Insurance in Texas

chevrolet
cobalt

#1

I’m paying 100 $ a month for a liability+collision from Geico. Deductibles are 500$ for the collision.



I got my license in January this year. I dont particularly enjoy paying 100$ a month for the insurance.



In my ~ 2 years of driving in the US, I have only had a few parking tickets.



I dont drink and drive. Drive 8000 miles a year.



I’m 26, single male, student.



please help me get a much lower price on my insurance.


#2

Insurance costs vary a lot. Where you live, age, history (even those parking tickets might be considered) when rates are determined.

You need to spend some time to find the best insurance for you. Check out various companies. Remember that price should not be your only consideration. The cheapest insurance may dump you at the first infraction and finding another company then, could be a lot more.

In short you need to do some shopping. We have 50 states, each with their own regulations. What is the cheapest in Texas might be one of the most expensive in another state.

You also did not say what car you have. High performance an young male driver means high insurance cost.

You also might find that bundling may save you some money. You home or apartment insurance and life all with the same company may mean lower rates for that company. Also a company with all your insurance is less likely to dump you in the face of a claim.

BTW that cost does not seem all that high to me.

Good Luck


#3

First, I agree with Mr. Meehan, $100/mo. for full coverage sounds downright cheap to me. Back in the early 90’s, I was paying $2,200 a year for liability ONLY on a Chevy Chevette, and that was on my father’s policy, because no insurance company would even give me a quote. (I was in my early 20’s with 2 accidents back then.) But I have a few suggestions, some may not work in your circumstances.

Many young drivers start out on their parents policy, which is cheaper than having your own policy, but if I recall correctly from your previous posts, you are an exchange student, so that wouldn’t work for you.

Another option, if you own the car free and clear, would be to drop the collision and just carry liability, but your car is fairly new, so you would be taking a big chance, you have to decide if you want to take that gamble. Alternatively, you could raise the deductible to $1000. That should cut the premium. If you filed a $600 claim, they’d just get it back by raising your rates anyway.

Most insurance companies, if not all, check your credit score when determining premiums too, so if you have little or no credit history, that will hurt you too. Its kind of like, you just have to ‘take your lumps’ until you get a few more years of incident free driving under your belt. In my case, all the companies that shunned me 15 years ago are now practically begging me for my business, including one company I won’t mention (whose ad appears at the top of this page as I type this) that ripped me off for several hundred dollars by pulling the old “bait and switch” on me 16 years ago.

Now here’s my rant about Geico. Think about it. They BLANKET THE LANDSCAPE WITH ADVERTISING! All over the television, the radio, the newspaper, magazines, billboards, direct mail. Cartoon lizards, cavemen, movie stars, athletes, and musicians in sketch comedy shorts. And on and on it goes. I have three points:

  1. Who do you think pays for their multi-bazillion dollar advertising budget? Their policyholders, of course.

  2. Wouldn’t you think that by now everyone in the country who wanted a Geico quote would have gotten one?

  3. This kind of advertising creates an “arms race” of sorts, forcing other insurance companies to take to the airwaves advertising their insurance excessively, and raising costs for everyone, which comes out in the form of higher insurance rates for EVERYONE.


#4

P.S. I thought of something else. If your grades are really good (honor roll) you should ask about a “good student” discount.


#5

You need to contact other insurance companies for quotes. $100 a month could be hard to beat.

To keep your insurance costs low, don’t get any speeding tickets. Your rates will jump up, they could even double. Don’t get into any accidents, for the same reason.

You could get a lower rate if you were married, but don’t rush into anything on that score. A 3.0 or better GPA helps might help your rates.

Welcome to the high cost world of automobile ownership.


#6

Find A Local Insurance Company That Handles Multiple Insurance Companies And Make An Appointment To Sit Down With Them. I Have One Near Me That Can Compare Half A Dozen Reputable Companies In One Location.

Tell the agent exactly what you’re trying to do.

$100 / month doesn’t sound too bad. I’m not sure what Texas rates are and it varies whether you live in an urban or rural area. You pay about 33% more than my 23 year-old son and he’s got a little better coverage, but it’s not Texas and he’s rural.

Also, he gets discounts for completing a safe driver course when he was 16 and a good-grades discount that countinues through high school and college and until he turns 25. Additionally, he takes advantage of discounts for our multiple policies for cars, home, life, etcetera.

Some companies are kinder to young folks, some kinder to older folks, most give multi-line discounts.

When you hit twenty-five you should have noticied a drop in premiums. Did you ?

The car you drive makes a difference. I remember you buying this Cobalt, but I forget the model-year. It was a 2007, wasn’t it ? A good agent can let you know if that particular car is costing you more than average.

By the way, include me as one who doesn’t enjoy paying those monthly premiums.

CSA


#7

$100 a month is pretty reasonable for a single male actually. If you find another company that can do better chances are it won’t be by much. I think your expectations for cheap insurance aren’t that realistic. If you think $100 a month is pricey call up an insurance company in Britain and see what kind of quote you get; you’ll have to pick your jaw up off the floor.


#8

We Haven’t Heard From You For A While. I Remember Everybody Helping You Find A Car And You Went And Rescued A Low Miles Colbalt From The Ghetto Or Something. How’s It Been Working For You ?

CSA


#9

Your insurance costs are reasonable. The insurance companies price their policies by AGE, GENDER,MARITAL STATUS, TYPE OF CAR and also driving record. Only your age and type of car are plusses.

My son went through the same thing; once he turned 25 and got married his rates dropped significantly. I would shop around, but don’t expect much better until you get married and have more years of clean driving under your belt.

Having a Cobalt also helps; a more expensive and newer car would have cost you a lot more.

PS If you went to Columbia University in New York and drove a Corvette, your insurance would run $12000-$15000 per year. Houston rates are more expensive than those in small towns. You are getting a good deal, but NO MORE TICKETS, and make sure your insurance company knows you are a Student and you don’t commute to work.

Where I live students pay lower insurance rates than the same person working a regular job.


#10

Not all states or insurance companies give this…trust me I tried…my two oldest with driver licenses…both high-honor students…

$1200 is CHEAP…VERY CHEAP.

Daughter living in MA…now in her 20’s…has her own car (honda Civic)…is paying $2300…NO ACCIDENTS…NO TICKETS…


#11

There are a few things you can do to keep your insurance costs down:

  1. Stay out of trouble. That means no tickets, even non-moving violations like parking tickets.

  2. Don’t file claims unless you really have to. Many companies will discount your rates for every year you go without a claim.

  3. Get training. You can take a defensive driving course without having received a ticket, and you can often show your insurance company proof you took the course so they will issue you a discount. However, you really should check with your insurer first. When I went to truck driving school, my classmates got discounts on their car insurance premiums because of the defensive driving component of the class, but my rates were already deeply discounted, so I didn’t get an additional discount.

  4. Shop around, but once you find a good company that you can stick with, stick with them. The discounts you get over the years will make them cheaper than their competitors, but it takes time to earn their discounts.

  5. Consider moving. If you live in a “high theft” area, or an area where the people drive like drunken lemurs, you will be shocked at the rates in other areas.

  6. Buy a home. Homeowners get discounted rates. Don’t ask me why. They just do.

  7. Consider having all of your policies or most of your policies under one insurer. This is a great way to get discounts.

  8. Buy a safe car. Those “unnecessary” safety features some guys complain about can lead to sizable discounts on your insurance premiums. You can also see if installing an alarm will earn you a discount.

If you do these things, you will soon find your rates are lower than the rates of others your age and gender.


#12

Your rates are very reasonable. I doubt that you could get insurance any cheaper but go for it. If you do find a better rate make sure to post back and tell us the all the details.


#13

Whitey said, “The discounts you get over the years will make them cheaper than their competitors…” Not necessarily. The company I was with considered me a customer from 5 years before I was born (because they said I was ‘grandfathered’ into when my father first took out his policy). I thought I was getting a great rate, especially after “the Gecko” offered me insurance at 15% more than what I was paying. But I changed insurance last year and saved a full 1/3 of what I had been paying, and it wasn’t with any of the companies with the obnoxious advertising campaigns.

(I’m not sure if I can mention corporate names without being censored, that’s why I’m being vague.)

I actually got a quote even lower than that, but I refused it because it came with too many strings attached. They wanted to put a chip in one of my vehicles to track when, where, and how I drive. My privacy is worth more than a small discount on insurance. They also only wanted me to deal with them online (no paper). I am just old enough that something doesn’t seem “real” to me if I don’t have a document in my hand. If I get in an accident, am I just supposed to show the police something I printed off the internet?

Also, Whitey said, “Buy a home. Homeowners get discounted rates. Don’t ask me why. They just do.” It’s because when you buy a home, you realize you now have something to lose, which tends to make a person behave more carefully. Same reason why your rates go down when you have your first kid. Now you have more to live for, so you start to behave more responsibly. Or at least that’s the theory. I know, I know, some people never grow up, but most of us do.


#14

Mr. Cheap, I don’t think you will get censored for mentioning company names.

Personally, I am with Allstate. When they didn’t give me discounts for taking the defensive driving component of truck driving school (the SMITH system) and taking three classes with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, I printed my policies and went shopping. Nobody could mach their rates without giving me less coverage. One reason is that Allstate keeps lowering my deductible. I started with a $1,000 deductible, but each year I went without a claim, they lowered the deductible without charging me more. Now I have a $250 deductible, but I am paying for a $1,000 deductible.

I am glad to hear shopping around payed off for you. I wish it would for me too, but it hasn’t yet.


#15

New driver will really kill on insurance rates. You said you got your license 7~8 months ago. To them, you’re on par with a 16 year old in terms of driving experience, despite your age. As others said, shop around, see if you can bundle other insurances together. Credit score may also play into it as well. I had my insurance company run a credit check and I got bumped up to top tier in their books, which gave some extra cash to me.
My advise would be to look and see if you get a discount for paying 6 months at a time, that may save a few bucks here and there. Also, I signed up for auto pay and pay in full(6 months at a time), which netted me a bit lower premiums as well(thank you Allstate).


#16

Common Sense, docnick and all others.

First of all thank you again, for helping me buy this car in 2009 October. It has been an excellent buy, and has served me perfectly for the year. I bought a 24,000 miles Chevy Coblalt LS Stick, for 5000$. Excellent price. It was not taken care of well, so I had to do some work. The cigarette smoke coming inside the cabin has been taken care of by a. time b. Car scent, and c. Bulk coffee powder.
There was some water inside the car on the front passenger side, which was diagnosed as the flowback coming from the AC condenser output. I was worried, because there was a bunch of electricals there. Luckily for me, at 24,000 miles and 2 years old, the car was STILL under warranty (thank you again, the great sires of Cartalk for guiding me towards a Chevy rather than a 100K Honda , for 5000 USD)
The warranty allowed me to have the dealer take care of a bunch of these issues, the water, they replaced BOTH the front struts 500$ each (yaay) because the right front was broken and I complained about a noise coming from the left front, and they couldnt figure it out…so they replaced the strut !!!

Current issues:

Now, they also replaced the power steering motor under the recall. This affected the airbag module, which kept coming on and off. They replaced the air bag module as well. Even after replacement the check airbag light intermittently comes on (check airbag) .
They are going to replace it a second time, when I take it in. But it has stopped for now, So I am going to tell them to keep the part for me in spare (my warranty ran out July 31st, but they are still helping me out with the last few issues which remained unsolved), till it starts lighting up again and then replace it.

The indicator light is no longer ticking when turning left or right. Usually it used to have a tick tick sound, which has now stopped coming. They havent been able to figure this out and they basically did nothing about it. My father was supervising and hes a nice guy from India, not used to dealing with people here. hence he did not insist too much.

I tried to get them to figure that out, but they gave up and basically told me to live with it.

I’m pretty happy with the car, it runs very well, gives me 23 mpg in the city, and at 150 hp at low revs, its sporty as well, which I enjoy every now and then.

Houston roads especially around the richmond montrose area are like roads in India, thus the suspension takes a beating and you have to drive slow. I am NOT OPTIMISTIC about the perceived expenditure on the suspension that I shall have to do to run this car properly.
Also, these electrical issues are worrisome. Because as I hear, once they start, they keep on and on and on going.

It is, though, a little shoddily built. the electricals and the suspension could be better as well. The rotors and brakes are also substandard. I drive an Elantra in India, and even after the battering that Indian roads give it, I don’t see it shudder or shake from the brakes. In summary the brakes, suspension, steering and electricals, watch out for, engine, transmission, gearbox is good.

The engine, gear shifting and power transmission, at 30,000 miles is brilliant, though. I reckon I can run till around 120 K easily with the routine maintenance.

  1. Any advice on hearing about the above issues?
  2. Any good mechanics for chevrolet in Houston that are inexpensive as well?
  3. I have the owners manual which recommends adding Dex cool coolant and water . Can someone guide me to another users manual which gives me a good brand of coolant to rely on, as dexcool has a lot of complaints. Recommendations on simple do it yourself maintenance.?

Thanks, in advance, you guys are really helpful and I am grateful for all your knowledge.

Cheers,
HR.


#17

If you still owe money on this car, focus on paying off the loan, then lose the collision insurance. If you don’t owe money on the car, lose the collision insurance.


#18

Most (if not all) lending institutions won’t allow you to drop collision if you’re still paying on the loan.


#19

Did you see the part where I said “If… then…if”?


#20

I paid cash for it. Total price was paid in full.