NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women for 20 ZIP codes in each state and Washington, D.C., from the largest insurers, up to 12 in each state. “Good drivers” had no moving violations on record and credit in the “good” tier as reported to each insurer. For the other two driver profiles, we changed the credit tier to “poor” or added one at-fault accident, keeping everything else the same. Sample drivers had the following coverage limits:
Data was obtained from the Texas Department of Insurance for a thirty year old single male driver across 78 cities. He owns his car and uses it primarily for work purposes, averaging about 12,000 miles annually. Insurance policies include Texas’s minimum auto insurance liability requirements: $30,000 for bodily injury liability per person (up to $60,000 per accident), and $25,000 of property damage (30/60/25 coverage) liability insurance, 50/100/50, as well as 100/300/100. Car insurance costs are based on a 2011 Toyota Camry four-door sedan, with 2.5 liter/4 cylinder engine.
To ensure that providers’ financial affairs were up to snuff, we looked at independent evaluations from insurance rating and credit rating agencies A.M. Best, S&P Global, Moody’s, and J.D. Power. While each agency has its own rating scale, we required companies to have A or “above average” ratings from all four — solid indications that companies are in great financial health. Acquiring ratings from all four agencies also indicates that companies care enough about their business’ reputation to apply for these voluntary review processes. For an industry that’s centered around the principle of being there when you need help most, we found this focus on transparency to be the mark of a good provider. Smaller companies like Good Sam or National Interstate may provide seemingly better discounts, but they tend to only submit themselves for review to one or two agencies.
1 In Texas, the Auto Program is underwritten by Southern County Mutual Insurance Company through Hartford Fire General Agency. Hartford Fire Insurance Company and its affiliates are not financially responsible for insurance products underwritten and issued by Southern County Mutual Insurance Company. The Home Program is underwritten by Trumbull Insurance Company.
An insurance provider and you might not consider your RV to be worth the same. By settling on an agreed value with your potential RV insurance provider, you are ensuring that both you and your insurance company have the same value of your RV in mind if you face a worst-case scenario—the total loss of your RV. It’s also important to ask about the next lower threshold for an agreed value premium. By agreeing to a slightly lower level of coverage, you might be able to save plenty on your premiums.
As with our other large insurance providers, Nationwide has a mobile app that allows you to file a claim, pay your bill, and view your insurance card. However, while it currently has a 4.2-star rating on the Apple App Store, its Google Play rating sits at a mediocre 3.5. Many users complain that several of the app’s features malfunction and need attention from developers. If you’re trying to file a claim after an accident, you don’t need the additional stress of a poorly functioning app, even if it’s free. While the app’s capabilities may improve over time, it’s best to stick with providers like Allstate if mobile app functionality is important to you.
Bodily Injury (BI) Liability provides important protection if you injure someone and/or if an injury in an accident results in death while operating your car. This form of auto insurance is important and something you want to keep at a consistent level, even as your car gets older and declines in value. In the event of a serious accident, you want enough insurance (higher limits) to protect assets that may become subject to a lawsuit.
While many companies require you to call in to file a claim, Allstate offers a myriad of options, so you can choose what’s most convenient for you. Whether you’re a registered Allstate customer or just using a guest account, you can file a claim through an online report, directly contact a local agent, or call in to the 24/7 customer service hotline.
While not all large insurance companies are the same, some of them might be selling insurance policies for vehicles that they do not have much experience covering. RV insurance in particular is offered by many auto insurance companies who may not be well prepared for handling the intricacies of an RV insurance claim. When choosing who is going to insure your vehicle, make sure it is a provider who specializes in RV insurance—regardless of its size—or that at least has a good track record of dealing with RV insurance policies and claims.
Our research found that paying for car insurance in Houston can cost $2,881 per year, making it the most expensive city in our study of Texas auto insurance. Houstonians can potentially save money by considering Texas Farm Bureau, Progressive, and State Farm. These three companies' rates are 34-51% less than the average Houston auto insurance rate, according to our study.
Full-time RVers can enjoy coverage similar to that of homeowners insurance through the Good Sam Insurance Agency’s specialized protection plan for full timers or first-time weekend RVers. Full-Time Insurance goes above and beyond what traditional Auto Insurance policies can protect because it covers a number of other incidents and situations that regular RV insurance does not.