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Like any other state, you risk paying a DMV fine and municipal surcharges if you drive without insurance in Texas. The minimum required policy covers liability only. This means it pays for vehicle repairs and personal injury to the other party if you are at fault.
On the other hand, 14.1% of Texas drivers were uninsured motorists in 2015, which put Texas at 16th on the national level. According to the Insurance Institute Information, drivers in Texas spent $1,008 on average to cover their cars (2016 data).
Luckily, if you are looking for affordable car insurance, San Antonio insurance providers are bound to deliver. This article offers an overview of the cheapest and best car insurance in San Antonio even if your credit score and driving record are not exactly spotless.
Overview: Car Insurance in San Antonio, Texas
- Average number of vehicles per household: 2
- Minimum state insurance requirements
- $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident bodily injury liability (BIL)
- $25,000 property damage liability (PDL)
- Average rate with a clean driving record: $1,008 per year
Texas's Car Insurance Laws Explained
By decree of Texas legislature, you are required to have liability auto insurance coverage. But those who haven’t paid off their vehicle in full have to add collision and comprehensive coverage as well. Drivers must have proof of insurance in the vehicle and show it to the police officers upon request.
As said, the minimum coverage is $30,000 (per person) and $60,000 (per accident) BIL and $25,000 PDL. You may add $30,000 (per person) and $60,000 (per accident) for uninsured motorists BI. There is also a $25,000 uninsured motorist PD with a $250 deductible. Of course, uninsured motorist PD and BL are optional unless your vehicle finance company requires it.
In most cases, the policy covers you, your family members, and anyone who drives the vehicle with your permission.
It’s worth noting that the minimum coverage might not be enough if you are in a serious collision. You can pay for higher limits if you want to avoid excessive out-of-pocket expenses.
San Antonio's Car Insurance Rates Per Vehicle
It’s not a secret that the type of your car can drive the premium up or down. In general, insurance companies offer standard quotes for newer vehicles with modern safety systems. They may impose surcharges on older vehicles for not meeting certain safety standards.
Naturally, if you’re paying for full coverage, the price will depend on how much you’re insuring your car for. It’ll definitely cost more to fully cover a $100k supercar than a $20k sedan.
Popular American and Japanese sedans are generally most cost-effective to insure. In contrast, SUVs and trucks are usually more expensive because they might cause more damage in a collision.
Nevertheless, Texans are well-known for their penchant for trucks and large cars. Unsurprisingly, standard pickups like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado and Colorado, and GMC Sierra 1500 top the list of the most popular vehicles in San Antonio.
But, are there any incentives when you want to buy a new vehicle?
You are in luck if you want to get a plug-in hybrid, all-electric, or fuel cell car. The state of Texas brought back a $2,500 discount in 2018 for these eco-friendly vehicles. Plus, if you factor in the federal tax credit, the incentives on a new zero-emission vehicle might reach $10,000. Note that these are purchase incentives, not insurance savings.
San Antonio Insurance Rates by Insurance Credit Score
In Texas as well as 46 other states (except Massachusetts, Hawaii, and California), insurance companies are allowed to use your credit score to assign car insurance rates. You should remember that car insurance is all about managing risk and the credit score is one of the ways to determine if you are a risky client or not.
However, how your credit score affects the insurance rate is not that simple. Car insurance companies have conducted some studies that showed a correlation between irresponsible personal finance management and proclivity for careless or reckless driving. Paying your bills on time and paying down debt can help you improve your credit score by a few points each month and lower your insurance premium charges. Each agency has its own formula but your credit will affect your car insurance rate in San Antonio.
Still, you can always get a quote if your credit score is only fair. We’ve got your covered in the following table. Drivers with poor credit rating might have to fork over $1,000 more than the baseline (based on those with good credit).
San Antonio Car Insurance for Drivers with a Clean Record
Perhaps more so than car type and credit score, your driving record has a major impact on your auto insurance rate. And you’ve guessed it, you’ll save money on car insurance if you have a clean record.
As a conservative state, Texas has strict traffic laws that can not only result in hefty fines but also criminal charges. Running a red light, using the phone while driving, and not wearing a seatbelt are among the most common.
If you’re a responsible driver, you’ll find affordable rates at the state minimum level. You’ll find in the following chart the most affordable auto insurance providers in San Antonio for drivers with a clean record. These are annual rates which you can pay in full or in installments. You still need to make a downpayment for the latter, and you’ll end up paying more compared to paying in full.
San Antonio Car Insurance Rates with Driving Infractions
As the second-largest state, Texas actually ranks number 5 in revenue from traffic tickets. So it’d be safe to assume that driving infractions happen on a daily basis in San Antonio and other cities, but the fines may not be as high relative to more liberal states. Minor traffic violations include disobeying traffic regulations, parking in a disabled space, minor speeding, etc.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), reckless driving, and driving without a license are considered major violations. As for the tickets, not wearing a seatbelt and disobeying regulations may set you back between $50 and $200. The highest class of reckless driving may come with a prison sentence, though these charges are usually easy to beat or reduce unless you’re a recalcitrant repeat offender.
Any infractions will show up on your DMV driving history. Naturally, insurance companies will adjust your rate accordingly.
As illustrated in the chart below, it might surprise you to see that in San Antonio, getting into an at-fault accident can cost you almost as much as getting busted for DUI.
The Best Car Insurance Providers in San Antonio, Texas
Car insurance providers in San Antonio that are worth your attention include State Farm, USAA, and Progressive. You can’t go wrong with any of them.
When making our determination, we included the company’s reputation, ease of filing a claim, and customer service in addition to the price.
1. Best Overall: Progressive
Based on minimum coverage for drivers with infractions and more, Progressive comes on top. While the rates aren’t the absolute cheapest, the company excels at options and discounts.
For example, the liability insurance covers attorney/court fees on top of the standard bodily injury and property damage to the other party. Progressive offers a discount on auto insurance for existing customers who have a renters or home insurance policy. The company has a Name Your Price tool which allows you to put in a price and get a custom quote for that amount.
Progressive also offers a Snapshot program which determines insurance cost based on your driving habits. The safer you are as a driver, the less you’ll have to pay for car insurance. Download and install the Snapshot app and drive with it for about 6 months to be eligible for a discount.
Progressive is a great agency for those with less than perfect driving records. After an accident, speeding ticket, or DWI charge Progressive will work with you to get you covered.
Keep in mind your rates will still be higher than normal but Progressive is one of the most competitive when it comes to high-risk insurance.
2. Cheapest Car Insurance in San Antonio: State Farm
Overall, State Farm is the cheapest auto insurance provider in San Antonio. At $1,363 for the state minimum, it has the best offer by far, assuming your driving record is clean. But State Farm also has the best deal for all credit ratings.
However, drivers with traffic infractions might find USAA to offer marginally better rates.
With State Farm, if your vehicle has a qualified anti-theft device, additional discounts may apply and it has other perks for good drivers and students.
3. Insurance for Military and Military Families: USAA
There are 9 military bases surrounding San Antonio making USAA an obvious choice for residents in the area.
Not only is USAA one of the cheapest insurers in San Antonio, but their service for their members is also consistently rated highly by J.D Power and Consumer Reports. While keeping administrative costs low USAA is able to pass the savings on to their members.
To qualify you must be an active military member, honorably discharges veteran, a spouse of an active or veteran, a child of an active or veteran service member.
5. Best for Safe Drivers: Root
Root is a unique new car insurance provider that offers policies based on your driving habits. You’ll install an app on your phone that monitors your speed, how often you make sudden turns and stops and mileage.
Then, the app creates a custom quote for you based on how well you drive.
Root doesn’t offer policies to everyone — the company avoids reckless drivers and those who have a long history of driving infractions so the company can keep premiums low. You may be able to save more when you switch to Root.
Find Your Car Insurance Bargain in San Antonio
After all of this is said and done, car insurance in San Antonio is pretty close to the national average. State Farm offers the most affordable state minimum coverage. When you learn more about car insurance, many people who own their car opt for higher coverages to protect themselves and their cars in case of an accident, weather, or animal-related incident. If you’re financing your car, the bank will require you to add collision and comprehensive.
Want to learn more about finding the best insurance in Texas? Read our guides on the finding affordable car insurance in El Paso, Austin, Dallas, Houston, and Fort Worth, the best home insurance in Texas, and the best health insurance companies.