to insure?

It might be, but then again it might not, depending on the car’s value. And if it’s truly valuable, you want to insure it through a program that specifically covers vintage cars.

Why does car insurance cost so much?

Car insurance becomes expensive for people with spotty driving records, poor credit, or for those that live in extremely congested areas with other people that get into lots of accidents. Insurance is a numbers game, and companies are constantly trying to adjust their rates to match their perceived level of risk.

Editor's note and disclaimer: Car Talk is supported by our fans, readers and listeners. When you click on some of the links on our website, we may receive referral compensation. However, you should know that the recommendations we make are based on our independent editorial review and analyses.