The second-biggest state after California, Texas is famous for its scorching hot weather, BBQ, live music, and hundreds, if not thousands, of landmarks. Home to over 90 million people, the Lone Star State, however, has one thing that they can hardly brag about: insurance.
As much as 18.4% of Texans do not have health insurance, which is two times more than the average 9.2% across the U.S. and three to four times more than in the top-5 healthiest states: Massachusetts (3%), Rhode Island (4.1%), Hawaii (4.2%), and Vermont (4.5%), and Minnesota (4.9%). Almost one in five Texans remains uninsured, and that’s even despite the fact that the overall nation’s insurance rate decreased dramatically after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was put into force on March 23, 2010.
Not only was Texas rightfully given the title of the ‘unhealthiest’ state, but Texans had – and still have – to face numerous health disadvantages, such as premature death, higher mortality rates, low-quality preventive medicine, and, of course, exorbitant medical bills for those uninsured.
If You Are A Texan, It May Be Just the Right Time to Get Your Insurance
Now, it’s clear that the insurance market is much broader than just health insurance. Let’s zoom out so that you can understand which specific coverage you miss if any.
So, all existing policies inevitably fall into one of the two major insurance categories: life insurance and non-life insurance.
- Life insurance policies – including term life insurance and permanent life insurance – work in a more or less similar fashion and have three key parameters: death benefit, premium, and cash value.
- Death benefit is the amount of money the insured’s family (spouse, parents, or children) will get if the policyholder dies.
- Premium is the amount of money the insured pays for his coverage. It depends on many factors, including the policyholder’s health, age, occupation, and features of the policy.
- Cash value is both the policyholder’s savings account that can be used during his or her life to pay premiums, take loans, etc.
- Non-life insurance is much broader than life insurance. It encompasses property and casualty coverage: car insurance, homeowners insurance, motor insurance, travel insurance, and many other policies.
How Much Insurance Do I Need In Texas?
The game of probabilities is just as hard and unpredictable as the game of life itself – and it goes without saying that you and only you are responsible for your insurance choices – but let’s just name and then elaborate on the most popular insurance coverages that you may need in Texas: health insurance, life insurance, car insurance, home insurance, renters insurance, flood insurance, gap insurance, and title insurance.
Before we start, though, let’s mention that you can get tons of information on most types of coverage available in Texas on the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI).
Health Insurance In Texas
As drug costs are rising and doctors and nurses are paid more, healthcare in the U.S. is getting more and more expensive. If a one-time visit can cost a few hundred dollars, a few days’ stay in a hospital can empty your pocket.
Depending on your age, health, occupation, and other factors, there are at least five ways to get health insurance in Texas:
- Through one of the governmental programs: Medicaid (low income), Medicare (age 65+), or Children’s Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
- Through the health marketplace.
- Through an insurance company or independent agent.
- For those who’ve lost their jobs: COBRA
- For students: student health plan.
Besides, you can take advantage of your spouse’s healthcare plan, your parent’s plan (until age 26), or one of the alternative plans.
How Much Is Health Insurance in Texas?
The cost of health insurance in Texas varies depending on the plan, the number of people covered, etc., but it wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that you can get basic health insurance coverage for less than $500 per person.
Life Insurance In Texas
Amounting to $278 billion in Texas and not being a must-have type of insurance, life insurance can help your family financially after you die. From burial costs to living expenses to education of your children and more…sometimes you have to be pragmatic.
- To get individual life insurance in Texas, you will have to pass underwriting, which is the examination of your case by your insurer. They will take into account your health, occupation, habits (smoker, drinker, etc.), and more factors to estimate your life insurance conditions (and whether they will insure you at all).
- You can also get a cheaper group life insurance policy. Such policies are very popular among employees as they reduce the premium and spread insurance risks among dozens and hundreds of people. Getting a group life insurance policy is easier as your health conditions will unlikely be examined.
Before buying life insurance in Texas, check whether it has a free lock period (you usually have 10 more days to think before committing to the policy), grace period (30 penalty-free days to pay after a due date has come), as well as how much time you will have to settle a claim.
How Much Is Life Insurance in Texas?
Premium-wise, the average cost of life insurance is about $360 a year, but then again, multiple factors – age, health condition, habits, etc. – affect the actual quote. For example, the premium may rise by about 30% as you’ve aged from 30 to 40.
Car Insurance In Texas
While only about 75% of the drivers in the U.S. have car insurance, there’s no way around it in Texas, where car insurance is mandatory. Vehicle owners have to have liability coverage (injuries caused to third parties in an accident) and property coverage (physical damage to the cars involved in an accident).
Texas Car Insurance Requirements
- $30,000 in liability coverage for one injured person.
- $60,000 in total liability coverage per accident.
- $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident.
Purchasing Your Best Cheap Car Insurance In Texas 2022
If you want to save your time, you can just use the Texas car insurance rating table and choose State Farm or any other company from the top, but we’d still recommend you go through the next steps:
- Find out what coverage you need. Collision coverage (damage to your car), comprehensive coverage (damage from natural disasters, theft, or vandalism), coverage for medical payments…think about what possible events you want to safeguard from.
- Find out how much of it you need. Will the mentioned minimums be enough for you to feel safe? It may be worth considering the extension of your auto liability coverage beyond its bare minimums.
- Check several car insurance companies. A register of Texas auto insurance companies and worksheets will help you. Do your research, fill in the worksheet, and you’ll see which company resonates with you. Besides the premium, don’t forget about a deductible, which is the amount you have to pay before your policy kicks in.
- Make sure your insurance doesn’t have gaps. If you want to cover your auto through and through, you may need gap insurance or something akin to it.
How Much Is Car Insurance In Texas?
The average annual price of full coverage auto insurance in Texas is slightly above $1,500.
Gap Insurance In Texas
Even though Texas doesn’t require gap insurance, it may come in handy in case your vehicle is stolen or totaled, and especially so if your loan is bigger than the actual value of your car. Gap insurance pays the difference between the actual value of your car and the current balance on your loan or lease.
The other common cases include:
- Quickly depreciating vehicles (for example, old vehicles).
- Long-term leasing (five years and more).
- High-interest rate on your vehicle.
How Much Is Gap Insurance in Texas?
Home Insurance In Texas
With over 11.2 million housing units, valued at about $170,000 on average, Texas does have some peculiarities when it comes to homeowners insurance.
For example, in Texas, you do want to insure against hurricanes. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey cost over $125 billion to Texans. The other common claims include damage from thunderstorms, fire, water, and burglary.
Other than hurricanes, there are three most popular home coverages in Texas:
- Dwelling – the physical structure of the building and the attached structures.
- Property – jewelry, family relics, and other valuable belongings).
- Liability – if you’ve injured someone else on your property or caused damage to someone else’s property.
However, it may also be wise to consider wind coverage, floor coverage, leakage coverage, and other narrow-focused types of coverage that may pertain to your particular case.
How Much Is Homeowners Insurance in Texas?
Flood Insurance In Texas
One of the most common misconceptions about homeowners insurance is that it includes flood insurance. No, a standard homeowners policy doesn’t include flood coverage – you have to buy this coverage separately. But is it worth it?
To understand whether it is reasonable to pay up to $800 a year for flood coverage – that’s how much it costs in Texas – you have to know whether your location is prone to floods. The lion’s share of U.S. countries was flooded at least once, but there’s always a chance that your location is a lucky exception.
Renters Insurance In Texas
Renters insurance is not mandatory in Texas, but some landlords may not let you move in unless you provide proof of renters insurance. On top of that, it’s just a good idea to protect your personal items (landlord’s insurance won’t cover your belongings).
Renters insurance covers personal property, loss of use (costs associated with a temporary inability to live in the house because of damages to the building), and liability, but it doesn’t cover floods.
How Much Is Renters Insurance in Texas?
The average price of renters insurance in Texas is about $200, although the range varies depending on your specific location, coverage limits, and deductible. Renters insurance in Texas is provided by the same companies that provide homeowners insurance, so the list of most popular renters insurance brands looks just the same: USAA, State Farm, and Allstate.
Title Insurance in Texas
When you buy a house, you want it to be crystal clean – that is, free from loans, debt, and other financial obligations. Unfortunately, it’s not always the case. Sometimes debts and issues can drag along for years, passing from the previous to the next homeowner.
- Title insurance passes the document-related hassle to the insurer. Your title company will research all related documents and settle all issues including the ones that may arise after the purchase.
There are two types of title insurance: lender’s insurance (protects the financial part of the deal, that is, the payer and the bank) and owner’s insurance (protects the homeowners).
Who Pays for Title Insurance In Texas?
More often than not, the buyer pays for the lender’s insurance and vice versa. It is considered courteous in Texas.
How Much Is Title Insurance in Texas?
Price-wise, the rates of title insurance in Texas are almost uniform (barring fees) across all insurance providers. To estimate how much your title insurance may cost, you can use, for example, this or any other title policy price online calculator.
The Other Side of the Moon: How to Become an Insurance Producer in Texas?
Insurance agents don’t make millions overnight, but even the average salary of an insurance agent – about $51,000 a year – may be a reason enough to get a license in Texas.
As an insurance agent, you will select, customize, and sell policies, as well as you will settle insurance claims, streamline the payment process, and calculate risks. If you feel like becoming an insurance agent, then you can follow this four-step path:
- Complete a prelicensing course. Prelicensing is not required in Texas, but it will give you an edge.
- Pass a state licensing exam. The exam scores range from 0 to 100, with 70 being the passing score.
- Submit your fingerprints. All Texas residents must submit fingerprints unless they’ve already submitted fingerprints for one of the previous licenses.
- Apply for a license. Submit your application via the National Insurance Producer Registry.
- Complete the necessary amount of CE credits to stay licensed. Just like every other U.S. state, Texas requires insurers to continue education for those willing to stay licensed. This means you will have to complete some educational program within the given timeframe to retain your insurance agent license.
How to Become a Claims Adjuster in Texas?
In Texas, claims adjusters make slightly less than on average in the U.S. – about $46,000 compared to roughly $50,000 – but that doesn’t make the job any less relevant or wanted.
As a claims adjuster, you will investigate claims to determine whether the insurance company you represent is liable and to which extent. To become a claims adjuster, you have to be communicative and stress-resistant.
The algorithm for receiving a claims adjuster license is similar to that of becoming an insurance agent, except for claims adjusters required to complete a 40-hours prelicensing course.
Oleksandr is an expert in deep research. He covers insurance topics across four major insurance verticals – auto, health, life, and home insurance – while taking into account the legal landscape of the state in question. Come rain or shine, you can expect regular quality blogs and timely updates from Oleksandr.