There are many types of auto insurance discounts available to Texas drivers. Some types of discounts reflect industry standards, while others are specific to certain carriers. The Texas Department of Insurance allows providers significant leeway in the structuring of discounts, so it is a good idea to ask which ones available when you are getting an auto insurance quote from any company. Discounts for good grades or nonsmokers are just a few examples of the ways you might be able to save money on your Texas auto insurance.
The following outlines a few of the more common types of discounts you may encounter while pricing auto insurance in Texas.
1. Defensive driving and drivers education courses are probably two of the best known discounts in Texas, and should be considered by every automobile operator. These courses not only provide significant savings on some Texas automobile policies, but also refresh the operator on some basic driving techniques that most of us forget over time.
Defensive driving courses are available to all Texas drivers, while drivers education courses are usually offered only to new, or first time drivers. There are many sources for obtaining the courses, ranging from bonafide driving schools to online or even parent-administered courses. The critical issue to understand is you need to able to get a certificate honored by the Texas Defensive Driving Association or Drivers Education Association in order to qualify and prove authenticity to your insurance company for the discount.
Discounts are up to 10% on all coverage’s except uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and comprehensive coverage in most cases. These coverage’s are not affected by one’s driving skills. Be aware some carriers do not offer discounts for defensive driving and drivers education, but do offer other discounts such as being claim free for a certain period and or safe driving credits. Some carriers offer both defensive driving discounts and the claim free and safe driving credits. Again the key is what is the bottom line premium you are paying. Possibly the best feature of the education course discounts is they are good for three years from the date on the certificate.
2. Another very common discount is the anti-theft discount. Until recently this discount attracted very little attention but now with the diversity in alarm and recovery systems, carriers are offering sizeable savings. Onstar and Lo-jack systems provide maximum discounts, as they not only can prevent theft in many instances, but also greatly aid in recovery before considerable damage is done. The insurance industry is aware that no system is absolute in deterring theft and vandalism, but it also knows most potential thieves take the path of least resistance. Therefore alarm systems do save money for the carrier and the insured. Window etching is also popular as it prevents parts from being distributed easily by providing a way to easily identify the vehicle. When purchasing a system always weigh the cost of the system against the insurance savings as the discount only affects comprehensive coverage as this coverage alone pays for theft and vandalism. These systems are very important and essential on high exposure vehicles but don’t purchase one expecting your overall premium to be cut in half.
3. Anti-lock brakes are standard on almost every new and recently manufactured auto and discounts extend up to 15% on all coverages except uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage and comprehensive coverage as these two coverages do not involve the insured’s ability to control his or her vehicle in a safe manner. The obvious purpose of this automotive feature is avoid brake lockup and thereby create a out of control skid. The insurance industry’s statistics indicate accidents on wet and slick surfaces due to brake lockup have diminished with this feature. Proving your vehicle has anti-lock brakes is normally not a issue since the vehicle identification number indicates if the feature is present.
Discounts on auto insurance policies in the state of Texas are as vast as the Texas highway systems. Remember at the end of the day the real question is the total premium cost to you regardless of discounts and refunds.
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