Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati....

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Sep 28, 2012

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When you buy or lease a car, you will need to get insurance. You are often told that you need full coverage, but you might wonder what that means.  You might also wonder what is covered and what is not covered by your policy. To make sure that you are completely legal to drive in Houston, Texas, it is important to get the right coverage. You will also want to make sure that the coverage you choose is affordable as well.

Why Full Coverage Is Not the Right Term to Use

By definition, there is no such thing as a full coverage insurance policy. No one policy will cover all contingencies and are instead a collection of policies that must be added by the customer to provide better coverage. That is perhaps the most important of the full coverage auto insurance details in Houston. Most insurance agents will help you to decide what kind of policy you need and may make suggestions for more coverage. The types of policies include:

  • Liability insurance: Covers other people’s property including their car and other physical items. Does not provide coverage for your own vehicle.
  • Collision: Covers all vehicles in a motor vehicle accident, including your own. It also covers the damages down to other types of property in the course of an accident.
  • Comprehensive: Covers all other types of damages that can occur to your car including natural events such as floods, fires and hail storms. Can also cover damages involving wildlife, vandalism or theft. Collision insurance does not cover any of these damaging events.
  • Personal injury protection:  Covers the cost of injuries incurred during an accident. Most policies have a limit per person as well as a cap per accident.  Not all states require this coverage, but it is highly advisable to add it to your insurance. In Houston, the requirement is only for liability coverage.

You might be required to carry additional insurance if the car you are driving is financed through a bank or other type of lender.

Lowering the Cost of Your “Full Coverage” Insurance in Houston

There are ways to get all of the protection that you need without breaking your budget. Insurance premiums are based on a number of factors including the level of coverage and your own personal factors. You can try to minimize some of the expense by:

  • Using a higher deductible. The lower the deductible on the policy that you choose, the higher the cost of the premium.
  • Maintain a safe driving record. If you have tickets or accidents on your record, you may be able to lower your insurance costs by taking a driver’s refresher course or safety training.
  • Consider dropping parts of your policy as your car gets older.  It makes no sense to pay more in insurance than the car is actually worth.
  • Bundle insurance plans with the same agent to take advantage of discounts.
  • Ask for loyalty discounts at the time or renewal.