Insurance and Finance

FAQs: Auto Insurance

By Staci Parks 2.15.23

Having proper auto insurance is part of being a responsible driver. Texans drive a lot, and the state’s highways and byways can be dangerous places.

In 2021, the state’s annual “vehicle miles traveled” reached 288.227 billion, an increase of 10.61% over the 2020 total, and there were 15,764 crashes resulting in serious injury, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

The numbers don’t lie: Auto insurance may be required — but it’s also a good investment. But while investing in auto insurance may be an easy choice to make, choosing the right policy and figuring out what you need can sometimes be trickier.

But don’t worry, you’re not alone. To make it easier, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agents answer 10 of the most common auto insurance FAQs they receive.

Q: What type of auto insurance do I need in Texas?

A: At a minimum, Texas drivers must have auto liability insurance. If you’re at fault for an accident, this coverage pays to repair — or replace — the other driver’s vehicle or damaged property, as well as medical expenses. However, for coverage that also protects you, it’s best to consider purchasing collision and/or comprehensive insurance. These coverages are optional and will likely increase your premium, but you’ll have peace of mind when it comes to coverage. Learn more about optional auto insurance coverages in Texas.

Q: How much insurance coverage do I need?

A: In Texas, drivers are required to have what’s called 30/60/25 coverage. This is liability coverage that pays at least $30,000 for injuries per person, up to $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage, according to the Texas Department of Insurance.

Outside of liability coverage, you might be required to have both collision and comprehensive auto insurance if you’re still paying off your vehicle. The amount of coverage needed will depend on the value of your vehicle. For example, if you’re paying off a brand-new truck or SUV, you might want more coverage than you’d need for a 20-year-old sedan.

Q: Does my credit score really have an effect on my premium rate?

A: It’s true: Your credit score can affect how much you pay for an auto insurance premium — sometimes up to 72%, according to ValuePenguin. Past studies have shown that credit rating is a good indicator of how many claims a driver might file. In short, that’s why insurance companies check your credit score in the first place. Keep in mind: This can vary by state and by insurance company.

Q: My car was broken into, and some personal items were stolen. Will my car insurance cover the loss?

A: No, your auto insurance will not cover the stolen items if your car is broken into. Often, this is a job for your property insurance policy. If your vehicle was damaged as a result of the theft, comprehensive auto coverage would pay for the damage. But there’s one caveat for both scenarios: The damage total must be more than the policy’s deductible. Your Agent can help you determine whether or not you should file a claim.

Q: Comprehensive and collision insurance: What’s the difference?

A: Comprehensive insurance protects your vehicle against non-collision accidents and other “acts of God,” such as falling objects and weather-related damage. Collision insurance protects against collisions with an object or another vehicle, including potholes and stationary objects (e.g., a tree or mailbox).

Q: Will I be covered if I hit an animal with my car?

A: Yes, you will be covered as long as you have a comprehensive insurance policy. Of course, you’d have to pay your policy’s deductible before your insurance company would cover the repair cost.

Q: Do I need to buy insurance when I rent a car?

A: Don’t feel pressured to sign on for extra coverage at the car rental counter. Call your Agent or check your insurance policy. Your time in a rental may be covered if you have comprehensive and/or collision coverage. Before your next trip, read our complete guide to renting a car.

Q: How does an insurance company determine a vehicle totaled?

A: Your insurance company might decide to total your car if the cost to repair it is more than — or close to — your car’s current market value. If this happens, that means your insurance company will pay out your car’s value instead of paying to fix it.

Q: Will adding a teen driver to my policy impact the premium?

A: Yes, adding a teen driver to your policy will have an impact on the cost. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 tend to have many accidents resulting in many claims. But don’t fret: Talk to your Agent about different ways to manage the impact of these teen-related premium increases. Sometimes, policyholders with multiple cars listed on a policy will receive a discount.

Q: Can I get a discount from taking a defensive driving course?

A: Depending on your insurance company, taking a defensive driving course can help lower your auto insurance premium. Texas Farm Bureau members and their families can take an online defensive driving class for $25.

Get Answers for Your Auto Insurance FAQs

Make sure you’re getting the most out of your auto insurance policy. Contact your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent today with any questions about your policy. They’ll get you in the know and back on the road to some of Texas’ most exciting locations.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2023 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance